By Lizen Liu
On April 11th, 2016, ZGAS hosted the Career Transitioning Discussion with PwC at Baruch College. In the panel discussion, five professionals shared their inspiring stories of career transitioning and how they got to where they are now. This event was a great opportunity to learn about the internal transfer procedures and which service line is best suited to our goals and personality.
The five panelists included Grace Kim, Frank Wang, Francois Cedoit, Abigail Sparks, and Janet Rodriguez. Grace is an experienced tax associate with two and a half years of experience with financial service companies who worked in the Washington, D.C. office but she made a move to the New York office. She believes that her energy and optimism made her stand out most in the process.
Frank worked in China for almost two years before he came to Baruch College for his master’s degree in accounting. After his graduation, he joined PwC and is now an experienced assurance associate. He believes that being approachable and friendly are the key to a great networking session.
Francois graduated cum laude from Baruch College and Macaulay Honors with a BBA in Accounting and minor in French studies. The early corporate exposure in his life has helped steer him in the path of success. Francois is now a senior associate in the assurance practice in PwC. He believes that it’s important not to “lose your cool” and just be yourself.
Abigail made a move from telecommunications to an executive assistant at PwC and she stated that a great network really helped encourage her to make the transition. It is the people aspect that makes up a firm’s culture and it certainly has helped her make the decision to join PwC.
Janet began her tax career in PwC upon graduating from Baruch College where she received her BBA in Accounting. After a few years, she left the firm to follow her passion of working within the community as a College and Career Coordinator to help diverse students smoothly transition to college. Then, she made a return to PwC and she was welcomed back with open arms as she joined the NYM Campus Recruiting team. She believes that we should be ourselves and take any opportunity to learn and never be afraid to voice our opinions.
It was a great honor to hear about these inspiring stories from the PwC professionals. I agree with all of the professionals that it’s most important to be yourself. If it’s meant to be, then you will get there no matter where you are. We should build and maintain good relationships, not just for the sake of networking, but to be real and genuine in knowing another person.
By Lilei Zhao & Mina Long
On September 24th, the Zicklin Graduate Accounting Society (ZGAS), Zicklin Women in Business (ZWIB), and GCMC hosted “Student Mock Interview Morning.” Below are recaps from this exciting event:
Our Mock Interview event was a great success! ZGAS, ZWIB, and GCMC coordinated to host this event and provided Baruch students with an excellent opportunity to network with professionals within different industries. I had a very interesting and productive experience attending this event.
I met with a manager from Deloitte who works in the same practice as I interned. She offered advice regarding my future career development and networking skills. Hearing about her experience further inspired me to broaden my understanding of the financial industry and continue improving my communication skills.
Hopefully Baruch will host more mentoring events, and I look forward to contributing to such events through ZGAS. I believe Baruch’s alumni network is a unique advantage, and Baruch students and staff should maximize the impact of our alumni networks.
- Lilei Zhao
It was a wonderful experience to get closer to the professionals during the mock interview morning event. On the morning of September 24, if you happened to view the inside of the auditorium, you would be amazed by the magnificent view. More than forty numbered tables were elegantly setup in the room, with two chairs on each side of the tables.
All professionals and students were focused on their conversations, and exchanged thoughts and ideas. I felt so much energy in the room. Professionals paid close attention during the mock interview and provided timely feedback to students. Students were well-prepared and provided strong answers to the interview questions.
Personally, I was honored to meet with one of the professionals. He was extremely patient to review my resume, answer my questions, and provide feedback on my interview skills. The inspiring comments and his precious insights offered me tremendous help to improve myself and become prepared for future challenges.
- Mina Long
By: Nikki Gao
October 1, 2015: As the on-campus recruiting (OCR) season is occuring, students are finding ways to practice interview skills. To meet their needs, the Zicklin Graduate Accounting Society (ZGAS) invited six professionals from EY to share their insights on how to ace the interview process. We were especially grateful to have Molly John, an Assurance Partner at EY, visit campus and give a wonderful presentation: The Winning Interview.
As Molly mentioned, there are three points students should always remember, also referred to as the 3Ps: Preparation, Performance, and Punctuation.
1. Preparation - Molly explained the importance of having a well written resume, doing detailed research about the company, and giving a great first impression by dressing professionally.
2. Performance – There are three critical items related to performance: Strategy – be prepared for unexpected questions and strengthen your position during the conversation; experience – identify the universal competencies firms seek and tell stories to present them well; and communication – be aware of your non-verbal communication and use your body language as well as your words to make your ideas last in the interviewer’s mind.
3. Punctuation entails correspondence, connections, and creativity. Send follow-up emails in a timely manner, reach out to alumni who have recently graduated and now work with your desired employer, and make a lasting impression by referring back to important points discussed during the interview.
After the presentation, there was a group discussion session. During this session, six professionals were each assigned to a table and given a list of interview questions to discuss with students. EY professionals randomly assigned questions amongst the students and provided advice on how to better answer the questions. As a result, students gained valuable insights on top accounting firms’ expectations and became mindful about the best strategies to win the battle.
There was a lot of positive feedback from both EY professionals and students. ZGAS is always around to help connect students and professionals. We hope everyone found this event helpful and we look forward to hosting this type of event during the next OCR season!
By: Jared Brittman & Edison Zhu
On September 24th, 2015, ZGAS hosted the Baker Tilly Information Session at Baruch College. Baker Tilly was established in 1931 and has grown steadily over more than 80 years. Baker Tilly is the twelfth largest full service accounting and advisory firm in the United States with offices throughout the mid-west and along the east coast. Presenting on behalf of the firm was Kate Moriarty, Baker Tilly’s campus recruiter, as well as Maria Khalitov, a Baruch alumnus currently working in Baker Tilly’s tax department.
The event, which was open to both graduates and undergraduates, offered a firsthand look at the services the firm offers. The event was packed with more than 50 eager students in attendance. This was not the first time Baker Tilly had visited Baruch’s campus. The firm had a booth stationed at Baruch College’s annual CPA Fair, which was held on September 11th. Students that connected with Baker Tilly at the CPA fair were now able to gain a perspective on the firm’s cultural side at the information session.
Kate and Maria presented on what differentiates Baker Tilly from other companies. The energy and enthusiasm the dynamic duo displayed kept the students engaged and smiling throughout the session. One of the topics that stood out to students was the commitment that Baker Tilly makes to give back to the community that it operates within. Every year the firm allows its employees to take eight hours of paid time to get out of the office and get involved in a cause they feel passionate about. This initiative is just one of the ways that Baker Tilly practices what they preach when they tell their first year interns and associates that they are in control of their careers.
At the end of the event, Kate and Maria voluntarily networked with Baruch students who were interested in joining the firm. We believe the event was of great benefit for Baruch’s driven student population as well as Baker Tilly’s professionals. ZGAS always welcomes Baker Tilly to Baruch’s campus, and we’re looking forward to the next recruiting event we’re able to host.
By Alfred Han
Every year, one of the Zicklin Graduate Accounting Society (ZGAS) major events is the KPMG Speed Networking event. This year was no exception. Eight professionals from the Audit, Tax and Advisory service lines along with over 120 students participated. Everyone involved was pleased the event was such a success.
I was very glad to see that all participants were so eager and active while talking to the professionals; however, I observed that a lot of student-participants were networking just for the sake of networking. What I mean by this is that some conversations seemed to lack a genuine exchange of ideas and value-adding points. Whether you are looking for a referral or merely a deeper insight, this type of conversation is not really helpful or sustainable. I would like to share with you some of my basic tips to enhance your networking skills.
The next step is practice. Although these techniques could be honed with your career advisor or friends, it is important to understand exactly what aspects of communication are the most effective and how authentic and genuine conversations can bring you the most benefit.
Hello ZGAS Members,