Poole Accounting Undergraduate Students Explore Summer Leadership Program Options, Meet Firms at Career-building Events
Accounting firms “recognize the importance of finding the right fit culturally and understand that students need exposure to all of the firms in order to make the best career decision for them,” said Ryan Gorman, a junior majoring in accounting at the NC State Poole College of Management.
Gorman, who is in Poole College’s Accounting Internship Recruitment (AIR) program, was commenting on the value he gained from attending the Department of Accounting Summer Leadership Conference Fair and Accounting Networking Night. The back-to-back events were held on Wednesday, January 31, at NC State’s Talley Student Union.
“All the recruiters from the firms were ready and willing to answer any questions I had,” he said.
Jessica Crews, also a junior in accounting and AIR Program participant, concurred. “As a student, the Summer Leadership Conference Fair is a great opportunity to meet and network with firms that put on valuable leadership programs,” she said. “These programs are a great way to meet and interact with members of the firms, in order to make sure you are a good fit for the organization and vice versa. Plus, many leadership conferences can lead to other opportunities.”
The events also provided a chance to catch up with recruiters and firm professionals that she had met at other Poole College accounting program events. “It is always nice to see them again and discuss ways to get more involved with their firm,” she said.
“Such events are also important for the recruiting firms who, over the past several years, have found it important to start building relationships with students in their sophomore and junior years,” said Andrea Young, associate director of the Master of Accounting program at the Poole College of Management.
The Summer Leadership Conference Fair – set up like a career fair – enables accounting firms to provide interested students information and answer questions about their individual leadership conference, Young said.
“BDO likes to attend this event, and we send our NC State alumni to network with students and showcase our firm’s opportunities,” said Lindsey Cyples, campus recruiter with BDO. “We also have the chance to show how BDO has helped our professionals be successful and the opportunities we can provide them to jumpstart their career.”
The MAC Program started the Summer Leadership Conference Fair about four years ago, Young said.
“Previously, students received individual email messages about the various accounting firms’ summer conferences. That was manageable at first,” she said, “but as more and more firms added a conference to their summer agenda, students were bombarded with dates, deadlines and application requirements. Our Summer Leadership Conference Fair brings all of the firms together at one time, in one place.”
Now, she said, “sophomore and junior accounting majors with a GPA of 3.0 and higher are invited to attend, and all the students can gather the information they need. Plus, they get to network with the firms’ representatives.”
Similarly, the Accounting Networking Night evolved from a reception held at the end of each fall and spring semester to honor undergraduate students that excel in the college’s introductory accounting courses. “Originally called the ‘Cupcake Reception,’ it brought together students with their accounting faculty and staff,” Young said.
“In fall 2017, the event was moved to a larger location and renamed the Accounting Networking Night,” she said. “Now the event hosts more than 17 accounting firms and several student-run accounting organizations. Students receiving an A-minus or higher in the introductory accounting classes are invited, along with accounting firm recruiters and other professionals.
“For students, this event now provides a chance to decide if they want to pursue accounting as a major. They are able to talk in depth with professionals about their careers, responsibilities and what it takes to be successful in the accounting industry. For the professionals, it is a chance to speak with students early in their college career, to network and encourage students to consider accounting as a profession,” Young said.