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Big Four Accounting - Dallas (Post Undergraduate)

Intro - Work Ethic

For the past three and a half years (and even longer than that), I have been pushing myself to be the very best that I can be. I have taken the hardest accounting courses (Financial Reporting I, II, & III, Tax Accounting, Cost Accounting, Audit and Assurance, Risk and Controls) in order to be prepared to be an auditor for one of the Big Four Accounting firms. The journey to be part of one of the four best accounting firms in the United States and the world has definitely been challenging. Below, I will explain the different components you will need to accomplish if you aim to become a successful accountant (or a successful graduate for that matter) and get hired by a great company.

I. Networking through college

To become a successful accountant, one must socialize with others and expand their networks. This was a bitter pill to swallow because I have always been very reserved and tended to lean heavily on my academic success to get me to where I needed to go in life. I despised people who utilized their networks and relied on their relationships to get them the jobs that they sought after. For me, hard work and technical savvy where the important elements of obtaining a job in the working world. However, over the course of my time in college, I have realized that this is not how the world works.  Individual work no longer is adequate and now teamwork and collaboration are the elements of a successful company. Businesses are actively looking for individuals who can work well together with others. What this translates to is how well you can forge genuine relationships with others in order to achieve tasks for the company that you work for. Even as technical as accounting is, no one accountant can accomplish all of the complex tasks that are required for a company in regards to preparing and reviewing financial statements. Networking has led me to find some of my closest friends in the accounting world (picture of one of my accounting friends). Continuing to develop relationships through your time in high school, college, work, etc. will help you succeed in the long run.

II. Selling Yourself Well

Building relationships will supplement your success but will not be the main cause of it. There is another element that you will need in order to make it with the company that you desire. In college, I learned about the power of a resume and how this document can help or hinder your ability at landing your dream job. Recruiters and employers are looking at resumes all of the time. Often times, an excellent resume will be thrown in the trash can if they contain even one spelling error! Other times, resumes will be disregarded because they appear to be very bland and do not set the applicant apart. An important life lesson to learn early is this: Do everything that you can to be set yourself apart from your peers. If this means joining a club that lies outside of your social group or pursuing a hobby no one around you has ever done before, having interests that stand out make you look appealing to potential employers. Now, you may go off and do any number of different activities and that still may not get you the job that you want. In addition to making yourself stand out on your resume, you must also be effective at conveying what it is that makes you different from everyone else.  Once you are genuinely participating in activities that are radically different from your peers, you can then go and tell others all the cool new things that you are a part of. My only caveat to this second point is this: Make sure that you are genuinely participating in organizations and activities that you are passionate about. Employers are quick to ask you who the president of your organization is and some of the key things you have done to contribute to the groups you are a part of.  Don’t make the mistake of only being in an organization or participating in an activity just to put it down on your resume. Show passion and be actively involved in everything that you do!

III. I (and one day you) made it!

What happens now that you have that dream job and you’ve leveraged all your relationships and sold yourself well? Does that mean you will stop networking and stop participating in activities? Absolutely not! Now that I have my dream job and have made it to the accounting world, I do not intend on cutting short my ability to forge relationships with others and actively participating with the firm I am working with. There are opportunities within this company that I am working for (and potentially the company you will be working at) to continue to be actively involved. For me, I will continue to be mentoring students to pursue college and to better themselves academically. I will also continue to be involved with a public speaking organization called Toastmasters. As for networking, anytime we have a social event or a happy hour after office hours, I will be attending and socializing with other people. If you stick to the principles of building authentic relationships and making yourself unique to stand out, you will be much more likely at landing the dream job that you seek.

Maurilio C
Experienced Accounting and Math Tutor
Texas Christian University
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