In the past few months, COVID-19 has made our world feel like it was turned upside-down. From the way we socialize to the way we work, almost everything has changed in a very short amount of time. I’m sure you have read about accounting firms that are no longer recruiting (or even worse - doing layoffs), or have friends who have had their internships canceled. Sweeney Conrad is thrilled to still be welcoming our summer interns in about a month, and currently planning how to best train them for a work-from-home internship. We anticipate having our normal recruiting levels this fall, and we are attending as many online career fairs and college events as we can!
Accounting recruitment can be a daunting task in a normal year for students, and now there is added confusion and stress over trying to navigate how to still get out there in front of firms and get noticed, when you may not be able to meet any firm representatives in person. The absolute worst thing you can do is sit around and assume that everything is just on hold. Other candidates are still getting out there – and you want to make sure that you are, too!
Here are some 3 tips for how to make the best of our current situation.
1. Attend all of the virtual career events your school or local CPA society host
You don’t even need to leave the comfort of your room! Virtual career events are a great way to get the contact information for professionals from firms and companies, so you can follow up afterwards to keep in touch. It may feel awkward at first, but remember that everyone, including the professionals, are also new to trying to make these types of events work!
2. Instead of coffee dates, schedule Zoom meetings
In a normal year, you may meet someone from a firm at a career fair, get their card, and e-mail them about meeting up for coffee. This summer, you should instead reach out and see if you can schedule a Zoom (or other video format) chat with professionals. Zoom meetings can be a bit more awkward than in-person ones, as back-and-forth banter can’t happen as easily, so it is more important than ever to ensure you come to those meeting prepared with questions for the professional. If you don’t have a car on campus, this may even end up being easier than doing a coffee meeting! Make sure to still dress nicely to make a great impression, but don’t go too formal (no ties are needed).
3. Look into firms offering virtual events
Although many firms have canceled their events, some are hosting online versions instead. Sweeney Conrad offers the majority of our internship positions out of our Summer Summit – which we hosting virtually this year! This event is targeted towards students with 2-3 years remaining for CPA eligibility. This year our event takes place July 29, and we are accepting applications through June 15. If you are looking for a summer or winter 2021 internship, you definitely do not want to miss this event. Applications are being accepted here!
Additional tip: It’s important when doing any of the virtual meeting options to make sure you have a good Wi-Fi connection. Try testing out the platform by calling a friend ahead of time. Of course, with being quarantined at home, you may not have any options for getting a better connection. If that’s the case, simply make sure you let the professional you are meeting with know that you may have a tricky connection. If you have major issues, you may want to do phone calls instead of video meetings, but use those as a last resort – it’s best to be able to have the facial and body cues you get from video conferencing.
If you attend one of the following schools, our Campus Ambassadors for the school would be happy to answer any questions or help connect you with a professional to meet with! If your school does not have an assigned ambassador, please reach out to email@example.com.
Central Washington University
Jacob Myre (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Billy Tan (email@example.com)
University of Washington – Seattle
Chase Miyake (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Michelle Peters (email@example.com)
University of Washington – Bothell
Ardian Adili (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Angelica Anderson (email@example.com)
Washington State University
Connor Tidd (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Jill Jamison (email@example.com)
Western Washington University
Ariana Curva (firstname.lastname@example.org)