On Tuesday, September 30th, Zicklin Graduate Beta Alpha Psi (GBAP) hosted the Mid-Sized Accounting Roundtable event at Baruch College. The Zicklin Graduate Accounting Society (ZGAS) and Zicklin Graduate Tax Society (ZGTS) co-hosted the event. Participating firms were: BDO USA, LLP, Marcum LLP, Marks Paneth LLP, MBAF CPAs, LLC, Raich Ende Malter & Co., LLP, and WeiserMazars LLP. Students were seated at eight-person roundtables, joined by one recruiter or professional from the participating firms. The professionals rotated tables every ten minutes, and students were entitled to three such sessions. The event provided student participants with the chance to network and interact with professionals and recruiters.
Como Shin, event moderator and President of GBAP, began by introducing the participating firms and describing the event format. The firm representatives also provided briefly introduced themselves.
During my first session with Ms. Jeannine Conlisk of Human Resources at WeiserMazars LLP, we discussed firm training and IFRS. With respect to training programs, “We have a two-week training program for new staff. Staff additionally receive on-the-job exposure (within a flexible schedule that promotes work/life balance), which is key in the learning process. Moreover, we have something called the PATH program, in which staff are assigned to a Resource Leader who is usually two levels above them. The Resource Leaders help staff fulfill goals in their career paths through processes like performance evaluations. Ultimately, staff have control over their own careers.” With respect to IFRS, “Since WeiserMazars is a growing independent member of the Mazars Group, and the fifth largest accountancy firm in Europe, staff handle IFRS as well as U.S. GAAP.” At the firm, staff can have more exposure to IFRS work if they so desire, which often includes travelling.
For my second session, Mr. A. Brett Larsen, CPA, Tax Manager at Raich Ende Malter & Co., LLP joined our table. Mr. Larsen touched upon his professional development and the firm’s flexibility. With respect to his professional development, “I have learned so much in the two plus years I’ve been with the firm. As a result, I have moved up from Tax Supervisor to Tax Manager. My mentor, Mr. Bradley D. McKinney, partner in my firm’s Private Wealth Services Group, has really helped me to develop as a professional.” As to the firm’s flexibility, “During busy seasons, staff are not bombarded, and usually expected to work about 50-60 hours per week. During slow seasons, staff only work round 37.5 hours.”
For my third session, Ms. Lisa Patti Limowski, CPA,Manager of MBAF CPAs, LLC, discussed skills the firm looks for in interns. First, she provided a brief introduction about MBAF CPAs, LLC: “My previous firm was called ERE LLP. We merged with MBAF CPA’s, a Florida-based firm, in 2011. We have about one hundred employees in New York City. Thus, there is not much industry specialization. One works in Audit or Tax.” In terms of intern skills, “For those looking for internships at MBAF CPAs, the biggest things I look for are eagerness to learn, willingness to take on challenges, and those that ask questions.”
At the close of the roundtable sessions, an open-networking session began.
I had the opportunity to speak with a few professionals and students, who provided their opinions on the event:
“I liked the event. The student questions were specific and targeted. This is valuable as it differentiates students and makes them stand out.” – Karina Espinola, Campus Recruiter, BDO USA, LLP
“It was refreshing to meet so many young eager students that are interested in pursuing a career in public accounting. The roundtable event format was an effective way to meet several candidates within a short period of time.” – Michael W. Hurwitz, CPA, MST, Partner, Real Estate Tax Advisory Services, Marks Paneth LLP
“This event was a great way to meet potential candidates. Many of the students I met possessed qualities for which we are looking. It was also wonderful that all event attendees were accounting majors.” – Atara Z. Goldgrab, CPA, Tax Manager, Financial Services, Raich Ende Malter & Co. LLP
“I loved the smaller event format, which supported talking to students on a one-on-one basis in a comfortable atmosphere. I hope to attend more events like this at Baruch College!” – Jeannine Conlisk, Human Resources, WeiserMazars LLP
“I thought it was a great event! I really enjoyed the format, which allowed for some great conversations to develop among the groups. The format was surely more helpful than career fairs or mock interviews; career fairs typically only allow for brief conversations, and mock interviews often instill pressure as to the one-on-one interviews. Baruch College, as always, has many high-quality students; we enjoyed getting to know some of them and hope to have some join us at WeiserMazars in the future!” – Katelyn Kogan, CPA, Audit Manager, Real Estate Group, WeiserMazars LLP
“I enjoyed the intimate experience, wherein the event offered the chance to meet firm professionals on a more personal basis.” – Michael Laux, MBA Accountancy Student
“It was an informative event within a calm environment. I highly enjoyed speaking with the professionals both at my roundtable and during open networking.” – Victoria Lee, MBA Accountancy Student