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I'm a fourth year BCom student and I didn't manage to get into one of the top accounting firms. I still have a few courses to take and I was planning to take them over the summer if I got a job. But now that I didn't, I'm not sure what to do. I can take my courses in the fall (and add a few finance courses on top of my accounting courses) and go for the January recruitment, I suppose. I'm a bit lost... not to mention very disappointed and deflated. Help!

Confused Student

Sherry's advice

Dear Confused,

I'm sorry that you didn't get your dream job! It can be very disappointing, but remember that this is a very, very competitive process and you are probably competing against the best for these jobs. The main thing to think about now is: 1) what is your main goal and 2) how do you get there? It sounds to me like you really want to get into a top accounting firm. They obviously have very set recruiting schedules and you did not manage to land a job in this round, so it's over in terms of the type of job you want for this year's go around.

If you want, you can 'settle' for other jobs, which is always an option (whether in accounting or not). If this is not an option for you, then what you need to do is to maximize your opportunities during the next go around. You need to spend your summer wisely. Can you get a summer job that makes your profile more appealing? What ARE the types of summer internships opportunities that would make your prospective employers interested in your experience and skills set? Do you know who got what jobs? If you have gone through interviews, do you know why you were passed over?

I would guess that working at a retail store as a clerk or serving food at the local cafeteria would not get you closer to an accounting job. However, posting ledger items at the finance department of a faculty at school might look good on your resume as an experience. Have you met with alumni who are working with the firms in the jobs you want? Find out what made them stand out from the rest of their classmates. Learn to talk the talk and walk the walk.

A few places to do your research would be at Vault: , Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants:, GCAs of Canada: or CMA of Canada:

Get in touch with the career centre at your university - they provide free serivces that you have already paid for in your student fees and they work with studnets in your situation all the time. Your options differ depending on your past experiences, your interpersonal skills, your networking, your grades and your attitude. Find out what employers are looking for to help you decide how best to spend your next year. Stay focused and if already you know what you want to do, do not waiver from that goal by taking on jobs that do not add to your resume.

Good luck!

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