Over the last year, the way we work has drastically changed due to the pandemic. From online classes to working remotely, we have all had to learn to be flexible and adaptive on a daily basis. As things begin to open up, Sweeney Conrad is thrilled to be welcoming our summer interns soon, as well as planning a virtual version of our summer leadership program, SC Summer Summit (for the second year in a row). 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 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 in the same boat.
2. Instead of Coffee Dates, Schedule Virtual Dates
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 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).
It is totally understandable that you, like many of us, might be experiencing Zoom fatigue at this point. But try to remember that being proactive with your job search is important, and it's better to meet virtually than not at all.
As more people are getting vaccinated, if you would personally be comfortable meeting social distanced with a professional, you are certainly welcome to also offer that option. Giving the professional the choice between an in-person or virtual meeting will allow them to pick the option that also matches to their comfort level.
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 are 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 22, and we are accepting applications through May 14. If you are looking for a summer or winter 2022 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.