My First Networking Event-ASWA

MyBIZNet - Your Worldwide 'Business Networking...

MyBIZNet - Your Worldwide 'Business Networking' site. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The American Society of Women Accountants put on an event yearly, called ASWA Annual Student Night. They invite accounting staffing companies, Big 4 Accounting Firms, accounting review courses, accounting clubs, and small to medium size accounting firms. They also invite students from local schools and let them network and eat with these companies. You get to spend the first hour and a half networking, then you sit for dinner and listen to the speakers.

It was extremely nerve racking to get ready for such an event. I got my first suit, nice button up shirt, and close toed heels, so I could look professional for these potential employers. I took my resume in to get reviewed and brushed up on it right beforehand (although not a lot of employers ask for your resume right then and there). I got a portfolio with a notepad and wrote down a few notes. My notes consisted of important information I wanted to know and key points about the firms. I was nervous that the conversation would not flow, so I started to think of ways I could flow into the questions. Here is an example of the open ended questions I asked in order to keep the conversation flowing…

Make eye contact (make sure you are not interrupting another student)

Shake their hand and introduce yourself.

I then ask, so you work in Tax/Audit in ____________ company?

Why did you pick this area of accounting?

Do you get to Travel? How much?

Do you find that there is a nice work/life balance at this company?

What types of training programs do you provide for your employees?

Do you have any advice for me?

When do you hire for internships?

It was a pleasure to meet you,

Do you have a card, so maybe I could contact you again?

I am not an expert at this, again, this was my first event. These were the issues that were important to me, so please ask questions that you care about. I did cater my questions to the person who I was speaking to. For example, I would not ask a recruiter how much they travel, because I’m not looking to be a recruiter. I would not ask an Intern about what she looks for in a potential intern. Although Interns can be a good source of information for the internship life. Other notes I wrote down, was key points about the firms that were attending. It seems a little silly to walk up to a Big 4 accounting firm and ask, so who are you? Write down information from heir websites. There are examples of what I wrote down…

Where are they located?

Are they Big 4?

Are they regional? International? Local?

Interesting facts from their website that you can bring up in a conversation?

Overall, this was a GREAT experience. Even if I don’t get that job from this event, The practice really helped me out for the big Meet The Firms event. I relaxed and realized that these people aren’t as scary as they may seem. They were actually very nice. They we

re there to answer our questions and we were there to ask questions. What do you know, a perfect fit!

By the way, on another note. I didn’t write down any notes during this event. I wish I would have. Now that it is the next day, I may be getting a few companies mixed up. So, my suggestion to anyone going to a networking event or job fair, please, write down what you liked and key points about the conversation. That way if you met this person again, like say, in an interview, you can bring it up again.

Please, comment if you have any questions or if you have any other ideas. I have plenty more of these events to attend.


Educational Advice: Meet Your Classmates

Class Room

Class Room (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Your sitting in the classroom waiting for the teacher to walk in. There is only one other student near you. I know you might not want to talk to anyone, but getting to know this student may be very helpful in the future. Think of a question to ask or compliment them on their laptop bag.

This person may be able to give you notes when you miss class due to a flat tire. This person may give you their number so you can ask them questions about their homework. This person may be the same major as you and know some good teachers to take. This person may work at the place you want to work. At very least, this person may just be someone cool to talk to while your waiting for class to start. This person could end up being a long time friend.

So, the next time your in class and just waiting for class to start, I challenge you to talk to someone.

Educational Advice: Picking Classes

In front of the class schedule board on the 2n...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I wanted to pass on some information I wish I knew before I started at the University. This will most likely pertain to community college, also. I can’t stress enough how a class  and the teacher can make or break your semester. Here is some advice to consider when picking your classes.

1.Talk to you counselor– I don’t just mean the general education counselor, your major (business) counselor is just as important. They helped me order my classes, pick my electives, and plan my whole education out. I would even go back every semester. One semester I could not get into the classes I needed, so they wrote me a special pass to get into a class that I did not have the prerequisites for.

2. Evaluate your schedule– Think about your commute. Leave some time for lunch. Do you need time to catch up on homework between classes? Is 6 classes too much? It took me a few semesters to figure out what works for me, but it is important for you to know yourself and what you need.

3. Check the teacher ratings– I can’t tell you how much a mean, difficult, hard to work with teacher can make your semester a nightmare. Go to and read about what other students think.

4. Pick classes that interest you– I find that I get a lot more out of college if I enjoy as least some of it. Maybe, take a PE class or an art class to bring some fun to your semester.

5.Pick a variety of classes– I know this may sound like the last one, but I have talked to classmates who take 5 accounting classes in one semester. I don’t even like to take 3 accounting classes at one time, because I get tired of the same material and sometimes I get them mixed up.

6. Take a class with a friend- It can be nice to know someone and talk to someone about the material. If you miss a class, you can have someone to copy the notes from.

7. Have back up choices– With the budget cuts, it is very hard to get the first class you want. I suggest having a list of desired classes. That way, when it’s time to sign up, you don’t have to waste time doing research.

Hope this helps…

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.

Confused About Career Choices

Question mark

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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…







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

English: This is a photo of the sign at the no...

Image via Wikipedia

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…