Getting That First Student Accounting Job

193/365 Resume Reading

193/365 Resume Reading (Photo credit: bending light)

First of all, I spoke to my career counselor to get some advice. She mentioned some great websites where they posted internship and student positions.

One at a time, I found a job I want to apply for. I printed up the whole job posting and read it from beginning to end. Then, I read it again with a highlighter, marking everything they were looking for in a candidate. I know it may seem hard, but I always stop after highlighting. If you walk away and do some dishes or go to work, you will think of some great ways to present your resume according to the job posting.

When I come back to it, I spend some time brainstorming. I look at the first requirement of this job and think of things I have done in the past that may relate. For instance, at my current position the job posting said I would be reconciling cash. Well, at that point in my life, I have never reconciled cash, but I have been a cashier and carried my own bank when I was a waitress. Although I might not have done that exact job, I have done things that could help me perform that job better.

The career center at my school has a great book that shows you how to format and word your resume. I have referred back to this book multiple times. I suggest you find something similar. I completed a draft of my resume and cover letter and took that, with a copy of the job posting to my career center. I found someone in business to look over my resume and give me some great advice. Not only did she help me with my wording, she made sure I didn’t make any grammatical & spelling errors (ow, I have heard some horror stories about this). Sometimes, just having a separate set of eyes look at your resume, can help greatly.

Then, and only then, I could apply for the job. Make sure all this is done before the deadline. If there is no deadline, try to complete this in a day to make sure the job is still open. I did all this for my first Student Accounting Assistant position. A few weeks later, I got called in for an interview.

You will need to prepared just as much, if not more for the interview. Look over your resume and think about your past positions. Look up common interview question and brainstorm stories or examples you can bring up. Review some of your class material if it pertains to the position. For example, if you are applying for a personal training position, make sure you know your muscle groups and the corresponding exercises. Look up the company you are about to interview with. What do they do? Are they opening a new location? Are they implementing new technology? Have questions prepared that you want to ask them and most of all, PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE! Get someone to help you. My brother called me at 6am from a different State just to get his mind on the right track.

Lastly, relax. If something goes wrong, pick yourself up and try again.

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Confused About Career Choices

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After I transferred, I started to wonder what exactly I would like to do in Business. I enjoyed all my classes, but I had no idea where I wanted to work and what I wanted to do. I started to do some research, but I still could not figure it out. There was are so many choices…

Government?

Non-Profit?

Public?

Private?

Tax?

Audit?

Business Management?

Not to mention, If I find an area of Business I like, what company do I want to work for?

Then I spoke to my career counselor in the career center and she changed my life. She explained that I needed to find an internship or a part-time job. She explained that I would never know what kind of job I would enjoy unless I went out there and tried it. She gave me a few resources and sent me on my way.

Later that week, I look at the website and found a Student Accounting Assistant position on campus. Perfect! I showed up to the informational meeting along with about 800 other people. They were hiring for quite a few different jobs. Each department manager came up and talk about the positions available in their departments. I was excited when the person came up and talked about Accounting. I know I’m a dork, but she made me smile the whole time. I went to her and introduced myself and I had no idea this lady is going to be my Boss.

My career counselor gave me some really good advice. Not only did I find a part of the position that I liked, I got experience that most recent graduates don’t have.  I still have more to explore, but at least I have some ideas, now.

Transferring to an University

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At first, transferring to an university was not my game plan. I planed on becoming a Registered Nurse at San Joaquin Delta College. Things just fell into to place for me. I explained my situation to my Accounting teacher and he suggested California State University, Sacramento. I visited the college and thought it was beautiful. After doing some research, Sacramento State ended up being my final choice. I could afford moving to Elk Grove and I would not have to commute 2 hours a day.

When I started, school was a little hard. I didn’t know anyone at the school or Sacramento. The year I transferred, I think was the first year of major budget cuts. There were people standing in the hall waiting to add classes. I thought to myself, I’m good, I was 3rd on the waiting list three days ago. Little did I know, that did not matter. They completely wipe out the wait list a few days before school starts. Then they would add the people who were closest to graduating. I only could get into three classes my first semester, but I was grateful for even that.

After a semester or so, I started to feel a little more comfortable. I met knew people and started to try new things on campus. The only thing I could do was make the best of my new home and school. Soon, I will come to realized, I’m actually proud I had the courage to move and happy I got to experience this chapter of my life…