Meet the Firms (MTF) is hosted virtually during the pandemic out of regard for everyone's health and safety. Since the event feels different than a traditional career fair, we want our students to understand how to be a successful recruit at this critical recruiting event.
If you are planning to pursue an internship or need a full-time job, you must attend the Virtual Meet the Firms (VMTF)! This event is your chance to network with premier employers and allow them to put a face with your resume. Employers use resumes collected during MTF to determine recruiting targets for the upcoming year.
For those of you who are underclassmen, this event is still important to you. It is in your best interest to participate in the event even if you don’t interact with many employers (hint: look for employers who say they hire for pre-senior year internships). When it's your turn to be recruited as juniors, you know exactly what to expect and you're ready for it! Don't be afraid to tell the firms that you are early in your ACCT curriculum and attending the event to learn more about the employers and career paths.
How the Event Will Work:
Students and Professional Partners will participate in the VMTF event using the Career Fair Plus (CF+) app on Tuesday, August 31st, between 4:00-8:00 pm. Students must:
- Download the app (Apple & Android) and create a profile, filling out all fields (including a resume upload/update).
- Set your major as "Accountancy" to ensure you meet any pre-reqs set by employers.
- Browse employers in the “Fall 2021 Meet the Firms – Virtual Accounting Career Fair” app to determine which appointments to book (one per employer of interest).
- Begin making appointments with employers on Tuesday, August 24th, at 8 am CDT. Most appointments are 1:1, but some employers may have a schedule designated for
a group. This means students can come and go at any time. We recommended that employers
increase the standard appointment time from 10 minutes to 15 minutes, so appointments
will be in that range of duration.
- MAKE THE MOST OF THE EVENT WINDOW - We recommend making 6-9 appointments to cover your bases.
- If you do not see a schedule that directly aligns with your interests, opt for one that matches with one of your preferences (either city or service area) and also try to meet the recruiter.
- Group rooms should be a supplement to 1:1 appointments - do NOT just book on group rooms if avoidable.
- Attend your video appointments to connect with professionals and discuss your resume on August 31st.
For more information on how to use the Career Fair + app, watch this student training (hosted 8/18/21).
Rules for A Strong Meet the Firms Performance:
Do Your Homework on the Employers:
Know your employers of interest, especially their office locations, approximate size, and something they brag about. To find out more about these employers, review the Meet the Firms Prof. Partner Profile Book. Because the event is four-hours long and you book appointments, you should be able to meet with all employers of interest.
Have a Game Plan:
Familiarize yourself with the Career Fair Plus app. Schedule your appointments early so that you get to meet with all employers of interest. The CF+ app automatically provides a 10-minute buffer in between appointments, so if you expect to need more time than that, you should schedule appointments accordingly.
Remember to network for pre-senior year/corporate internships (availability noted in the app) as well as those you’ll complete during the spring of senior year.
Know Your Location Preferences:
- Pursue an internship in the city where you want to work full-time
- Identify & rank two city preferences and recruit with employers in your #1 location preference.
- If your GPA is below a 3.5, you should exercise caution with selecting locations outside of the Georgia/Alabama area, as you will begin to limit your employer options to the national firms, who have stricter GPA requirements.
- Most of our professional partners are located within Alabama/Georgia.
- If your location preference is outside of Alabama/Georgia, you must have a concrete reason for wanting to go there (family is a great one!) and be sure you have previously visited that city.
- Avoid saying, "Anywhere in the Southeast," as firms want to see that you have a desire to work in their location specifically.
Know Your Service Area Preferences:
- Most employers will ask about your service area preference - Audit, Tax or Advisory – and want you to book appointments according to this interest.
- Do your homework about the service areas and be specific. It's always best to have a preference (even if you’re not confident in it) as opposed to saying, "I'm open," which portrays a lack of commitment.
- Audit and Tax are the most common service areas, but Advisory is a growing service area within the international firms.
Upload Your Resume:
Make sure that you have the most current copy of your resume uploaded to your CF+ Profile. CF+ does NOT communicate with Handshake at all for students, so it is imperative that you have your resume attached to your profile so that employers can access it for the event. As you update your resume leading up to the event, ensure it's refreshed on CF+!
Dress for Success:
- Recommended attire for the event is business professional (on top - just don't stand up!).
- Men, shave and get a haircut.
- Ladies, avoid wearing too much jewelry.
- Make sure your attire (from the top up) is neatly pressed and doesn’t distract from what is really important - you and your resume!
Keep Notes & Request Contact Info:
- Because the employer representatives cannot hand out business cards at this year’s event, it is extremely important to request their email address before the end of each appointment (you will only be able to see their LinkedIn profile address within CF+).
- Write down contact info along with notes about your interactions so that you can follow up with the representatives after the event, specifically noting elements of your conversation.
Say THANK YOU:
Not only is it important to express your gratitude for the professionals' time, sending a follow-up thank you email is a good way to solidify your name in their minds. Remember the notes that you took about your conversation? This is a great way for you to jog that person's memory about who YOU are. For example, if you wrote "Bob just graduated from the MAcc program and loves NASCAR," you can incorporate that into your follow up message to Bob. Email is instantaneous and the best route to take, especially in this virtual environment where people are not working in their offices.
Ask the firms if they host a Summer Leadership Program (SLP):
SLPs are selective, often multi-day conferences hosted in the firms' offices (traditionally – be prepared for virtual, though) aimed to introduce prospective interns (typically, juniors) to the firm culture. These all-expenses paid conferences consist of a mix of career development, firm education, and networking events. Although not all students are ultimately able to attend, you should inquire about them and APPLY. Throughout the spring semester, the weekly ACCT Recruiting News & Events Newsletters will advertise SLPs and the application/interview details will be posted on the SOA Blog.
There are more VMTF tips shown in the CF+ app. GOOD LUCK!