When I first switched my major to accounting, I had no idea what kind of job I wanted to get with my degree. I knew CPA is a prestigious title to get, but I didn’t know what my career path would be. I had heard of choosing a career in public accounting as a tax accountant or an auditor, but I really didn’t know much about either of those jobs. I’m sure those of you who are at this point in your education are just as confused.
An interesting opportunity came up when my boyfriend’s step-mother processed a reverse mortgage for a CPA. The CPA, Anne who is bedridden, has a small CPA firm and prepares tax returns. Since she had become bedridden, she could no longer work a computer and was looking for an assistant to input data and help correspond with clients. My boyfriend’s step-mom mentioned my name and that I am an accounting student and I soon was contacted for an interview. I knew that this would be an unconventional job only working one day a week, but I was interested in learning more about tax returns.
Once I started, I helped input the returns and Anne reviewed the final copies before signing them. I also help prepare Texas Workforce paperwork for a few of her clients’ businesses. This experience has given me great insight into what it is like to work with taxes and helped me decide that I want to have a career as a tax accountant.
After about a year working for Anne came the time for interviewing with accounting firms for an internship. I decided on tax over audit based on my work with Anne. During my interviews, the work experience gave me a great advantage. Hardly any other candidates that I met had prior experience in audit or tax. The interviewers were impressed, and I landed an internship with McGladrey.
Even if an accounting opportunity doesn’t come your way, don’t pass up other opportunities for any career experience. While I worked with Anne, I also had a part-time job as an assistant supervisor for Best Buy. I started out there as a cashier and worked my way up through customer service to back-up supervisor. I was hesitant at first because I was told being a back-up meant that I did harder tasks, but did not get any reward out of it. I went for it, and it gave me some great leadership experience. I was in charge of the employees during my shift and was also given power to make decisions as a manager during sales. Even though any part-time job seems like hard work at the time, the experience will surely pay off in the end and land you your dream job if you are willing to work for it!