This month, she participated in a summer leadership program held by the accounting firm McGladrey. At the end of the program’s three days, she and the other participants got to interview for a summer internship for the following year. Nikki had her interview, and the next day, she got a phone call.
She had been offered an internship not only for summer 2014, but for the full school year after that — through summer 2015.
Though the leadership program was only three days, it gave Nikki a strong sense that McGladrey is a good place for her. The firm “felt like home,” she said.
“McGladrey has the culture I admire,” Nikki explained. “If you don’t think you’re a good fit at a firm, you won’t enjoy what you’re doing, even if it is your ultimate dream job.”
Nikki is majoring in public accounting and anticipates a five-year track: She will graduate with her bachelor of science degree in May 2014 and then go on to complete an MS in accounting by the middle of 2015, at a school to be determined soon. Her year-round McGladrey internship during her master’s year will focus on tax.
That is not to say that Nikki’s background is one-note. She has held finance internships at Merrill Lynch and UBS, and she has worked as a campus marketing rep for BlackBerry maker Research in Motion. She also had an insurance-industry internship at The Hartford.
“I was never completely certain on my decision to major in accounting, so I decided to have diverse internships,” she recalled. “It’s great to have various work experiences, because it allows me to showcase a diverse set of skills from various areas of business and apply them to the accounting field.”
Nikki advised her fellow Gabelli School students not to feel pressured into working at a particular firm — especially in a culture where the Big Four often push other thoughts out of students’ minds. Instead, she said, evaluate every possible opportunity on its merits, regardless of size.
“They should start by deciding on qualities that they look for in a company,” she said. “Acknowledging whether they will grow as a leader at a big, mid-sized or small firm is an important step, and will help tremendously when making the ultimate decision.”
Based on her careful consideration and logical reasoning, it sounds to us like Nikki has made the right decision for her. We look forward to hearing about the start of her career at McGladrey.