Meet the Firms Matches Accounting Talent with Employers
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The turn lane leading into the Diamond Bar Center parking lot was backed up for a block with anxious accounting students. Many of their classmates were already queued inside for Meet the Firms 2015 wearing nervous expressions to accompany their best business attire.
“Tonight is the most important night of the school year because this is when accounting firms, especially public firms, are looking for associates and interns,” accounting senior and director of internal affairs for Beta Alpha Psi Ricardo Marroquin says. “Tax season is coming up in January so the firms do all of their recruiting in fall.”
Put on by student organizations Beta Alpha Psi and Cal Poly Society of Accountants, Meet the Firms drew 32 businesses from the accounting industry looking to fill full-time positions and internships with about 250 job-seekers attending, according to event organizers.
Entrance to Meet the Firms was complimentary for BAP and CPSA members and $10 for everyone else. Organizers estimate about 200 crowd members were from Cal Poly Pomona with the remainder from the surrounding community, each with a different approach to the night.
“I have a resume for each and every firm and I know where each and every one of them comes from,” Marroquin says. “”I’m going to collect business cards, tell everyone, ‘Thank you,’ and keep in contact so if I don’t get a job now, maybe something will open up.”
Accounting professor Hassan Hefzi is the director of internships for the accounting department and used Meet the Firms to speak with recruiters about potential openings he could pass along. He has seen students continue to grow the event each year and stresses the importance of attending.
“Usually, accounting students have their job in hand in the fall before they graduate,” Hefzi says. “This is a really big deal; if they miss this opportunity it’s going to be really difficult to find a job."
Hefzi recommended students talk to as many people as they can and to be upfront with the qualities they have and the type of job they are looking for. He advises them to be themselves and not be nervous while putting yourself out there.
As a senior auditor at McGladrey, Jenny Lok regularly attends career fairs and was one of the company’s representatives at Meet the Firm and values the face time with potential new hires.
“Anyone can work hard for great grades and a great GPA, but you can’t teach someone personality and that’s something we really value since we work in big teams,” Lok says. “We want candidates to have a good basis of accounting and great attitude.”
Firms in attendance weren’t window-shopping either – Lok says that her particular branch of McGladrey is heavily staffed by Cal Poly Pomona alumni, many of which came from previous years’ events. And for some 200-plus hopeful accounting juniors and seniors, that’s encouraging news.