Accounting Students

An Accounting Student

Best Perception

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Textbook Drama

Rip off.

You can tell how sly a school is when they ask their students to purchase the latest edition of the textbook.

#1: They cost more |#2: You can’t borrow/buy from a student who previously took the course

Most of the textbooks have minor changes. Example?

2012 Edition: There were 12 apples. James had 3. How many are leftover?

2013 Edition: There were 10 apples. James had 5. How many are leftover?

^^ You get the picture.

My advice: Rent the books because it will be a lot cheaper generally speaking. Or, you should purchase it from Amazon and then IMMEDIATELY sell it back once you’re done using it. I use the word immediately because you get more money “trading it in” sooner than later. You won’t get the full amount back but hey, you still get an Amazon gift card which you can use to purchase your books for next semester. Nice cycle. Remember to also sign up for Amazon Prime if you haven’t done so! You have ONE ENTIRE YEAR OF FREE 2-DAY SHIPPING FOR FREE! 

Some professors can be nice about it and say to purchase the previous year’s edition because they understand a student’s pain when paying for books. Those are the most caring professors. I understand that it’s necessary to have the latest editions because many things change such as a tax book. Taxes change every year so a new book every year is something I understand. But for most subjects, I don’t see it.

DON’T EVER BUY FROM THE BOOKSTORE UNLESS THAT IS THE ULTIMATE LAST RESORT. That is the way the school makes a profit from ordering the latest editions. They won’t get a profit by selling old editions at all. It’s a trick that people realize after their freshmen year. Believe me, I was sucked into it as well.

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Recruiters: They Either Love You or They Don’t

Don’t take it personally if you didn’t mesh will with a recruiter OR if you didn’t bond as fast as you wanted to. There will be others out there who can say one word and then immediately become the favorite student. Remember, recruiters are humans. People don’t get along with everybody. Hey, you don’t even get along with everybody. I don’t get along with everybody. That’s life. Deal with it. If you know you don’t have that connection with a certain recruiter, then don’t fight it. I’M NOT SAYING TO GIVE UP AND NOT EVEN TRY TO GET AN INTERVIEW/INTERNSHIP FROM HIM/HER, but don’t try to get all buddy buddy. The recruiter will see right through you and that plan can actually backfire. You don’t want to be one of those “over-bearing” students that annoys the heck out of them. Open your eyes! After a few talks with the recruiter, are you friends or is she/he treating you like any other student? Just don’t push it.

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AICPA Scholarship

AICPA Scholarship

The deadline is next year so it’s still a far way to go (they didn’t even update the deadline on their website yet), but if you’re interested, check out what’s available and what you can apply to. I recently received one over the summer. One regret: Not knowing about this sooner. I only found out about these scholarships through my professor during my last semester of my junior year. Apply every year and hope for the best!

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Tips For The Typical Accounting Student: Freshman Year

As a senior, this is an obligatory post about my personal tips for freshmen 🙂

FRESHMAN YEAR.

  • If you entered into college declaring your major as an accounting major, don’t believe that you have to stick with it – Be open to other majors within AND outside of business
  • Don’t officially declare your major until you take your introductory accounting courses (financial and managerial/cost)
  • Listening to other accounting students tell you that accounting is the best major out there can be helpful, but honestly, they’re biased – The only way you’ll know if you really will like the major is if you take the courses and get an internship
  • DO NOT FOCUS ON GETTING AN INTERNSHIP DURING YOUR FRESHMAN YEAR – The summer after your freshman year is over is the perfect time to have an internship if you’re interested, but your first year should be about establishing a solid GPA (Big 4 firms have a standard minimum 3.4 GPA. Many post that they accept 3.2 GPAs but they really are looking for those who have much higher ones)
  • DO NOT LET YOUR GPA BRING YOU DOWN IF YOU DO NOT HAVE AT LEAST A 3.2 AFTER FRESHMAN YEAR. I certainly did not. I actually had a 2.9. I worked so hard every semester and after my junior year, I brought it up to a 3.4. It will never be a 3.6 or 3.7 but hey, I know that I tried my absolute best and glad that hard work paid off after I realized the mistakes I made during my first year.
  • Make a LinkedIn profile. You may have some high school experiences/awards listed but that’s fine for now! Stay active on it! Connect with everybody you meet: professors, business professionals, recruiters, family, students, and friends! You can refer back to my previous post I made about LinkedIn (under “Social Media”)
  • GO TO CAREER FAIRS. If your school is fortunate enough to have career fairs where companies come to offer students internships/jobs, TAKE ADVANTAGE. I guarantee that they will not be looking for freshmen, BUT it is an opportunity to meet the recruiters. In general, the same recruiters return to the same school every single year, so if they recognize your face from the career fairs or events over the course of 2 or 3 years, by the time you’re actually applying for those internships/jobs, those recruiters who you’ve kept in touch with will know you on a first-name-basis and believe me, connections can go a long way.
  • CONNECTIONS CONNECTIONS CONNECTIONS. NETWORKING NETWORKING NETWORKING. If you can attend any networking event either hosted by your school or an organization outside of your school, GO TO IT. Meet others! Find out what they do and see whether you’d be interested in their role. Connect with them on LinkedIn. The people you meet could be future co-workers, managers, partners, CEOs!
  • If you’re struggling in your courses (whether accounting related or not), go to office hours. Getting extra help will not only get you noticed, but will clarify what exactly you aren’t understanding. Don’t be ashamed. I used to be. I never had to get extra help in high school, but college is a different story. Plus, if you get really close with a professor, they may even write a recommendation letter for you which will be SUPER helpful for scholarships/internships/graduate school.  Just understand that if you really need the help, don’t hesitate to ask for it. If you don’t want to get help from the professor, hopefully your school offers a tutoring center. Like I mentioned before, GPA is very important for that first “big named” accounting internship/job.
  • Even though I’m stressing GPA a lot in this post, it’s not everything. I definitely had a 2.9/3.1 when I was interning at several companies during my sophomore year. A GPA does not represent you. I was able to get these internships at well-known firms because I was extremely active around campus and showed my enthusiasm. But it was difficult. I had to fight for it because my GPA was lower than their standards. If I had a 3.4 or higher, it would have been a slam dunk and I wouldn’t have to fight for the internships. That wasn’t the case. I had a low GPA and during the interviews, I had to somehow stand out from the rest of the crowd with the high GPAs. Don’t put yourself in that situation. You never know how a recruiter judges students so it definitely is best to be safe and have a solid GPA along with active involvement around the community and/or school.
  • Scholarships? There are always scholarships out there. The AICPA post their scholarship application every year in the Spring so definitely apply! They may be small amounts like $2,000 or $3,000, but that amount will cover your books right?!
  • BOOKS. DO NOT BUY YOUR BOOKS FROM THE CAMPUS BOOKSTORE (unless it really is cheap, then let me know what school you go to because I’d love to transfer there. JK. But seriously, I’d love to know the school lol). Usually, the campus bookstore will over price their books. I would either buy/rent from amazon.com. FRESHMEN, SIGN UP FOR AMAZON PRIME. It’s free for one year as long as you have a college email! It will provide you free 2 day shipping and believe me, it actually comes in 2 days. IT WAS AMAZING (note I used “was” because it only lasted a year and I’m very sad that I no longer have it)! If you buy your books from Amazon, trade them back to Amazon! You won’t get the same amount but it’ll still be a good amount that you’ll get back from them and you can use that money to buy books for next semester! Works right? Some other websites my friends have used are chegg.com, campusbookrentals.com, and barnesandnobles.com. If you find a website you’re not familiar with, just do a quick google search on them to confirm their legitimacy. 
  • and lastly, HAVE FUN. ENJOY FRESHMAN YEAR! Please don’t work too hard and over-stress. Everybody wants to do well, but college is all about learning from your mistakes. If you mess up, whether on academic or personal matters, IT IS OKAY. Life moves on. How you overcome it is what’s most important. I definitely enjoyed my first year because of all of the new friends I made. If it weren’t for them, I probably wouldn’t love my school so much. I genuinely hope that for all of you freshmen, the school you are currently enrolled in is the school for you. If not, then I hope you can transfer to one that you think you would enjoy.
  • Feel free to post any other tips you think would be helpful for a freshman (accounting student)!

PEACE.

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Full-Time Internship or Last Semester of College?

Full-Time Internship or Last Semester of College?

55 hours per week…minimum.

I just found out that PwC only has FULL-TIME winter internship (January-May). They ask for 55 hours per week…minimum. How can I go to school haha? It would have been great to intern at a Big 4 during that period and then go on to my mid-sized firm in the summer so I could compare the two companies. I also just found out that KPMG runs the same way. I guess now I need to figure out if I should go and try to interview with these Big 4 companies to try to get a summer internship and see what happens from there.

I’d totally choose to finish my last semester of college though. I didn’t sign up for student loans for nothing and my parents didn’t pay my university tens of thousands of dollars for no degree in the end. It’s kind of aggravating that I won’t have the opportunity to compare a Big 4 and a mid-sized, but I’m not complaining. Others out there are still looking for that internship while I already have one locked down.

If you’re still looking for an internship and you’re a junior (or sometime sophomores, depending on your location/school), you MUST look into the summer leadership programs. If you’re a freshmen, don’t worry about all of this. FOCUS ON YOUR GPA. I’m not even kidding. I’m still working so hard to try to bring up my GPA. I’ll definitely have a post on some tips for freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors (only applicable to accounting majors though. sorry!).

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Publicize Yourself on LinkedIn

Business students, especially accounting majors, should make a LinkedIn profile AND be active on it. Even if you don’t have anything to update your profile with, post articles or statuses for your network to see. But, DO NOT post unprofessional or irrelevant articles/videos. LINKEDIN IS NOT FACEBOOK. I repeat: LINKEDIN IS NOT FACEBOOK. Nor is it a website for users to post their snapchat/instagram pictures. Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, and Vine are all PERSONAL websites.

Image

I once saw a LinkedIn profile picture that was 3D-ish. It would definitely hurt your eyes after just a couple seconds. It was basically like the picture to the right. Save those pictures for other websites. LinkedIn isn’t the place to post things that may be cool to your friends.

RECRUITERS MOST CERTAINLY LOOK UP YOUR PROFILES. IF YOU DIDN’T KNOW THAT THEN, WELL NOW YOU KNOW. ALWAYS REMEMBER THIS. They will automatically do an online check on you so why not have them see your most professional profile for free? The great thing about LinkedIn is that you can put things on there that you can’t fit in your resume! Take advantage of it. Tip: Make a “signature” in your email and include your LinkedIn public profile link in it. That way, if you happen to email business professionals or recruiters on any matter, they will see your link and may want to click on it. BAM. Now they get to see your “online resume” AND you didn’t even have to deal with figuring out a way to slyly give/send your resume to them.

Some topics you can post as your statuses:

  • High school/college articles (positive changes, successes, rankings, etc.)
  • Leadership articles
  • Accounting/business related articles (or whatever your major may be)
  • Articles about companies you’ve worked with in the past
  • Articles about companies you follow

Remember: Professional and relevant posts. 

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Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus and Tax

Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus and Tax

Interesting combination?

My professor likes to use different celebrities as examples for tax class and of course, Justin Bieber was mentioned a bunch of times.

…Miley Cyrus and her “twerking” was brought up as well, but I’ll just leave it to that.

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“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again”
– William Edward Hickson

Is accounting is easy for me? False.

I STILL sometimes struggle in the subject but hey, I’m still here right? Don’t let challenges stop you from what you want to do. Simple as that.

Quotes

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