Blog Archive

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Time once again for turkey, stuffing, pumpkin pie, football, family, and time most of all to give thanks. I'm thankful for alot these days myself. I'm thankful that I'm not traveling anywhere this week, so no worries about being scanned or groped at an airport or being stuck in miles and miles of traffic. I'm thankful for having a happy, healthy family, including two boys who are smart, handsome and fun. I'm thankful that it's been a good football season for my two teams (the Washington Redskins and the Maryland Terrapins). Good in relative terms, both teams won only 6 games combined last year, both have won 12 already this Fall! And I'm thankful that McGladrey is hiring again in large numbers. Hiring had been on the decline the past couple of years, but it has rebounded quite nicely this year. This is keeping our recruiting team very busy this fall with a few hundred positions to fill, many of which will need to be filled by the time Busy Season starts.

So what are you thankful for? Please feel free to share what you are thankful for this year as a comment to this post.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

My Journey Begins...

Today's post comes to us from Andrew Finger, an Associate who started in our Blue Bell, PA office on November 1st (along with a few hundred other new Associates). Andrew shares with us his experience of his first two weeks with McGladrey, including going through New Employee Orientation and New Associate Training.

I started with McGladrey just two weeks ago but I can already say that I have met so many nice people and learned so much more than I thought was possible. I started in the Blue Bell, PA office on November 1st, and I will admit I was nervous. The day started off with a meet and greet breakfast and everyone that came in was so friendly and full of good advice, it definitely started off on the right foot.

The first couple days in the office were geared toward learning about the McGladrey brand, getting familiar with tools such as Caseware and Idea, as well as networking with co-workers. It was definitely nice to get to know some people and get acclimated with the surroundings I will be seeing a lot in the near future.

Next, we headed down to Baltimore, MD for regional orientation. I must say that office is beautiful, located on the inner harbor. The first day of orientation we learned all about McGladrey. People used to always ask me, “who are you working for” and I will be honest I didn’t always know how to answer that question. After that first day of training I no longer am at a loss for words to describe McGladrey. We engaged in some team building activities with new associates from other offices along the east coast like Vienna, VA, Charlotte, NC, Wilmington, NC, and of course Baltimore, MD. It was great to meet and network with all of the new associates. That night we had an exciting event, bowling at Mustang Alley’s in Baltimore. It was a great opportunity to network and bond with both experienced staff as well as fellow new hires in a casual setting. We all had a ton of fun. The second day in Baltimore we had some tremendous guest speakers that really shared some important insight into our careers at McGladrey. To end the two day event there was a raffle, and the grand prize was a new IPad. I happened to have the winning raffle ticket, how lucky!

Our second week on the job consisted of new hire training at The Q Center in St. Charles, Ill, just outside of Chicago. The center was beautiful and was an ideal place to hold a conference of such magnitude. Throughout the week we went through training that will help us in our specific area of business with McGladrey. It was great to be able to meet people from all over the country and great to hear their stories. On Thursday night we all took part in a charity event for two children’s hospitals in the greater Chicago area. The event was based on The McGladrey Classic, so groups were pitted against one another in events at 18 different “holes.” It was a lot of fun and the camaraderie between everyone was great. At the end of the competition each team was given a bear from Build a Bear. Based on the points your team had accumulated the more you could outfit and accessorize your bear, which will be given to a patient at one of the children’s hospitals. It was a great night and for a great cause.

All in all my first two weeks at McGladrey have been hectic, but very enjoyable. I have been able to meet so many nice people and learn so many important things. It has been a great experience so far and I look forward to the many great experiences that lay ahead.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

So I Have An Offer, Now What?

Hiring in the public accounting industry has definitely picked up steam, and firms across the country are in the process right now of hiring hundreds if not thousands of new college grads, interns and experienced professionals. It's happening here at McGladrey for sure, and my peers at our competitors are confirming this as well.

Last year, on college campuses across the country many students were left out, not receiving offers when the would of in year's past. Even the best students at the best schools were not getting same the number of offers that they were getting in the past. This year it's a very different story although we still have a way to go to catch up to the hiring volume of 3-4 years ago. Its surely a move in the right direction however.

So whether you are a college student or an experienced professional, what are some of the things that you should be considering when evaluating new offers of employment? Let's break it down by college and experienced:

College Students
  • Training and development - How will you be developed in your first year? What training will you receive prior to your first busy season? How much structured training is available compared to on-the-job training? Does the firm have career paths mapped out that are easy for you to understand? How easy will it be for you to complete your CPA Exam studies and take all four sections of the Exam within your first several months of employment?
  • People, teams and responsibilities - Who will you get to work with? What type of access will you have to Partners? What type of access will you have to key decision makers at your clients? Will you have a single primary responsibility on engagements, or will you have a variety of responsibilities? Will you work on one client, or multiple clients?
  • Hours, travel, and flexibility - Everyone works long hours during busy season, but how long on average? What are hours like when it's not busy season? What percentage of travel can you expect? What flexibility options are available and when are they available?
  • Total compensation - In addition to salary, sign-on bonus and incentive bonuses, what is the value of the benefits package? How much do health and welfare benefits cost per pay period? What does the hourly rate look like (base salary divided by average number of hours that you will be expected to work)

Experienced Professionals

  • Is the grass greener? Every public accounting firm has had their share of challenges over the past couple years, is working at another firm going to be any different? If yes, what are the specific differences, and are those important to your short and long-term career goals? If you left public, what is it about coming back to public accounting that appeals to you?
  • People, teams and responsibilities - Who will you work with? What is the size and scope of the team you will join? What types of clients will you serve? Are you expected to bring in new business? If yes, how soon and how much? Is this a step up in scope of responsibility, or is a lateral move OK? Will you work on a single client or will you have multiple clients?
  • Opportunities for growth and development - How quickly to people move up the ranks? Are career paths mapped out? What does the path to Partner look like and how long might it take to get there? Will you be expected to specialize in a particular function or industry? If yes,what are the benefits of specializing and what development opportunities are available for you to gain expertise in that speciality?
  • Flexibility - What flexible options are available? What resources are available during challenging or stressful times? Can one advance while using flexible schedule options? What options are those after hours or for those who may have an interest in community service?

What it really boils down to is the following, what are your short-term and long-term goals? If you are a college student, how do offers from different firms match up to those goals? If you are an experienced professional, how do these goals match your current job and a new job you may be considering? Make lists of your goals and the pluses and minuses of offers (and your current job if you have one), and compare.

Evaluating a job offer is a complex activity. Think about what is going to make you happy, successful, and on a path to a great career. There's a lot of great opportunities out there, make sure that you take the time to evaluate and select the one most appropriate for you!