Tonight, Tina Pelone from the audit practice at Baker Tilly came to speak to us. Baker Tilly is one of the fifteenth largest public accounting firms in the nation. It is continuing to grow through mergers and acquisitions. The firm is also part of an international network. Tina talked about the large amount of face time she has with clients at Baker Tilley and the ability to network. She also discussed the strong culture at the firm. Baker Tilley is currently driving to have more women in management positions. Baker Tilley also offers a flexible dress code, good paid time off benefits, and the ability to work from home on Fridays.
Tonight, Mary Patterson from Becker CPA Review came in to talk to UPAA. She mostly discussed the various materials offered by Becker. She went over practice problems and simulations. Mary also told us about a 50% off scholarship offered to current seniors.
Tonight, UPAA did a service project. The club made beaded string that will be used for stress relief games for mental health patience. We also went over announcements.
Tonight, a representative from Surgent CPA Review came to speak to us. Mostly, he gave us test advice. He emphasized the importance of completing all four parts of the test within 18 months, because if you do not, they expire. He also talked about pre-test questions which are not graded, but still appear on the test. Once you complete a section and move on, you cannot return to it. The test is adaptive, meaning if you do well on the first questions, the test gets harder. He talked about the five-minute intro timer. If you do not click continue passed the introduction before five-minutes, you fail the test. He emphasized being mindful of the clock. He also discussed the ability to protest if you get a 74%, because 75% is passing. Lastly, he raffled off two free classes.
Catie, the recruiter from Grant Thornton, as well as Melissa, Grant Thornton’s tax partner, talked to us tonight. Their presentation focused on Grant Thornton’s middle market advantage. Grant Thornton is not a Big 4 firm, but they are also much larger than a regional firm. They have 60 offices across the United States and maintain operations in over 125 different countries. Their size allows them to have the benefits of both big four firms and regional firms. Their customers include larger companies, start-ups, companies that are going public, and smaller firms. The presentation also emphasized Grant Thornton’s culture and talked about how an employee at Grant Thornton is not just a number.
Tonight, Marybeth Allen, a recruiter from EY talked to us. She also brought tax, advisory, and audit associates. First, Marybeth went through some general information about the company and mentioned how EY has consistently been ranked one of the top places to work. She also went over EY’s values. Each of the professionals then talked about their individual line of service and discussed clients they worked with – as well as travel. At the end, we had the opportunity to ask questions to the associates.
Tonight, Carley Mendez from Schneider Downs talked to us about resumes and cover letters. She emphasized keeping resumes to one page and also recommended cutting out the “relevant coursework” section if length was an issue, because most students take similar classes. She then highlighted the need for proofreading and organization in both resumes and cover letters. Resumes should not have weird fonts, colors, or formatting. She also went over the basic sections of a cover letter. The first paragraph is an introduction, the next paragraph highlights skills, and the third paragraph has contact information.
Tonight, Kirsten Berger from Deloitte spoke about networking. She talked about branding yourself, as you are the CEO of your brand. She discussed the need to be authentic while interacting with recruiters and potential employers. Kirsten then talked about practicing an elevator conversations as opposed to an elevator pitch. She also went over writing follow up emails. Finally, Kirsten focused on the need to create as many connections as possible with recruiters.
Caroline Quinn, a first-year audit associate at KPMG, came in to speak to UPAA Monday night. She had members rate ten activities that they did in the past week in terms of urgency and importance and based on these ratings, the activities were categorized as necessities, focuses, temptations, or distractions. She then discussed how to avoid temptations and distractions to instead lean toward activities that are entirely necessities and focuses. One major idea was to avoid using phones as much as possible, with another important theme being to set goals and have priorities. Caroline also mentioned the importance of talking to your superiors in the workplace to learn more about their expectations, which can further eliminate unnecessary tasks. Along with this, she discussed the importance of delegating tasks and not taking on insurmountable loads of work.
UPAA’s President, Luke Bowen, talked about needing members to participate in a dodgeball tournament as well as a day of service on March 28. Three professionals from BDO then talked to us, with one of the employees working in tax, and the other two in consulting. One of these consultants worked specifically in litigation. They used bingo as a method to talk about different topics and spoke about the need to take the CPA as soon as possible and the importance of studying. The professionals talked about the many benefits of working at BDO. These included BDO’s culture and the ability to maintain a work-life balance through flexible hours. The employees said that while they enjoyed public accounting for its variety, the long hours are a major consideration.