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advice for associates out of college

Sorry for the blogging delay, just haven't needed a vent like I did in the past, which could be interpreted as good and bad...

Is there any additional advice you have for someone starting as an associate straight from school?

Here are five I can think of -

a) Socialize with your peers, get to know them. You will need them when you go through the painful periods in your work life. Have fun during training, but don't go overboard as to give everyone a story to define you by. I still remember this one kid stumbling into training on Friday at 11 am because he was too drunk. The whole class applauded when he came in because we remember what he did the night before. He is a manager now, and that's still the first thing I think of everytime I see him.
b) Befriend your scheduling liason. Make sure he/she gets to like you. Say your thank yous, and make sure they think you appreciate what they do. If you don't, and are too curt with them, they could ship you off to a remote destination out of spite. "Hello John, We have scheduled you on an inventory 250 miles away. No, you cannot get a hotel room. Please make sure you get there by 6 am. Thanks"
c) Actively listen to what your senior wants you to do, and do it. When you're done, ask your senior what's next. Hound him or her till they run out of work for you.
d) Be responsible. Always offer to help when your senior complains. Always be prepared to do the small administrative things - copying, carrying files, coffee - do not bitch about this
e) Try and not be openly negative. If you hate your job, that's fine, internalize it or vent to your peers, not to your team. You do not want to be the one spreading negativity amongst your team.

Everyone, please feel free to chime in in the comments section to list out what I've missed.


Anonymous said…
Can you talk about working at a big office versus a small office? I interned at small office, but will work at one of the largest offices in our area. I've heard the hours are worse and throwing peers under the bus is common. I'm kind of freaked out about some of the negativity I hear. Any advice on navigating a bigger office?
iamcoolerthanur said…
applaud at walking in drunk? What company is this? Ridiculous.
Anonymous said…
I am currently considering a job from a big 4 firm in Kansas City for an experienced auditor position. When I go for the interview and if I got an offer, I would be relocating from my current city and leaving my small, local cpa firm.

Going in to the office interview, what are the common things people ask for when they talk about salary and relocation? Should I let them decide this or should I try and find what market is for both and argue my point?

I know the job market is bad and I feel fortunate that I even received this interview and possible offer, but I don't want to go into it being pushed around and come out regretting I didn't do a certain thing.

If you have any other advice or suggestions regarding this process, I would appreciate those.

Thank you in advance for your comments.
Big 4 Guru said…
Hello All,

Please check out my new book on this very topic:

Working for the Big 4: The First Year All-Star
(A Battle Plan to Be #1 In Your Class)

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p.s. Whoever runs this blog, great job. Please shoot me an e-mail at, I have a couple questions for you.
notfordisplay said…
To the poster on the Kansas City job, I really don't know much about negotiation relo packages unfortunately.

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