By Peter Kolos, Graduating Student – I remember getting the acceptance letter into Kellstadt July 9, 2009. I was really excited to get a new start but was worried that I could not keep up. Now is has all paid off, and I’ll get my Master of Science in Accountancy degree this June.
I was happy to get a fresh start at Kellstadt after my real estate business did not work out. I was also nervous because I had been out of school for about nine years. Besides taking a couple of accounting courses as an undergrad at the University of Illinois at Chicago and doing my own books, I did not have much accounting experience.
I went to the Career Center as soon as school began in September 2009. The first thing I did was to get my resume nicely formatted and updated. They are really helpful there with not just resumes but with the entire hiring process, from getting set up on DePaul Experience, the jobs posting site for MBA/MS students, to interviewing and more. They also help you complete a thorough online career assessment profile to determine what you may like and be good at.
Another way I got involved was by joining student groups. I joined Beta Alpha Psi (BAP)
and Graduate Students for Accounting
. I ended up being the VP of Chapter Promotions for BAP this past year and worked as a graduate assistant in the Accounting Department. Depending on how much time you have, I would encourage you to get involved in at least one organization and attend their networking and social events. I would say being involved in one organization versus having two, three or four on your resume is a lot better in the eyes of recruiters.
I'm glad I did all of that and now it has paid off—I have a full-time position at a public accounting firm lined up for the fall and I graduate this month! My advice to other students is to make friends, network with the professors and other students, and study hard. It is a lot of hard work but believe me if you are focused and pursue your goals from the get-go, the hard work will pay off. Most importantly, have some fun and enjoy the collegial life because it goes by extremely quickly! Peter Kolos is graduating with his Master of Science in Accountancy degree from DePaul University in June 2012. He welcomes questions from the Kellstadt community and invites students and alumni to email him.