Skip to main content

bolstering your resume

I am graduating in December and it seems the big hiring season is in September. I don't know if I should apply in Sept. or after I graduate. The thing is, I only have like a 3.2 GPA so I don't know if that would get me an interview at a Big4. So I was going to start studying for the CPA exam and hopefully pass at least a couple tests so that I can put that on my resume when I apply. Would being able to put that you passed two sections so far help land an interview? 

A 3.2 GPA is tough, but it depends on the school. If your college has a reputation for strict grades, recruiting lowers its GPA requirement. Otherwise it's usually 3.5 and up. The GPAs below 3.5 are usually references or have something unique that caught the individual's eye. So in your case, you can always apply in september, and if you don't get an interview, try again in december - this time with the CPA sections under your belt.

I also was looking to distinguish myself more since I have a light load this semester, I was thinking of taking a course that teaches you MS Access. Is that something that can be useful and look good on a resume for a Public firm?

Not really. Excel - absolutely, Access - sure it'll help, but not for recruiting. While we're at it - can everyone please take an advanced excel class prior to working? You can really differentiate yourself if you can.

I haven't done a public accounting internship or even an accounting internship, but this Summer I did an internship at Blue Cross Blue Shield in a Learning & Development department. Does that matter at all?

Any kind of corporate work experience will help, it's better than working at your nearby ice cream shop (nothing against ice cream shop employees). For intern applicants, it's not a big deal since you're applying to get your first corporate experience. For entry level hires, it's pretty important, and differentiates yourself from others.


Comments

Anonymous said…
Hi,

I have recently been offered a position as auditor in one of the big 4 firms in Asia Pacific. I want to thank you for that. Your blog has given me so much insight into the life of an auditor which really helped during the interviews. Thank you.

Now, I have approximately 2 weeks before commencing. I am excited, but anxious at the same time. Do you have any advice for fresh grad entering big 4? and how to prepare oneself for the job?

Thanks.

Popular posts from this blog

career progression

"What can you tell me about the different possible tracks a person would take at the Big 4 in regards to tax vs. audit? Is there a difference in career progression among the two specialties? How about career potential? Workload?"

Loaded question. In terms of career potential, they're both pretty potent. Audit leads you to controller/accounting manager/ VP - accounting positions at companies if you choose to quit. Tax can lead to tax manager positions at various companies/firms..to help them minimize taxes and exploit tax loopholes. It's a pretty important position in many companies...I'm not an expert on tax careers though, so you might want to ask somebody in a tax related position.
In terms of career progression, it's the same as audit...start off as a staff associate...move to senior..manager..snr mgr..partner.
In terms of workload, my friends in the tax department seem to work two busy seasons...in the fall and in the spring. So I think they work more than i…

auditing vs consulting

I was wondering if you could break down the career opportunities in auditing and consulting (in a big 4). I know that consulting pays more in a big 4 and has more interesting work, but it seems that auditing has extremely good exit opportunities (Financial controller, CFO etc). Any thoughts on which is better in the long run?

Well there's different consulting services offered by public accounting companies - the most popular being IT consulting and risk consulting. There are also other consulting services offered, but these two hire the most. Do they pay more? Yes, but not by much. Not enough for you to say: Shoot, the $$ is a huge reason for me to move over. Is the work more interesting than audit? Yes. You're actually looking over a company's processes and telling them what to do instead of what not to do (audit). Everyone I know who's made the switch likes it waay better than audit.
In the long run though, choosing audit vs consulting really depends on what you want t…

should you choose to audit financial services?

I'm trying to decide whether to audit financial services companies or non-financial services companies. What would you say are the pros and cons of either industries? Do individuals who choose non-FS have less career mobility within the firm or if they decide not to stay with the B4 after a few years?
Really depends on what you'd like to do after (unless you really love auditing). If you want to a controller,etc. at a p/e firm or a hedge fund down the road, you'd want to go into financial services. The pay won't be too bad, especially if you get a share of the insane bonuses they dole out. If you want to audit industries with tangible products and want to get a better understanding of the operations of such businesses, then other industries are the way to go.In terms of mobility outside the firm, auditing other industries is the way to go since you have plenty of options when you exit the audit world. For example, in 2008, after Lehman collapsed, it was incredibly hard …