Blog Archive

Monday, June 24, 2013


By Robyn Brooks
Sr. Talent Acquisition Specialist
New York, NY

Some may call it an Externship Program, and some may call it a Leadership Program, but whatever you call it, it’s the best way to get introduced to companies sooner in your college career. Just about every accounting firm has an early identification program where students can get to know firms, and firms get to know students in their sophomore year. Recruiting no longer begins at the internship or full time level; students and firms are looking to make connections sooner, and hoping to form relationships that carry through to a full time job.

But what exactly is this “Leadership Program?” Well, McGladrey calls it Pathways. Pathways is typically a three day experience that brings together students from a variety of schools who are declared accounting majors, and introduces them to public accounting through the eyes of McGladrey. During the three days, there are many networking opportunities with professionals at all levels, including Partners and firm leadership. The participants will participate in a job shadow, visit a client site, and take part in a volunteer activity.

Ellis Island Foundation, Inc.
Pathways takes place at McGladrey offices across the country. The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc., a beacon of our nation, is also a New York not-for-profit client. Last year we took a group of 50 by way of ferry to Ellis Island to speak with the controller. The relationship between McGladrey and our clients is one of the most important, and it’s vital we showcase it. Kim McLaughlin wrote about our experience in her blog entry from summer 2011.

Volunteerism and community service are a large part of the McGladrey culture. It is only natural we incorporate such events into the Pathways program. Kori Preston, Talent Acquisition Sr. Specialist in California, had one of their Pathways programs donate time at Sacred Heart. Kori explains, “Sacred Heart is a nonprofit organization that through a comprehensive array of resources, services, and community involvement initiatives, makes a real impact in the lives of working families that are struggling. Our Pathways participants sorted clothes, took donations, checked and separated various food items, and helped to sort diapers and other necessities for small children. After three hours, we gathered as a group to talk about what we learned and how we would continue to help our local communities.”
Sacred Heart

“In our Irvine office,” Kori described, “we donated our time at one of our client sites, Easter Seals of Southern California. Easter Seals is a non-for-profit community-based health agency dedicated to helping children and adults with disabilities attain greater independence. We hosted a western themed day and spent time playing games (horseshoes, cactus roping, bean bag toss), line dancing, storytelling, and having lunch with the individuals that participate in the program. It was a great day!”
Easter Seals

On the final day of Pathways, participants interview for an internship or full time role for the following season. Daniel Schmidt, participant from Cedar Rapids, IA spoke about his interview in his blog. After days of networking, presentations, job shadows and giving back to the community, the program wraps up with a new outlook on the world of public accounting.

So who is eligible for these programs and how do you get involved? We call this program Pathways, because it is a Pathways to your career at McGladrey. Our hope is that once students participate, they will receive offers for an internship, and then for full time positions. Since students have to have 150 credits towards the CPA to start as an associate, students are eligible for Pathways generally two years from their graduation date (or approx 90 credits). If McGladrey recruits at your school, we will also have a posting, typically in the spring semester, for students to apply on the university career website. Unfortunately, it is a little more difficult for students who do not attend those schools. Often, posting a message on our LinkedIn or Facebook page can help you get one step closer to connecting with a professional.    

Gianna Migliaccio is a Pathways participant turned Intern turned Associate at McGladrey and also a former blogger for us. She explains the value of participating in a leadership program before interning:
“As a student at Syracuse University, we are very lucky to have such a strong career center and on campus recruiting. As a result, participating in a leadership program with a top accounting firm was something that was very important to me. Since I had the opportunity to network with McGladrey at events on campus, I was really excited about Pathways because I wanted to know more about the company and the people; Pathways was a great way for me to do so. I had the ability to interact with employees of all levels and learn about their career paths and their time with the company. Networking with employees in both a formal and informal setting was very helpful. Additionally, during the panels and office tour I received some very helpful advice for my future, which was a very important takeaway for me. Being immersed in the culture of McGladrey for this program made me feel very comfortable both in the office and with the people of the firm, which is what truly made this experience so rewarding for me.” 

“As you are joining our Pathways program or other leadership programs please network and get everything you can out of the experience,” advises Jennifer Busse, Regional Talent Acquisition Leader. “Do not be entitled, work hard, get to know people, and have a genuine interest in your future. The key in life is learning and have passion for what you do!”

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