Although graduating from university is an exciting time, there are a few things soon-to-be accounting graduates should think about well in advance of walking across that convocation stage. Here are 3 of the most important:
#1 Sharpen Your Excel Skills:
MS Excel will be one of the programs you’ll use the most in the workplace; it would be good to familiarize yourself with some common formulas and functions. You may even find it worthwhile to take short course – you’ll thank yourself later!
#2 Prepare For The CFE:
Take a look at the CPA Competency Map to find out exactly what you need to know for the last exam in the CPA process, the Common Final Exam (CFE). Also, organize your notes to make studying more efficient. Although you have a ways to go for the CFE, pre-planning never hurt anyone!
#3 Post-Grad Job Search:
Ideally, you will have a job in hand before finishing university. The bulk of recruiting for accounting roles occurs between late August and early October. That means, you’ll want to spend the summer before (the earlier, the better) doing research on your target firms, perfecting your resume and cover letter, and reaching out to any potential connections.
Is there anything else you think accounting students should do before graduating? What is the single most important thing? Comment below!
Kill Your Shyness By Getting Involved
Whether it’s a club, a sports team, a part-time job, or whatever, do something to meet new people. You never know who you may meet or what interests you might develop just by stepping outside your comfort zone.
Don’t Study Hard, Study Smart
In first year, I thought that the key to acing exams was writing out all of my notes – I thought that there was a “memory in my hand.” While writing stuff out may have made me remember things more, it took forever to do. Instead, study to your subject.
For example, as an accounting student, my tried-tested-and-true method of studying for finals was this:
1. Anticipating the problems that would be asked (by writing down hints professors would give throughout the semester).
2. Typing out similar problems from my lecture notes/textbooks (taking up no more than 1/5 of the page).
3. Printing out several copies, and doing them over by hand – until I knew the steps by heart.
The Key To Landing A Solid Co-op Placement/Full-Time Job
I was under the impression that all I needed for an interview at my target firms was a high GPA. Boy, was I wrong. It turns out that my target firms were looking for well-rounded people: individuals with slightly-above-average grades who are involved in things outside of the classroom (club involvement, athletics, a part-time job).
Current students – what advice do you have for YOUR first-year self? High school students – what is the best advice you’ve received about university?
-Neal, yconic Student Ambassador