On September 4, at about 5:00 pm, I showed up to the Accounting Society Fall Forum. This event was approved for Track II: Major Exploration/College Planning. I was one of few freshmen who attended. Though there were virtually no true opportunities for freshman, it was a worthwhile experience in that I got a feel for how networking events, such as this, function. I met and briefly talked with many individuals representing different companies. There was a multitude of tables, one for each company. Many had presentations prepared, free items to give away, and at least one person to answer any questions about the company. Students would walk to different tables, and ask questions about the prospective opportunities at the different companies.
Each representative told me that they had no opportunities for freshmen, however, I was doing the right thing in getting experience so early. One woman I met, Shirley Claude, worked for Roger CPA Review. She was actually excited to meet freshman so she could give us advice for the future. She told me that it was imperative for me to start a LinkedIn account. Also, she gave me a pamphlet containing information on how to prepare for interviews and what companies looked for in students. She said that getting involved was more important in college than in high school. She recommended I get involved in clubs that interested me and continue with them throughout my college career.
After the forum, I had several goals in mind for the immediate future. One was to begin a LinkedIn account and the other was to purchase a real suit jacket instead of my wool zip up. I began a LinkedIn account that night. I found the forum to be valuable just in the experience it gave me. I am aware of how these events work and I know more about what types of students companies look for to offer internships and jobs. The main take-away from the forum was how to act professionally at a networking event. Simply by listening to the types of questions asked by upper classmen and talking with the company representatives, I believe I got valuable experience for future events, when I will actually be eligible (i.e., being a sophomore or older) for internships.