Thread: What Major?
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Old 10-18-2003, 09:45 AM   #11
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Originally posted by SonOfGonad+Oct 17 2003, 11:14 PM--></span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (SonOfGonad @ Oct 17 2003, 11:14 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'><!--QuoteBegin--Holiman@Oct 18 2003, 05:05 AM
If you want a 100% sure thing, go business with an emphasis in accounting.* Just got back from recruiting for my firm at my old school and there were a TON of other firms there grabbing students left and right.* When I attended the same fair as a student, there were 3.

With the new Sarbanes Oxley legislation companies are hiring accounting firms to do more than audit their books.* They engage us to find fraud and test their internal controls for weaknesses.* After Andersen went down, there was a free for all for all their old clients and the remaining firms, for the most part, now have too much work and too little staff.

Around here (SF Bay Area) paid internships between your junior and senior year start at $25 an hour.* New hires start at 50K a year.* Not too shabby since you only need a BA!

Spend two years with a top firm (Pricewaterhouse, Deloitte, KPMG, Ernst and Young, Grant Thornton) and doors open left and right for you.* If you want to go back to grad school (MBA or Law) it looks great on an application.* If you want to slow down and work a 9-5 in the private sector in finance its also an asset to be a former auditor.* Check the resumes of top Chief Financial Officers and you will often find prior experience with public accounting firms.* If you are really ambitious you can try to stick around the firm long enough to become partner and your take home increases dramatically as profits are distributed to partners on top of their base salary.
How can you do accounting, Holi? Is the business that intriguing? I know I've only scratched the surface, but I only see accountants counting crap day in and day out. Also, I've heard the horror stories from graduates in accounting... They had to count carcasses in a morgue for inventory!!! So, like what do you accountants do...?[/b][/quote]
Soggy those aren't horror stories - they're actually the funny ones. Yes, as a newbie staff I did what are called inventory observations to verify that what a client said they had they actually had. What inventory they carry, of course, depends on the business. I've never observed a morgue, but I have observed the inventory of a cemetary (ie graves, crypts, and niches). Basically cemetaries sell available graves and carry a value on the books, so what we have to do is make sure that the graves are in fact available. In my case that meant brining a 6 foot probing rod!

Just kidding, all I did was visually inspect the earth to see if there were signs of recent activity. Anywho, I've done other tamer observations such as automotive parts and silicone wafers.

Observations are probably about 10% of a newbie's time. After your first year you really don't do them anyway. Its kind of a low man/woman on the totem pole thing.

The real value of working as an auditor (not just an accountant in private industry) is that you go from client to client and learn their business inside and out. There is nothing you can't ask a client. You are like the cops to them - they have to tell you everything! If they try to hide stuff they're risking an adverse opinion from us which would cut them off from bank loans and can drop their stock price if they're public. In fact, you gain so much insider information that you are prohibited from owning the client's stock by the SEC!

You can walk up and talk to the president/ceo/cfo/controller of a company, ask questions, sit back and absorb what they say . High tech, financial services, manufacturing - the amount you can learn about different industries is endless. All that knowledge is invaluable.

Anyway, thinking back to my first year of experience, I'd have to say that I learned more than all four years of school. I'm not going to lie and say its all roses. We have a busy season and work hard. As with most jobs its not the work that keeps you going, its the people you work with. But what I can say is the job allowed me to become independent, pay off my student loans, and buy a car. I'm planning on leaving after next year, but only because I'm going to law school. If it weren't for that I would most definetly stick around. Most leave after two years. They think of the job as a unofficial graduate degree in real world business, not just the kind of business in textbooks. I agree.

Papa Vodka asked what major he should pick. I say business/accounting because I've had a good experience in it. I signed a contract before my senior year even started. Others were scrambling for jobs after graduation and the reality of paying off loans hits them. Some choose to defer working right away and go back for more school. My gf dumped another load of money on a masters in education and now is a substitute teacher that works on call never knowing when the next call will come. Needless to say, shes not very happy.
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