Whether you're new to Meet the Firms (MTF) or a seasoned veteran, it doesn't hurt to refresh your memory on how to be a successful recruit at this critical event.
If you are planning to pursue an internship or need a full-time job, you need to attend Meet the Firms! This event is your chance to network with premier employers and allow them to put a face with your résumé.
For those of you who are underclassmen, this event is still important to you. Even if you don't speak to any firms at MTF, it is in your best interest to go to the event and do a "dress rehearsal" to see what it's like. When it's your turn to be recruited as juniors, you know exactly what to expect and you're ready for it! Don't be afraid to tell the firms that you are early in your ACCT curriculum and attending the event to learn more about the employers and career paths. Rules For A Good Meet the Firms Performance:
Do Your Homework on the Firms: Know your employers of interest, especially their office locations, approximate size, and something they brag about. To find out more about these employers, review the Meet the Firms Employer Profile Book provided to you in a separate logistical email.
Have a Game Plan: Review the hotel floor plan and exhibitor map documents (provided in logistical email) to develop your strategy for meeting employers of interest during the two-hour event. When attending the event, budget your two hours (120 minutes) wisely based on the number of employers you want to meet. For example, if you plan to meet 12 exhibitors, you'll have only 10 minutes per exhibit.
Know Your Location Preferences:
- Pursue an internship in the city where you want to work full-time
- Identify & rank two city preferences and recruit with employers in your #1 location preference.
- If your GPA is below a 3.5, you should exercise caution with selecting locations outside of the Georgia/Alabama area, as you will begin to limit your employer options to the national firms, who have stricter GPA requirements.
- Most of our accounting employers are located with Alabama/Georgia.
- If your location preference is outside of Alabama/Georgia, you must have a concrete reason for wanting to go there (family is a great one!), and be sure you have previously visited that city.
- Avoid saying, "Anywhere in the Southeast," as firms want to see that you have a desire to work in their location specifically.
Know Your Service Area Preferences:
- Most employers will ask about your service area preference - Audit, Tax or Advisory.
- Do your homework about the service areas, and be specific. It's always best to say SOMETHING, as opposed to "I'm open," which portrays a lack of commitment.
- Audit and Tax are the most common service areas, but Advisory is a growing service area within the international firms.
Print Your Résumé:
- If you do not leave a résumé with every employer of interest, they are unaware of your interest.
- Print PLENTY of résumé copies (at least 25) on professional résumé paper to give at least one person at every firm.
- Keep your résumé copies clean and crisp in a leather padfolio that you carry with you.
Dress for Success:
- Proper attire for students is BUSINESS PROFESSIONAL, even though employers will be dressed in business casual.
- Dress for the job that you WANT, not the one you have.
- Men, shave and get a haircut.
- Ladies, avoid wearing too much perfume and jewelry. A low or modest heel is best from a comfort standpoint (you're on your feet for a while!).
- Make sure your attire is neatly pressed and doesn’t distract from what is really important - you and your résumé!
Before Leaving Each Table, Drop Résumé, Request Business Card:
- Provide each employer of interest a copy of your résumé.
- Request the employer representative's business card in exchange for your résumé.
- Write notes on back of business cards to help you remember details about the employer representative that you met.
- The hotel layout map (provided in your logistics email) will identify the student waiting area where you can make notes on business cards.
- These notes will assist you with your follow-up thank you notes to firm representatives that you met.
Say THANK YOU:Not only is it important to express your gratitude for the professionals' time (after all, some of them drove two hours one way to see us!), sending a follow-up thank you email or note is a good way to solidify your name in their minds. Remember that business card you wrote notes on about your conversation? This is a great way for you to jog that person's memory about who YOU are. For example, if you wrote "Bob just graduated from the MAcc program and loves NASCAR," you can incorporate that into your follow up message to Bob. Email is instantaneous and the best route to take, especially if you have a question to ask.
Ask the firms if they host a Summer Leadership Program (SLP): SLPs are selective, 2-3 day conferences hosted in the firms' offices aimed to introduce prospective interns (typically, juniors) to the firm culture. These all-expenses paid conferences typically consist of a mix of career development, firm education, and networking events. Although not all students are ultimately able to attend, you should inquire about them and APPLY. Throughout the spring semester, the weekly ACCT Recruiting News & Events Newsletters will advertise SLPs and the application/interview details will be posted on the SOA Blog.