• Career Q&A

Career Q&A

Whether you’re just starting to explore your options or about to accept a full-time job offer, the decisions you make in college are important for the first part of your career. Here’s what our people have to say about their own experience – as well as advice for future accountants. 

Meet our People


When should I begin the job search?
"Start early. I started talking to firms when I was a sophomore, so I had three solid years of getting to know firms, which helped me make the best decision for me.” – Casey Parsons

What major should I pursue?
"Don’t pick a degree. Pick a career. Start looking at the different things you can get into with each degree and how each career opportunity will work for you.” – Joseph Sakla

I’m only a freshman. Why should I go to career fairs?
"Career fairs are great for pre-interview practice. I used to get really nervous, and I’ve bombed my fair share of interviews. Talking to recruiters in a more informal environment can give you confidence and teach you how to carry yourself.” – Joseph Sakla

I go to a smaller school – what’s the best way to connect with firms?
"As much as firms would love to visit every school, it can be difficult. I went to a small college in Pennsylvania, so I did my research and went to college fairs at larger schools in the area, which helped me make the connections I wanted.” – Courtney Baker-Schroat

I’m not sure if I want to go into accounting. Should I still meet with firms?
"If you’re at all interested in accounting, go! The more face-time you get with professionals, the more information you’ll have to make a decision.” – Madison Evans

How many firms should I interview with?
"Try to talk with every firm you can – and make sure to keep an open mind. Considering lots of firms helps you better understand which ones you like or don’t like... and why.” – Casey Parsons

How many questions should I prepare before an interview?
"A lot of people told me to have ready-to-go interview questions, but after going through the process, I don’t agree. Have a couple of back-ups, sure, but if you ask pertinent questions, rather than rehearsed ones, you’ll come off as more authentic.” – Casey Parsons

How will I know which firm is right for me?
"Go with your gut. I know it’s difficult, but if you make a connection with a person or a team during the interview process, that’s a good sign.” – Courtney Baker-Schroat

What if I don’t like the business line I chose once I start my career?
“No one expects you to know exactly what you want your career to look like from day one. It’s a process. So if you want to explore something new or think another path might be a better option for you, speak up! People are more than willing to help you find your fit.” – Courtney Baker-Schroat

How can I calm my nerves before an interview?
“Take a deep breath, grab a drink of water, and just clear your head for a minute. And remember, interviews are a two-way street. As much as this potential employer is looking for the right person, you’re looking for the right company.” – Joseph Sakla

Why should I consider a firm like BDO?
“It’s easy to think that there are only a select few firms that are worth pursuing if you want to get into public accounting. That’s how I felt for a long time, until I started talking to people. There are a lot of firms out there that can give you career opportunity. At BDO, you can have the chance to get involved in important projects early on and to build real relationships with partners and clients.” – Joseph Sakla

How can I pick a firm when I don’t even know what I want to do?
“If you don’t know what you want to do, or what industry you’re interested in, find a firm that can offer choices. Explore different areas. The path you end up taking might surprise you.” – Madison Evans

What can a larger firm offer me?
“At large or midsize firms, there’s a level of knowledge that can’t be matched. Local or regional firms can have limited resources, so no matter how experienced the partners might be, they can’t know everything about every area. Larger firms have a team of specialists in nearly every single area.” – Madison Evans