Written by Logan Gans
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Recruiting out-of-region can be an intimidating experience as it is certainly the road less traveled in campus recruiting. Most students will usually try to work for offices close to their university as many have local ties to the area or choose their school based on its location in a city where they may want to live in the future. I received a large scholarship from a prestigious program at Boston College that I could not turn down. However, I needed to return to South Florida because of strong personal ties to the area. I knew that I would be choosing the less-traveled road back home. My goal is to share with you a few tips learned on the successful journey that led me from Boston College to a Tax Associate position in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
As most students know, the steps to a successful on-campus recruiting season are to: 1. Network with the firm to lock in a first-round interview, 2. Receive a call-back after the first-round interview, and 3. Earn an offer after the second-round office interview.
With networking, the first step, it is best to make as many in-firm McGladrey connections as possible, regardless of the location of the office where you hope to work. Going to school networkers and career fairs is a great idea. Reaching out to McGladrey alumni from your undergraduate and/or graduate schools is also helpful. Keep business cards and contact information. Learn anything you can about the firm.
When going through on-campus recruiting, realize that the first-round interview will take place on campus at your school, and that the local office will have to refer you to the office of your regional preference. Though it is likely that the Manager or Partner who initially interviews you will thus be from an office outside your preferred region, rest assured that McGladrey’s offices work closely with each other.
During the on-campus interview, it is very important to establish strong ties to the region of the office where you hope to work. For example, a strong affinity for the Los Angeles Lakers may not impress an East Coast interviewer, but noting your family lives in California may carry more weight.
If you do well in your first-round interview, the interviewer will write you a referral to your desired office. The desired office has the option to decline the referral, but if you are a strong candidate and did well in your interview, you may receive a call or email from the out-of-region office of your dreams inviting you to an office interview.
The in-person office interview is the longest interview and thus likely the most stressful, particularly if you are the only candidate from your school interviewing for that location. As with the in-person campus interview, you should emphasize your connection to the region.
Through my recruiting experience, I learned how efficient McGladrey was, and that the lines of communication between offices are open. After discussing my strong ties to South Florida during my campus interview, I received a referral from the Boston office for a position in Fort Lauderdale. When I arrived at the Fort Lauderdale Pre-Office Interview Social, I found the Fort Lauderdale office had a very personable culture, similar to the Boston office, which made me feel very at home. I was thrilled to receive my offer just a few hours after my interview and to reach my dream of working in South Florida.
The out-of-region process can seem lonely, but networking, straightforwardness, and determination will help you to succeed.
Learn more about McGladrey's campus recruiting process: http://mcgladrey.com/Careers/University-Candidates