In today’s job market, there are a lot of different ways you can head into the field of accounting. Entry level jobs require a higher education (B.A. or Master’s), but work experience or internships are also weighed heavily. Take advantage of your time left in college to get a head start on your accounting career. If you start working on your career now, you will have a leg up on the competition when it comes time to enter the working world.
Here are some ways to lay the foundation while still in college:
Join Clubs and Professional Organizations
Due to strong job growth in the field, students are pursuing a degree in accounting in staggering numbers. And, while you will all blaze your own trail, your first steps into the world of accounting will start with your first job interview. Many employers in the business world will ask one crucial question that can separate you from the rest—what professional accounting organizations have you been involved with?
If you want to be able to answer this question with a list of accomplishments, get started now. There are a number of accounting clubs and professional accounting associations you can join to stay up-to-date on the latest developments in the field. For Instance, if your GPA is above a 3.0, there is an international club, Beta Alpha Psi, which is an honor society for financial students. Whether volunteering as a secretary, treasurer, or its president, getting involved with this chapter will go a long way to advancing your career.
How motivated are you to be a well-rounded accountant? Accountants work in many fields and in many different business environments. If you look closely at some of the professional bios of high-level accounting professionals, you will find that many list their community service work. Community work is a great way to show your motivation and selflessness. It also shows potential employers your willingness to go above and beyond, your ambitiousness, and your initiative in the field. Get involved by offering to do tax returns for a local non-profit, offer to do the finances for a local charity or help increase financial knowledge among the lesser fortunate.
Become Involved in Boards and Committees
If you are in your last years of college, become involved with a board or committee, it can go a long way with future employers. If board positions interest you, the best way to open that door is to get involved with a committee for the organization. It’s a great way get familiar with the organization, show your skill sets, and network among committee members. It will also set you up for a potential board seat should one become available.
Boards of Directors are expanding the diversity among their seats by allowing senior level college students or graduate students in. You still need to be voted onto most boards and you need to show what you can bring to the table, but if you have been heavily involved with committee work, it’s a great start. Another great way to open that door is to utilize any internship work you may be doing in the field. Many businesses want their accountants to be involved in committee or board work. If you are interning at a business currently, ask them if they are involved with any committees or boards. Find out if it would be appropriate for you to reach out, and if they would sponsor your involvement.
PrideStaff Financial understands the value of laying an early foundation to a career in accounting. As a top financial recruiting firm, we can give you the tools necessary to build a strong accounting career. Contact us today to find out how we can help you build your future career.