It may not have been the traditional in-person Interviewing Day that Accounting, Economics and Business Administration students have known in the past, but the first half of Interviewing Day 2020 was no less successful with nine accounting firms holding 84 virtual interviews with 31 McDaniel Accounting majors.
The second half of Interviewing Day continues in the spring when other majors in the Economics and Business Administration department will have the opportunity to meet — whether virtually or not — with employers for internships and jobs.
This fall, despite the pandemic, Accounting professor Kerry Duvall knew she had to find a way to give employers and Accounting students the opportunity to meet.
“Firms are still hiring and doing internships. Accounting is something you need in good and bad times, even pandemics, so they are still actively hiring,” Duvall says of internships and jobs at accounting firms. “I did not want the students to miss out on opportunities with these incredible companies.”
The companies — many represented by McDaniel alumni — were also eager to find a way for the event to go on, says Duvall. On board for the Accounting segment of the event, which is like speed dating with a career twist, were CliftonLarsonAllen; E. Cohen & Company with alumni Brad Thaxton ’19 and Antonio Rosanova ‘18; Gorfine, Schiller & Gardyn, P.A.; Gross, Mendelsohn & Associates with Jocelyn Diaz ’17 and Grace Hounsou ‘17; KatzAbosh; MKS&H; RSM with Mike Bucci ‘15; Salter & Co with Brian Norwitz ’17 and Jacob Shoenick ‘19; and Withum with Aaron Slaughter ’10 and Billy Thomas ‘06.
Employers received the students’ resumes a week before the event after Duvall found a way to surmount the obstacle of not being able to meet with the students and go over their resumes in person. Still she reviewed and offered feedback on each resume before sending them off to the potential employers.
“The employers that we bring to campus are so supportive of our program and know that when they hire a McDaniel Accounting student, they are getting a great employee,” Duvall says. “They were very receptive to the idea of doing things virtually.”
Sophomore Jyoti Duwady was nervous before her interviews with RSM and Gorfine, Schiller & Gardyn, despite her research into the companies, their student programs and their values. She also went over her own resume and did some practice questions for what was only her second and third professional interview.
The Accounting and Business Administration double major from Germantown, Md., learned what to expect from a professional interviewing experience.
“Before I always thought of interviews as a nerve-wracking experience where you’ll be grilled about your qualitfications and why they should hire you,” she says. “Now I know that that is not the case. My interviews were very conversational. The interviewers helped me relax and be myself. Going forward, I think I won’t be as nervous or intimidated as I was before.
“I’ll still do my research and prepare for the interview, but I now know that it’s a two-way conversation.”
Although it was junior Shea Dougherty’s second Interviewing Day, he was diligent in researching Gross Mendelsohn, RSM, and Withum, the firms interviewing him.
“I learned that networking is a crucial part of any job interview or opportunity,” says the Accounting and Business Administration double major from Downingtown, Pa., who knew some of the interviewers through the McDaniel alumni network. “Some questions are centered around getting to know who you are as a person rather than just as a worker.”
Dougherty plans to ask more questions in future interviews. “It shows how intrigued you are in the company and the position being offered. You can never know too much about the company you are aiming to work for.”