|Job Success: Real Students Share Real Job Search Tips|
|Seniors share their best tips for job searches.|
Searching for a job, Rachel Lamensdorf says she always kept an open mind. She didn’t limit herself to the Big Four accounting firms. And Lamensdorf ’10, who received her BS in accounting and expects an MBA in public accountancy this spring, will go to work as an assurance associate for BDO.
Like others who already have secured jobs in a tight market, she started her search early, stayed active in student organizations, and put to use all of her campus experiences. The result was the job she wanted.
“For me, BDO was where I felt the most comfortable,” said Lamensdorf, an assurance intern there last summer. “While it may only be No. 5 on the accounting list, it has everything I am looking for. BDO encompasses a sense of family.”
Aaron Jones echoes the value of a broad search. “I think that the most important thing that I did was to keep my options open in terms of internship and job opportunities,” said Jones ’10, who’s also pursuing his MBA in public accountancy this year.
As a junior, he cast his net across the Big Four firms as well as local firms near his home in New Jersey. He didn’t let his goal of working for PwC limit his search’s scope.
“I think many students are too narrow in their search for internships and jobs, which oftentimes leads to a lack of valuable opportunities and experience,” said Jones. He’s been hired as an assurance associate in the consumer and industrial products segment of PricewaterhouseCoopers, based in Philadelphia.
For Erica Enders ’11, the lessons she learned in the classroom and on the women’s swimming team paid off in her job search.
“I understand that it takes hard work and perseverance to attain anything, whether it is a grade or position on the roster. You may have to adapt your approach or training to gain a desirable outcome,” said Enders, a business administration major with a marketing concentration. She will enter the PepsiCo. campus hire program in Silver Spring, Md., starting in a marketing/sales position on track for promotion to a management role within six months.
“My classes taken in and out of the business school have helped to develop my confidence in my own expertise,” said Enders. From classes such as strategic management she understands corporate strategy and other business objectives, which she called “valuable speaking points during the interview process.”
Her first contact with Pepsi demonstrates the value of networking. Her mother, a tutor, was talking to a parent of one of her students. That woman, an accountant at Pepsi, told Enders to apply for a food service sales internship and offered her name as a recommendation on the application. That allowed Enders to get her first-round interview.
At the subsequent Pepsi internship last summer, she worked 10 hours a day. “When you are passionate about your company, it is reflected in your work,’’ said Enders. “Had I not exhausted my connections and pursued an alternative position in sales first, I would have missed out on what has become an amazing opportunity.”
Job hunting should be part of a student’s daily routine, says Gabriel Donnini ’11, a business administration major concentrating in finance and corporate accounting. “The idea that sending out an application takes up a relatively little amount of your time, and causes you to lose nothing, is one that enabled me to persist and remain passionate about my job search,” he said.
Chitika Inc., a data analytics company in Westborough, Mass., has hired Donnini as a business analyst. He will work for the director of finance building economic models to increase the company’s efficiency and performance.
Jones recommends taking advantage of as much as possible on campus. He’s a former president of the IC chapter of Beta Alpha Psi, the honor society for accounting and finance students and professionals. From various workshops and presentations, he ticks off what he learned:
- How to properly dress for an interview.
- How to write an eye-catching cover letter.
- What to include on a resume.
- How to improve his interview skills.
- How to work on his elevator pitch.
“I found all of this training extremely useful during my search for an internship, especially throughout the different interviews that were conducted during my recruitment at PwC,” he said.
A varied campus career leads to self-confidence. Lamensdorf said she never shied away from walking up to visiting professionals to begin a conversation.
“I tried to find something I had in common with each professional so I could try and relate to them in some way. By connecting over something we had in common, I felt that the professional would remember me,” she said.
Lamensdorf played on the gymnastics team, was a teaching assistant in three classes, and is graduate assistant to the Professional Development Coordinator this year – all activities that she said helped her communication and leadership skills.