Graduating in May '11. Any suggestions??

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MikeNMU in Marquette, Michigan

57 months ago

I'll be graduating next May, with a B.S. in Accounting/Computer Information Systems. I have been interning at a small CPA firm in my hometown (primarily working on monthly bank reconciliations, data entry, preparing quarterly reports, and also I've been on an audit.)

My question is, what should I be doing now to ensure i'm able to secure a job out of school? Sending out resumes, scheduling interviews? Where should I apply?

Also, my GPA is not where it should be. How vital is it to have a GPA >3.0? And are you overlooked if your GPA is not as high as my graduating counterparts?

Any information would be greatly appreciated.

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JDizzle

57 months ago

Work on getting your GPA above a 3.0 - it is important! Also, figure out what you want to do. Do you want to do public accounting? Corporate accounting? Financial audit? IT audit? Tax? Then find people who work in those careers and start networking (can't stress networking enough!) If your school does any sort of recruiting events, be sure to attend. If you can pass the CPA exam before you graduate, that would be a huge benefit to you. Internships are a great way to get your foot in the door at a company. If this internship you're currently doing isn't at a place you would want to work at, start looking for other internships. It's a tough economy, and with a less than stellar GPA, you will need to do anything and everything you can to beef up your resume and make you stand out from your peers.

Good luck!

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MikeNMU in Marquette, Michigan

57 months ago

Thank you for the response.

Unfortunately, i'm too far along in my studies to increase my GPA to a 3.00, I have too many credits to make a difference in the 30 credits I have remaining.

As far as what i'd like to do, it's up in the air. I'll be honest and say I don't really know the pros and cons of each area of expertise. However, Corporate Accounting seems the most appealing to me. I am trying to keep my options open.

In response to taking the CPA exam. I do plan on taking it. You are not eligible to sit for the exam, until you have completed 150 credits. Ideally, i'd like to study for the exam while working and study at my own pace. I will need to study, a lot.

As far as networking goes, I realize the importance of doing it. However, I will be relocating to a different state after I graduate. Any suggestions how I can network in a state where I don't occupy?

Again, I appreciate you taking the time to read and give feedback on my post. I'm trying to learn as much as possible before I enter the real world!

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JDizzle

57 months ago

No problem - I graduated 2.5 years ago, so I remember what it's like trying to get that first job. It was tough then, and I graduated with honors, did several internships, and had a lot of extra curriculars. So I feel your pain :) With your GPA, the advice I'd give you is to leave it off your resume and don't bring it up unless specifically asked. Chances are a big(ger) company will ask about it, but maybe you can get your foot in the door and at least get an interview before they do.

I don't know where you are planning on moving to, but I live in TN and you can actually take the CPA exam prior to graduation (have to be within so many credits of 150). Even if you wait until after graduation, get the CPA over with as soon as you can. It's advice I wish I would've taken!

Networking in a different state is going to be a challenge. If I were you, I'd look for a recruiter in the area you are moving to. A good recruiter will know the market and have a lot of contacts and often know of jobs that aren't publicly posted. Also keep trying to network where you currently are. People change jobs and move around a lot, so you never know who you might meet who has a friend of a friend. Job fairs are a great way to meet people and learn more about different careers out there. My school does 2 every year - one specifically for accounting students, and another for everyone (and it's actually how I got my current job).

Hopefully things will turn around by the time you graduate and the job market will be better!

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