How is the World Wide Web a bit like an English pub? Some say that both are “great equalizers.” In an English pub, CEOs sit next to ditch diggers hoisting pints, with neither party knowing what the other person does for a living–or caring what they do for a living. Two humans, two pints, a handshake, a conversation and it all works. On the Web, Sally’s Book Store that does $50,000 in annual revenue can look just as appealing as Barnes & Noble. The playing field begins to level…
Not all firms and university accounting students have the same capabilities when it comes to recruiting and job seeking. Clearly. Students at the University of Texas and firms such as Deloitte have an obvious edge in this regard than, say, a small rural university and a firm of eight people. What is helping to narrow that gap for firms and students? National Meet the Firms Week. Taking place October 29-November 2, it’s a very interesting creation—and exciting opportunity for all in the accounting profession.
CollegeFrog is the driving force behind this event. Speaking with James Hosman, Chief Operating Officer, he had this to say about National Meet the Firms Week:
1) How is today’s accounting position recruitment environment different from, say, five years ago?
Unfortunately for the industry, it has not changed much over the last fifty years, much less five years! For years, accounting students and firms have used the same process, which is to attend two or three on-campus Meet The Firms events and recruit exclusively from those students. A firm typically limits itself to the students it meets at these two or three events it attends. National Meet the Firms Week provides an online platform for students to meet firms from across the state and country. Students also will have access to valuable career advice from industry leaders through webinars every day. Firms will be able to recruit from schools that they may not have had the ability to visit due to time or budgetary restraints. The industry is rapidly moving to more efficient and effective ways to find talent, like online recruiting. The viral growth of this event is an example of this trend.
2) What excites you most about NMTFW?
The fact that any firm or student can participate. Firms and students are not limited to schools within their geographic area. Firms tell us all the time that they want to be able to recruit the best talent available, including if a student grew up nearby but went away from school. A firm has no way to find this “hometown” student today.
3) Students have many opportunities to connect with firms—what is unique
National Meet the Firms Week is more efficient and effective than conventional methods. A student can submit his or her resume, transcript, extracurricular activities, awards, honors and work experience without leaving the comfort of a home, dorm room or office. It also allows the student to make an impression on significantly more firms than with the conventional methods.
4) What advice would you give to today’s university accounting majors?
Explore all your options before you accept a position with an accounting firm. You may find that the firm you ultimately accept a job with is just around the corner in your college town but give yourself the opportunity to explore firms that you have not heard of. There are a wide variety of firm cultures, firm sizes and areas of expertise that may be able to offer you customized work experience. One of the webinars we are having during Meet The Firms Week is a career path session. Students will learn about all careers available with an accounting degree, whether it’s with a firm, inside the industry, or in a different niche.
5) Will NMTFW help level the playing field for smaller firms—or for those
firms that don’t have access to a host of universities?
Absolutely. Leveling the playing field is one of the goals. There are a lot of great firms in the United States that students don’t know about because 98% of firms are not able to attend more than 2 or 3 on-campus events. Also, many firms are overshadowed by the largest firms or they don’t have marketing budgets to advertise on a local, regional or national level. Firms of all sizes are excited about the event because at the end of the day, they can cast their net much further online than they can in person.
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