By Laura Hoffmann, ZGAS IC of Editor-in-Chief
On April 28, 2014, the Zicklin Graduate Accounting Society (ZGAS) hosted its signature “Mock Interview Event,” sponsored in part by Becker Professional Education. The firms that participated in the event were: Anchin, Baker Tilly, BDO, Cohn Reznick, Deloitte, Grant Thornton, McGladrey, ParenteBeard, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and WeiserMazars. Ellen King, Associate Director of Employer Relations at the Graduate Career Management Center (GCMC) attended the event, as did Jack Pullara, Manager for Working Professional Career Programs at the GCMC, who also acted as a floater interviewer for student interviewees. Additionally, Professor Robert Colson, Distinguished Lecturer of Accountancy at the Zicklin School of Business, attended to give the introductory/welcome speech.
Professor Colson kicked the event off by thanking all of the professionals/recruiters that were in attendance, for supporting both Baruch students and ZGAS. He next stressed how crucial it is for students to practice their interviewing and networking skills. He then went on to explain that students should welcome all feedback from their interviewers, especially negative. He ended by noting that the purpose of the event was for all attendees to find their interview and networking experiences rewarding.
Following Professor Colson’s motivating speech, the interview sessions began. Student participants were given up to five 15-minute mock interview sessions with various professionals/recruiters in attendance. The structure of the interview was determined by the interviewer, and in most cases, interviewees were asked a series of interview questions and received feedback based on their answers.
Becker Professional Education representatives were present at the event to answer questions about the CPA Examination and the review courses they offer. Since most students had more than one interview, in between sessions, many spoke with the representatives. In addition to receiving information, students also got swag, including pens and t-shirts, and sign-up cards for a CPA flash cards raffle.
When the mock interview sessions ended, and the event came to a close, Charles Hwang, President of ZGAS, gave a closing speech thanking all participants of the event. He offered a special thanks to the recruiters/professionals in attendance and members of ZGAS that made the event possible. He also offered students and professionals extra time to network with one another.
Overall, the event was a success. There were 86 attendees, consisting of 65 students, 18 recruiters/professionals, Professor Robert Colson, Ellen King, and Jack Pullara.
We had the chance to speak with a few students and a professional at the close of the event. Here are some of their thoughts on the Mock Interview Event:
“I think this was a great event for students, as they always need feedback before they go on to actual interviews. I would have appreciated participating in this sort of event while pursuing my degrees. I enjoyed my afternoon here and the time I spent interviewing and speaking with students. I also enjoyed the closing speech given by the ZGAS President, Charles Hwang, as it ended the event very nicely. I look forward to participating in this event again.” - Katelyn N. Kogan, Audit Senior, Real Estate Group, WeiserMazars LLP
“I think the event was great. I received some helpful comments on my interview performance from professionals from two different accounting firms, which I can surely use in future interviews. I would’ve really benefitted from 1-2 additional sessions. I would surely attend an event such as this again.” – Bin (Linda) Zhou, MS Accountancy, Fall 2015
“I enjoyed being part of the Mock Interview Event. I thought it was great to interact with professionals in the field and exchange information with them. Also, the feedback I received was useful. I was told that many of the skills I currently use at my job are transferable to a position in the field of accountancy.” – Enkeleda Gjeci, MS Accountancy, May 2016
“My overall experience was enjoyable. My interviewer was an Audit Director, which is a position I would like to work in one day. She tried to cover as many interview questions as possible. She also explained the importance of certain skills that must be present for a job in Auditing, including leadership skills. This is my first time attending ZGAS’s Mock Interview event, and I will surely come for the next one.” – Xiaochen (Lily) Li, MS Accountancy, Spring 2015
Hello ZGAS Members,