We can all agree that networking is a crucial aspect of career growth and opportunity. As a prospective graduate student exploring the key attributes of the McIntire M.S. in Accounting Program, you may find yourself asking, what can the McIntire network offer? Further, what opportunities are available for students to connect with alumni and possible employers?
Well, I am pleased to report that McIntire provides an endless number of networking opportunities to its students. And, despite the ever-changing environment brought about by the pandemic, the events have remained a key part of the student experience. The events orchestrated by Commerce Career Services involve more than just job hunting; the functions also integrate critical professional development tips from alumni and guest speakers. Some of the most prominent events/programs thus far include the Careers in Accounting and Advisory Night, the McIntire Alumni Mentor Program, and the Leadership Series.
Careers in Accounting and Advisory Night (CAAN)
The Careers in Accounting and Advisory Night was a virtual career fair with over 15 employers in attendance. The focus of the event was to open a communication outlet between students and employers. Further, it offered students an opportunity to gather insight on the different avenues that students can explore within a given firm. The virtual career fair simulated in-person communication; each student could sign up for one-on-one Zoom sessions or small group sessions with targeted employers. The time spent with recruiters/employees could range anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes. To illustrate a small glimpse of the career fair’s effectiveness, Kinley Dem (M.S. in Accounting ’22) shared that telling her story and forming connections with the employer contributed to her successful job hunt.
McIntire Alumni Mentor Program
Prior to beginning the M.S. in Accounting Program, students will have the opportunity to connect with McIntire alumni. Each student interested in participating will fill out an application/survey consisting of academic interests and desired career paths. With such information taken into consideration, the Career Services team will pair a student with an alumni mentor to contact during the semester. The impressive part of the program is the ability to connect with an alumnus who has had the McIntire experience and career experience. A common remark among student participants is that the mentor program can be catered to each student’s needs, whether that be information regarding life at UVA, job-hunting tips, or general career advice. The McIntire Alumni Mentoring program is yet another valuable opportunity to expand one’s network.
The leadership series is a semesterlong roundtable hosted virtually on Zoom that consists of McIntire graduates, mainly in upper administrative positions. The alumni speak of their career development after graduating from McIntire, allowing students to learn tips and lessons to consider while working through their own personal growth and career development journey. Equally as important, the series provides students an opportunity to connect with industry business leaders. Overall, the experience integrates both networking and the fine-tuning of professional skills.
Networking at UVA doesn’t just occur within Rouss & Robertson Halls’ walls or classrooms; it extends beyond Grounds and the various events held around the Charlottesville area. The M.S. in Accounting Program continually incorporates networking into the classroom and beyond, with the vast amount of group work assigned, one-on-one networking sessions with classmates, and cohort activities put together by the M.S. in Accounting Graduate Commerce Council. The critical takeaway is that networking comes in all forms, and every form can be found within the McIntire M.S. in Accounting Program.