In September, MAC students looking for full time jobs and going through the recruitment process participated in a multi-evening event, Meet the Firms. Meet the Firms is exactly what it sounds like. MAC students meet representatives from many different firms at this event that spans four nights and are able to get to know the firms and opportunities available. I interviewed four different students about their experiences with the event.
How did the MAC program prepare you for Meet the Firms?
Miloni: The MAC Program prepared us for Meet the Firms by providing us with information on all the firms coming to the various events. They also let us know how the evenings would be conducted and what to expect.
Andrea: The preparation they provided was crucial to being successful at Meet the Firms. We had consulting on business and dinning etiquette as well as appropriate business and business casual dress. Because Meet the Firms is such a unique event, it was important for the program to keep us well informed on deadlines and what to expect.
Francesca: In ACC 600, we had several presentations to help prepare us for Meet the Firms. The presentations included professional dress and dining etiquette & professional networking. We were told what to expect as well as what was expected of us. The MAC faculty was also very supportive, and answered some of my specific questions about Meet the Firms.
What topics/conversations did you have with the firm’s representatives?
Miloni: Most of my conversations with the firm’s representatives included topics about training, international opportunities, future growth, industries, and clients.
Andrea: Be prepared to ask a lot of questions! This is where the firms are selling to you so the questions you ask should explore what it will be like to work at the company. The three questions I found most useful were:
- How accessible are senior managers and partners?
- Tell me about your formal performance review process.
- How do partners keep their employees in line with the goals and motivations of the firm?
Try to ask the same questions to each firm so you can compare the answers. If you are interested in working outside of this region, I recommend speaking with the recruiter on the process and opportunities available wherever you want to work.
Francesca: I asked the representatives why they choose the firm they are working for and what they enjoy most. I want to go into audit, and we discussed the types of assignments I would receive during my first year. Most interesting was finding out about the firm culture, since they are all a little different.
Did you find Meet the Firms helpful and, if so, why?
Miloni: I found Meet the Firms helpful because it allowed me to meet all the firms in such a short period of time and ask the questions I needed to on a one on one basis. It also allowed me to see how the professionals interacted with each other outside of work.
Andrea: I found Meet the Firms helpful because it differentiated the firms from one another. It also exposes you to the partners and recruiters who will be engaged in the interview process.>
Francesca: Absolutely. It is a great opportunity to learn more about the accounting firms rather then simply researching them on the internet. Students are able to get face time with employees at all levels, which can help when recruiters are deciding candidates to interview. I enjoyed networking and was able to meet a lot of great professionals.
What tips can you give students who will be attending Meet the Firms in the future?
Miloni: One tip I can give students who will be doing Meet the Firms in the future is make sure to come prepared with questions and research. Meet the Firms is definitely a time for the firms to introduce themselves but it is also a time for you to stand out and get invited for a campus interview. Meet the Firms also involves a lot of networking so it is important to have done your research ahead of time so that you can engage in conversation with the professionals.
Andrea: This experience can be very stressful but I didn’t know until afterwards that this is not a make-it, or break-it situation. There will be other opportunities to enter public accounting later in the year. Ask lots of questions and try to meet as many people as you can. You don’t know who may be interviewing you so it’s best to put yourself out there and Meet the Firms!
Francesca: Research the firms and come prepared with questions. This is your chance to find out as much about them as you can, so do not let it go to waste. Also, researching ahead of times shows the representatives you are interested in their firm. Finally, be confident and try not to be too nervous, you will do just fine.
I hope this interview provides great insight and guidance to anyone who may experience Meet the Firms or an event similar. Feel free to leave any comments or questions!