Accounting Student - Struggling to find my place in the industry

By Michael Purrazzella posted 02-15-2017 10:23 AM

Hello and welcome!

This is a general blog to talk about my problems breaking into the industry of Accounting.

So let me start at the beginning of my college career.

I started my college career in Computer Programming (C++) and did alright in it. While I enjoyed it has a hobby I didn't see it as a career path for me. Eventually the death of my mother gave me grief time to revaluate my life. A professor at my community college, an auditor by trade, talked with me after class some nights. I understood debts and credits easier then most others and liked the idea of Accounting and he told me I was one of the few he could see becoming an Accountant.. This then became my major. I went on to get my Bachelor's and now I have almost completed my Master's degree. I have taken two sections of the CPA exam, and while I did not pass, I was also self studying with no CPA review course, I am not deterred from getting my CPA. In fact, I'm more determined then ever to get it. I also want to take the CFE test as well.

My job search started over two years ago when I first went to the NJCPA career night in September of 2015, as a Junior in college. at the behest of my professor. I wanted to try and make sure I had a job right out of college.  Now all I have on my resume are a few part time and internships in accounting that I have been fortunate to get. I have tried to research tirelessly companies and new accounting trends that are coming this and next year to stay on top of my education. However this leads to me today.

I stand ready to graduate in May with my Master's degree in Business Administration and a full time tax season temporary position that I'm worried will not lead me to a permanent full time position. I now have to face the reality that I can now be, possibly, unemployed after tax season with little way to continue my passion in the accounting field unless I pursue another Master's degree in either tax and/or audit. I am reluctant to do this because I don't want to add to my student debt and still be unemployed. While this would forbade my student loan payments, I feel as thought the CPA exam should be my priority. However the CPA exam costs money which I don't have.

I am sometimes asked about my preference, tax or audit? While tax can be fun (to me at least) and interesting in its own way, I am interested in auditing because there is a lot I can learn from prospecting through different companies and regulations. I am always trying to learn and grow as both an accountant and a person. Its why I have trouble understanding why it’s so hard for me to find a job, no matter how many I apply to.

I’ve traveled to Connecticut for job interviews and I’m not afraid of relocating.

Thus I have become interesting in writing this because perhaps I can find advice or others who are experiencing these same problems. I have left the comment field open for anyone who wants to add anything to this.

1 comment




05-04-2017 02:47 PM

Don't be afraid to switch from one firm to another. Every firm has its own culture, which may not be to your temperament. It's a great profession, have fun!