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Tips for Networking Success at Meet the Firms

9/24/2019

Networking can seem uncomfortable and daunting. You are asked to maintain a professional demeanor while putting your personality on display to potential employers who are looking not only for a talented individual but for candidates who will be the right fit. Preparation is key and proper execution could mean landing a career-altering co-op/internship or job opportunity.

At Meet the Firms on Tuesday, September 24 from 5:30–7 p.m. in the Curtis L. Gerrish School of Business, Endicott College accounting and finance students—sophomores, juniors, seniors, and Fifth Year MBAs—will experience an evening of networking and recruiting with premiere firms from the accounting and financial services industries who are recruiting for both co-op or semester-long internships and/or full-time employment opportunities. The event, hosted by the Internship and Career Center, is one of countless opportunities, tailored to specific industry recruiting practices, that place students directly in front of potential employers and steer their professional pathway toward postgraduate success. Representatives from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), KPMG, Wellington Management Company, RSM, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Brook Venture Partners, Tonneson + Co, Baystate Financial, Johnson O’Connor, DiCicco, Gulman & Company, MFS Investment Management, Harvey & Martin, and Novogradac & Company will be in attendance to provide an introduction from each firm followed by table discussions and networking.

So, how does one prepare for a networking event of this magnitude? What are some tips for success before, during, and after a networking event? For School of Business accounting majors Lindsay Campbell ’21 and Matt Robida ’21, also a finance major, their orchestrated approach to engaging with accounting and financial services firms at Meet the Firms helped them impress representatives and land a vital roles at RSM and PwC, respectively.

Five Tips for Success at an Endicott Networking Event

1. Research the companies attending the event.

Identify which companies will be at the event and prioritize the ones you would like to speak with. From there, research the company and its industry and pick out trends or recent news that you believe you will be able to relate to. This will allow you to keep up a conversation with the representative.

2. Come prepared to ask and answer specific questions.

This goes hand-in-hand with researching a company beforehand. Practice answering basic questions like, “why do you want to be in this industry?”, “do you have any experience in accounting or finance?”, and “what are your career goals?” This will create confidence in the fact that you are prepared to start and maintain a conversation while networking.

It is also important to remember that you are there to learn as much about the recruiters as they are for you. Therefore, ask questions of them such as, “how did you get involved with this company?” or “what is your favorite part about working at your company?” This will give you insight into what it is like to work there, whether it will be a good career move for you, and it will show the recruiter you are truly interested in what the company has to provide.

Be sure to connect with the Internship and Career Center and your internship coordinator who can help you research some good questions to ask these representatives. 

3. Be yourself.

Always be yourself. You will undoubtedly be nervous before going up to a table, but just prior try talking with one of your friends or a faculty member for a minute. This will help you relax and be able to have a more professional conversation.

4. Reference prior jobs or experiences to describe your work ethic and passion.

It is important to remember that many industries are experience-based meaning most of what you do is learned on the job and accumulated over time. Therefore, it is essential to express the fact that you love to learn and work hard on everything you do. Referencing a past job or experience where you learned from exposure to new things or working with a team toward a common goal will show the recruiter or professional that you have what it takes to succeed in this industry.

5. Follow up within 24 hours.

Follow up with every professional that you speak with and exchange information with a resume or business card at the event. Along with a thank you note, try and reference a specific talking point that you believe was unique enough to set you apart. This will jog the memory of the professional you spoke with and, hopefully, you will be able to continue the conversation which could lead to future opportunities. This small gesture can go a long way and employers love to see students putting in that extra effort.

About Lindsay and Matt

Lindsay Campbell in IrelandLike many students in the School of Business, Lindsay
Campbell knew she wanted to spend a semester abroad.
This fall she is in Ireland at the Cork Institute of Technology. 

Lindsay Campbell transferred to Endicott for the second semester of her freshman year. That spring, prior to the semi-annual Internship and Career Fair, Campbell earned a summer operations internship with Johnson & Connor, an accounting services firm based out of Wakefield, Mass. Johnson & Connor kept Campbell on for the entirety of her sophomore year and designed an auditing internship for her the following summer. This fall, Campbell is taking her Endicott experience out-of-country with a study abroad venture to Cork, Ireland before she begins her semester-long co-op with RSM in January 2020.

Matt Robida discovered Endicott through athletics and his passion for baseball. He was recruited to play for the Gulls and upon visiting campus, Robida immediately fell in love with the school and everything that it offered academically and athletically. Initially a business management major, he soon switched to become a double major in accounting and finance during his freshman year. His first internship was as an accounting intern with Roto Frank of America, a global manufacturer of door and window hardware, where he learned the ins-and-outs of accounts receivable, reconciling expense reports, and assisting with end of the year audit work. Robida realized he wanted to pursue a career in public accounting, specifically tax services, and this summer signed on to intern with PwC in Boston in the summer of 2020.

To learn about future career services and networking opportunities, visit endicott.edu.

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