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Ways for Accounting Majors to Set Themselves Up for Success Post-Graduation

Author: Moe Harrison /Wednesday, January 10, 2018/Categories: SNI Companies, SNI Financial, Financial Staffing, For Job Seekers, SNI Certes, Financial Staffing, For Job Seekers, Accounting Now

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Although education trends have fluctuated throughout the years, Business has remained the most common major to date for college students. Statistics show that a large percentage of bachelor’s degrees obtained over the past 5 years were in this field – A major which includes areas such as management, marketing or accounting. While all aspects of business play a role in an organization, accounting and finance expertise is crucial for a business to run successfully, so, with many students focusing on degrees in this area, it is important for them to make themselves notable to future employers. Here are some extracurricular activities for future graduates to consider in order to set themselves apart from the other candidates:

Working in a financial capacity
While information can and must be learned in a classroom, you can learn just as much, if not more, from practical work experiences. Putting yourself in a situation to learn from experienced professionals will be beneficial in more ways than one, and will give you the opportunity to network outside of your university. Taking a job in a financially related role can be highly valuable. I personally worked in a bank and was a part-time teller for the last 2 years of my time in college. It gave me the opportunity to prove I had a work ethic, was dependable and capable in managing financial transactions, and effective at relationship building both with clients and co-workers. Of course I didn’t set out with a master plan to accomplish all of those things, I just needed to make some money to pay bills, but in hindsight I did prove those things and I learned a great deal about the operations of a successful company. The people I worked with and for became the foundation of my references post-graduation. To this day the President of that bank is a mentor I have sought guidance and professional counsel from on many occasions and that bank also became a client of mine years later.

Secure a relevant internship
Internships are designed to place students in a true career setting, taking everything they have learned and applying it to real life situations – These opportunities are often very hands-on, and allow the chance to work directly with professionals of different levels, offering various knowledge, as well as possible mentoring as college graduation nears. Not only will these positions prepare students for entry-level positions, but will also make them accustomed to an office environment. Most universities will assist students in securing internships and some have companies that consistently come on campus to recruit for these roles, especially for those pursuing accounting degrees.

Consider outside professional development
Getting your degree speaks to you having the basic foundation to enter the professional work, but it doesn’t give you credibility with interpersonal skills nor does it speak to your willingness to continue your professional development. There are a number of professional organizations that upcoming graduates can consider to address this. Toastmasters International is a great one. Anyone who is at least 18 years of age can join and the groups typically consist of professionals at all levels of their career who want to improve their speaking skills. You never know who you may meet that could impact your career in a group like this, but joining before graduating to sharpen your skills in this area would be impressive to almost any employer. Even if the career path you chose does not entail public speaking, having confidence in presenting and being an effective speaker will eventually be a part of everyone’s career if they are aspiring to move up the ladder. Toastmaster members pay international dues of $45 USD every six months (Some clubs may charge additional fees). International dues are $33.75 USD every six months for clubs not in Toastmasters districts. All new members also pay a one-time $20 USD fee.

There are many resources available to college students and recent graduates to successfully market themselves to potential employers. While some may find their place in the world of Accounting immediately, it may take others a bit longer to find their niche – Nonetheless, persistence is always key. Knowing you have additional skills to push you ahead of the game in the long run is always motivating. We, at SNI, hope these career tips help you prepare for your dream role!

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Moe Harrison
Moe Harrison

Moe Harrison

Moe Harrison is a Regional Vice President with SNI. With more than 15 years’ experience in recruiting and personnel management, Moe has a unique perspective on the top issues and concerns of employers and candidates in the accounting and finance fields.

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