Over Spring Break I had the opportunity to sit down and have some lunch with one of the Audit Managers at CliftonLarsonAllen. Tylan Miller, who is an ASU Alum, offered some great insight and advice on preparing for my future. I would like to reiterate some of the things I learned over lunch with you.
- GPA matters! I know this completely defeats everything you’ve been told, like “Your GPA will be irrelevant when you graduate.” This is false. Your GPA is a reflection upon the hard work, sweat, tears, and effort that you’ve put into your education. Of course it’s not going to be the only factor that firms will look at but having a good GPA will help get your foot in the door.
- Network, network, network! Build your professional network! It’s important to start meeting as many people as you can. Building professional relationships is so essential that I’ve written an entire post about it here. Take a moment to look it over, I promise you’ll find some great tips and how you can start building your professional relations during your time as a Sun Devil.
- Internships are important! Although this is pretty much a given, the demand for college graduates who have done some internships in their related fields of interests are extremely high! It’s important to go get some experience. It really shows that you really want to be in the industry you are pursuing.
- Experience is not just working. Tylan said to me, “Experience is just a word that encapsulates hardship, frustration, making mistakes, big time investment, being uncomfortable, blood, sweat, and tears. You don’t get experience by showing up for a job. You get experience by showing up for a career and investing the amount of time and effort it takes to do well.” This is so powerful that there is nothing I can say to elaborate further on it. It’s pure truth. You can apply this line of thought to internships as well. When you intern, you need to invest the necessary amount of time and effort it takes to be as successful as you can be.
- Develop an awesome personality. When you get called back for an interview, it means you’ve most likely met the minimum technical requirements that the job is looking for. However, an interview is done for two main reasons. First, the employer wants to know that you know what your doing and talking about in regards to the position you applied to. Second, the employer is seeing whether or not your personality will be a good fit the company and it’s culture. So, taking the time to learn to talk, work well with others, and basically developing a strong personality, can pay off in the long run.
These are just a few of the things I learned over lunch that I thought might be some good tips to share with you. Hopefully they’re useful!