September 10th, 2015: The beginning of the fall semester also marks the beginning of the On-Campus Recruitment (OCR) season. This may be the busiest and most stressful period throughout the year for students in the Zicklin School of Business. ZGAS hosted many events in September, and Speed Networking with Grant Thornton (GT) was one of the largest events. This year ZGAS invited over twenty professionals from GT, and more than one hundred students participated in the event.
The purpose of the event was to provide more insightful views of GT and the daily routine at the firm. Students participated in five rounds of ten-minute speed networking sessions. In each session they had the opportunity to talk with one or two professionals from assurance, tax or advisory. After the five rounds were over, students continued to network with professionals during an open networking session.
By listening to professionals’ real world experience, students gained a better idea about the firm’s culture and working environment. This is one reason why GT prefers speed networking over a regular info session, a rationale shared by campus recruiter Katie Crona. Ms. Crona spoke on this topic during her opening speech, and moderated the entire event. Ms. Crona really enjoys this type of event because vivid stories told by employees are more persuasive than presenting revenue and top ranking information. GT always focuses on people. Just as the managing partner, Frank Kurrem, said during the Baruch Alumni Reception at the GT New York Office, “Family first, friends second, and work third.” With such values, GT has formed a family-feeling working team, in which everyone is more than willing to support each other. Katie also shared her true experience on how her coworkers patiently listen to any dilemmas that arise. It is evident that the employees help foster a great work environment.
Based on the feedback I heard from students and participants, they all thought this was a successful event and enjoyed the networking sessions. We look forward to hosting similar types of events in the future.