Pathway to Success


2011 Program Recap

The 2011 Pathway to Success program took place June 25 – June 30 in Chicago. Each evening during the five-day program, a member of BDO’s campus recruiting team posted a recap of that day's events on an internal BDO blog. Click the images below to see what our team had to say:

Day 1

Sunday, June 25, 2011

Tonight kicked off the fifth annual Pathway to Success summer leadership program in Chicago! Everyone made it into town without too many delays. We started the conference off with a welcome reception. All students wore their school t-shirts to show off their school pride. The room was booming with energy as everyone began to get to know one another. It was also the unveiling of the Fall 2011 issue of our campus magazine, InBDO. Tomorrow we will hear from Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Howard Allenberg and Tax Partner Matt Becker in the morning and then put the group on a double-decker bus tour of Chicago in the afternoon.

Each day this week one of the Campus Recruiting Managers is going to blog to tell you all about what is going on. We want everyone at BDO to feel part of the excitement!!

-Stephanie Polon, National Director of Campus Recruiting

Day 2

Monday, June 26, 2011

Our first full day of Pathway to Success has come to a close and it was certainly eventful! We kicked things off with breakfast and then went right in to our agenda. Up first was a presentation of BDO's history by Howard Allenberg. It was a great way to kick things off! Matt Becker, Tax Office Business Line Leader for West Michigan, was up next as our Partner of the Day. The students enjoyed hearing Matt's inspiring path to partner and took away some great lessons for building relationships.

After lunch, everyone boarded the double-decker buses for a tour of the city. We were lucky enough to have sunshine after a bit of rain in the morning. The students were also introduced to their project topics and began working on their presentations.

The evening started with a BDO Counts event. We made knotted blankets for Christopher House, a client of the BDO Chicago office. Finally, after dinner, the trivia competition began. Chris Smith, Audit Partner in LA, hosted our trivia night and did a fantastic job. He kept everyone laughing! I know I am looking forward to his Audit Partner of the Day presentation tomorrow!

It was a great day and we are looking forward to Tuesday!

-Leslie Poot, Campus Recruiting Manager, Central Region

Day 3

Tuesday, June 27, 2011

Day three of Pathway to Success was another agenda-packed day! After breakfast, Chris Smith, National Assurance Partner, kicked off the day with a fun and witty presentation on his successful path to partner. As always, he had the students laughing while leaving them with a lasting impression on the importance of becoming a licensed CPA.

Jack Weisbaum, CEO, followed Chris Smith with a presentation on the state of the firm. The students were impressed that the CEO took time out of his week to be present at Pathway to Success. After his presentation, he found himself surrounded by students who wanted to ask him questions.

A new twist to the program this year was speed networking with BDO partners. Students rotated to different tables every 15 minutes to spend time with different Partners from all over the firm. We held this event just before lunch and the students and partners seemed to really enjoy themselves.

After some project work in the afternoon, the students were able to tour the Chicago office. Finally, we capped the day off with watching the San Francisco Giants beat up on the Chicago Cubs at historic Wrigley Field!! The score was 6-3.

-Derrick Wong, Central Region Campus Recruiting Manager

Day 4

Wednesday, June 28, 2011

Day four kicked off bright and early with our partner of the day, Stephanie Giammarco, Partner in BDO Consulting. Her experience and examples of fraud detection had the students eager to learn more about opportunities within BDO Consulting! The morning ended with some of our client-facing associates and senior associates presenting about a "Day in the Life" of audit and tax associates.

After lunch, the students had a ton of great questions to ask members of our CPA exam panelists, who were also BDO associates and senior associates. "What part of the exam should we take first? Will I have time to finish the exam while working?" were among the many questions fired off to our professionals. Next up, Sabrina Poblete and Erica Peterson did a great job giving everyone a quick “how to” on Linkedin and staying connected. Then our campus recruiting managers took the stage for a Q&A on the recruiting process. The day ended with each region going out to dinner together and then we walked over to watch the fireworks at Navy Pier!

Everyone is looking forward to the final group presentations tomorrow. I can’t believe tomorrow is our last day!

-Sarah Ross, Campus Recruiting Manager, Atlantic Region

Day 5

Thursday, June 29, 2011

Wow, it’s our last day of Pathway to Success! Time has flown by and it’s been great to see how much students enjoy our program.

The day began with breakfast and a brief presentation from Stephanie Polon, National Director of Campus Recruiting, about goals achieved since the students' first day at Pathway to Success. Then came time for students to present as groups on the accounting topics they had been assigned to work on with a BDO professional to guide them. As we spun our BDO Wheel and groups were selected, we found that the students were very comfortable and astoundingly creative with their presentations. Many were skits, which included rapping, a humorous take on Pathway to Success planning, a Glee spinoff and an Inspector Gadget theme ... just to name a few. One group even turned the lights out to highlight their crime scene case! Pure entertainment for everyone.

After presentations wrapped up, students spent time saying goodbye before they went their separate ways back home. From what I’ve seen, many students are already counting this as an event they will remember for years to come that gave them professional networks, information for their future career paths and new friends!

The program was a huge success and we are already looking forward to planning for next year!

-Sabrina Poblete, Campus Recruiting Manager, West Region