One of the highlights of studying in the M.S. in Accounting Program at the McIntire School of Commerce has been the supportive team at Commerce Career Services (CCS). CCS offers a number of resources for students to help them navigate the job search process successfully, and they helped me find and land a job in tax planning.
During the first week of the Program, members from CCS delivered a workshop on approaching the job search and offered to meet individually with those looking for guidance during walk-in hours that they provide every week. The walk-in hours provided a lot of flexibility in terms of what students could receive help for—from general coaching to tailored job search strategy.
I used CCS to conduct mock interviews, attend one-on-one advising hours, and network with alumni to explore potential career options. Even for students who did not pursue a job search and came in with a job offer, CCS remained open to all and welcomed questions regarding accepting job offers and salary negotiation.
Another useful resource I used that is available to all students was Handshake, UVA’s job search database. Many M.S. in Accounting students used it to apply for positions not only related to accounting, but also other industries they were exploring.
Students also used the expansive McIntire alumni network and contacted alumni for informational interviews and advice. I found alumni to be very responsive and open to meeting with me and my classmates. The conversations I had were informative and helpful, and I very much enjoyed connecting with them.
Depending on your individual situation, the job search process can differ greatly from student to student. Here is specifically what I did and found to be helpful:
- Pay close attention to available job openings and deadlines on Handshake
- Participate in the recruiting events hosted by McIntire and read the weekly CCS newsletter
- Track the recruitment timeline of each company in a consolidated tracker so that you don’t miss opportunities
If you are an international student, the recruiting process was similar to that of domestic students, but you had to be mindful of which employers were open to hiring foreign nationals. There is no doubt that international students face some extra hurdles in the job search process, but I believe that the soft skills acquired in the M.S. in Accounting Program are valuable in the job search and will be valuable on the job.