On Thursday, November 20, 2014, the Zicklin Graduate Accounting Society (ZGAS) hosted its highly successful “Mentor-Mentee” event. The event was aimed at helping students attain insights from accounting professionals on various topics, such as interview skills and job search strategies. Present at the event were professionals from Colgate-Palmolive, Conifer Financial Services, CBIZ, Crowe Horwath, Deloitte, EY, Grant Thornton, KPMG, McGladrey, Marcum, PwC, SaxBST and WeiserMazars.
Qinru Wang, ZGAS Vice President of Alumni Relations, kicked-off the event by welcoming the professionals and students, thanking them for their attendance, and describing the event format. The event comprised twenty-minute mentoring sessions with each student mentee entitled to four such sessions. Following the mentoring sessions, an open networking session was to commence.
My first mentor was Corina Burlacu, Assurance Associate at EY. Ms. Burlacu is an alumnus from Baruch and joined EY this past July. Our discussion focused on networking strategy. Some highlights of our discussion are as follows: I asked, “I noticed that Baruch students try hard to impress recruiters and professionals at recruiting events. Are there any tips you can share on effective networking?” She replied, “Firstly, Baruch students are great and the job market is very competitive. In my experience, I would go to smaller events other than just information sessions and large-scale recruiting events. The reason for this is such events gave me more time to talk to and become acquainted with people from the firms I was interested in. In regards to social media, I would follow as many Baruch student clubs as possible, including undergraduate clubs. Lastly, I would do as much homework as possible before the events so I was able to ask good questions.”
My second mentor was Rohan Malhotra, Internal Audit and Risk Compliance Services Associate at KPMG. Our discussion was centered on getting one’s dream job. Mr. Malhotra began by telling me there are multiple ways to get such a job. Some good methods are: On-Campus Recruiting (OCR), and contacting recruiters directly. The problem with OCR is the process is very competitive so, oftentimes, good candidates cannot truly stand out. As for contacting recruiters directly, one has a greater chance of building deeper relationships via this method. Mr. Malhotra then emphasized, “More importantly, know what you really like and don’t compromise. This is important because either way you will work long hours, thus you must enjoy what you do. I have a passion for internal audit, so I told my KPMG interviewer that I would only work for the Internal Audit Services Group. He sensed my passion for such a position, and I got the job.”
Overall, I found the event to be highly informative and helpful for me as a student. I especially felt this was so because my mentors had been in my shoes not too long ago, so they understood, could relate to and offer advice on the issues and questions I was struggling with.
Finally, I hope you will join ZGAS for our next “Mentor-Mentee” event and take away such as enriching experiences as those I have discussed.