Thursday, April 13, 2017

5 Tips from an Accounting Student/Alumni

Lucky for you, I am currently both!A little bit about myself, my name is Brittanie and I am a graduate student in the Master of Accounting program. I graduated with my BBA with a double concentration in Accounting and Finance from Anderson! During my undergrad program I was a part of ALPFA for two years, where I met so many amazing people. I also did two Summer internships with PricewaterhouseCoopers in San Francisco and will be moving there to start work full time this July. I hope I can give you some advice to help you be successful as well!

Graduation is coming up, for some of you it is the end of your school career, headed to the real world and for others, your journey continues! Either way, congratulations on your choice for success! I am going to give you 5 tips I have learned and experienced to hopefully, in some way,  help with your professional development!

Here we go!
1. Get your CPA license! I know most people say it is a choice, and don’t get me wrong, there are avenues you can take in accounting without it, but the options are usually much slimmer. There are huge benefits with getting these three letters behind your name, aside from showing how hard you worked to receive them. These include career development, career security, a wider array of options, and studies have shown CPA’s get paid more than non-CPA counterparts. The CPA is a highly respected global credential. It takes a lot hard work and dedication, but is absolutely worth it in the end!

2. Meet people, as many as you can! Make meaningful relationships, in school, at functions, with your professors, everywhere. I know for some of you the idea of this is not fun, trust me, I know. I was not good at this when I first started in Anderson, in fact, I was terrified, but like anything, practice makes perfect. Take the plunge and join one of the really great accounting organizations we have on campus. That is an amazing place to start.

3. Develop your soft skills! These are just as important as knowing the hard skills you acquire in class and work experience. When people think of accountants, they think cubicles and working independently with a calculator and your excel workbooks. This is so wrong! We are social creatures in every aspect, we collaborate, we talk to people, we have to get along with people and have positive attitudes! These skills are not taught. You have to go out and experience situations and other people, which is why this ties back to number 2. This will make you a better employee and you will enjoy your work environment more! Here is a website I found very helpful with these.

4. Do not panic! There are so many different avenues you can take when you are an accounting major. Picking one should be on your mind, but until you get a little bit of experience from an internship or take a class about your prospective choice, you are not going to know. When I first chose accounting, I was dead set on being an auditor. Wow was I mistaken! I got some experience in tax and love it. You just have to find your niche. Another great thing, nothing is set in stone most of the time. Did you know that as the millennial generation, most of us will have around four job changes by the time we are 32? Maybe more!

5. Get work experience! Be proactive on campus, especially in accounting organizations. In any field really, you should get some work experience when you are still in school. Organizations on campus usually have great connections with firms and companies around town and even out of state. I did two internships out of state for two summers and it was one of the best experiences I could have asked for. After I did these I knew I was making the right choice in accounting and I found my niche.

These are my top 5 tips! There are many ways to become a successful accounting student which leads to being a successful accountant! You can do it! I believe in you! I am active on campus and would love to talk to students, graduating or not, about your future career! Best of luck to all of you.  

Don’t forget to contact Career Services at 277-3290 for help in polishing your professional materials!

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