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Posted June 15, 2016 by

4 ways joining associations provides networking opportunities

Photo by StockUnlimited.com

Photo by StockUnlimited.com

Joining professional associations is a great way for college students, interns, and recent grads to expand their professional network, stay on top of industry trends, and advance their careers. It’s often the first step in the networking process.

“Whether you are in school or on the job, being part of a professional association challenges you to think outside of your day-to-day pressures, to network, and to learn and grow with others to make you a stronger, more connected professional,” says Jeffrey C. Thomson, President and CEO of the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA®), a nearly century-old membership association and community focused on certifying and advancing the competencies of accountants and financial professionals in business.

Below we look at 4 ways joining industry associations provides networking opportunities for college students, interns, and recent grads:

1. Expands professional and industry contacts
Networking is available at the local and global levels through IMA. At the local level, IMA sustains a network of more than 300 student and professional chapters for networking, educational programs, benchmarking, and best practices. This includes technical finance and accounting topics as well as leadership and ethics. At the global level, IMA provides services to network and learn, including the IMA Leadership Academy which consists of leadership courses and a mentoring program. IMA also offers a variety of conferences, events and webinars and offers a certification in management accounting, the CMA™ (Certified Management Accountant), and has over 80,000 members globally, with offices in the U.S., Beijing, Shanghai, Singapore, Zurich, Dubai and Cairo.

The opportunities vary for each association, but this proves that joining industry associations can provide a wide variety of opportunities to grow and learn at local, national, and global levels.

2. Can lead to new or hidden job opportunities
Expanding one’s professional network allows college students, interns, and recent grads to connect with others who work in the industry where you want to build your career. By establishing and building industry relationships, you find other colleagues with whom you may be able to reach out to for career-related questions, to learn about a company, or perhaps find out about a job opening. For example, if you make a contact at a networking event through an industry association and continue to nurture that relationship, they could eventually simply email you about a job opening at their company when one opens up. You may have never known about that opening if you didn’t connect with that person or people through your industry networking contacts. In addition, you can reach out to these contacts if you are in job search mode. And, you may want to work at a company where a contact of yours currently or previously worked and you can tap them as a resource for your questions or to make a connection with someone doing the hiring.

“Networking can lead to a new or better job if you are displaced or if you proactively seek change because of the relationships you develop through a connected network,” says Thomson.

3. Sets you up for future professional growth
Networking isn’t just about making contacts to find out about jobs. It’s much more than that. Networking, simply put, is about building, nurturing, and growing relationships. You have to give first, ask second.

“It is also about seeking advice to grow businesses and do great things for customers, members, and shareholders.”

Becoming active in an industry association can also help you build your reputation as an expert within your career field. It can strengthen your relationships with industry colleagues and help you become a trusted colleague and professional people can count on. These contacts could someday also become clients, customers, co-partners on projects, and/or even co-workers or your future boss or employee.

4. Provides ongoing networking events
Networking can be difficult, especially for the recent college grad who does not have many industry contacts. And attending networking events is difficult, especially for the introvert. When attending an industry event, go into the event with an open-mind.

“Networking is a mindset,” says Thomson. “Attend an event with the attitude that you want to achieve certain goals.”

For example, for each networking event you attend set a goal to meet at least five new people and take away five new ideas. In return, set a goal of sharing five ideas of your own with those you meet. At every event you attend, strive to “mix it up” and meet new people rather than sit at the same table with people you already know, adds Thomson.

Think of a networking event as a “once in a lifetime” opportunity to learn something new or to impart learning and wisdom to others, says Thomson. Most of all, learn to build relationships.

“Everyone has something to contribute at an event, in their own style, tone and pace,” says Thomson. “Learning content is relatively easy these days with online courses, but learning how to build lasting relationships to achieve great outcomes still requires human engagement.”

For more networking tips, check out our blog and follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Jeffrey C. Thomson, CMA®, CAE, is president and CEO of IMA® (Institute of Management Accountants).

Jeffrey C. Thomson, CMA®, CAE, is president and CEO of IMA® (Institute of Management Accountants).

About Jeff Thomson
Jeffrey C. Thomson, CMA®, CAE, is president and CEO of IMA® (Institute of Management Accountants). Since assuming this position in 2008, Mr. Thomson led the development of a strategy resulting in IMA becoming one of the fastest growing accounting associations in the world, with nearly 30% growth in its CMA (Certified Management Accountant) program and more than 300 student and professional chapters. The IMA headquarters are in Montvale, N.J.

Posted May 11, 2016 by

How to conduct a successful informational interview

Photo by StockUnlimited.com

Photo by StockUnlimited.com

Interviewing is hard. And stressful – especially for the recent college graduate or entry-level job seeker who has limited experience in an interview setting. To gain more experience, and to expand your professional relationships, consider conducting an informational interview. The purpose of an informational interview is to gather information and meet someone who is in a role or company you aspire to be in. It’s not a job interview – the person conducting the informational interview (you) should be the one asking the questions.

“Informational interviews are a good way to get the answers you need to make career choices,” says Bill Driscoll, the New England District President of Accountemps, a division of Robert Half, and the world’s first and largest specialized staffing service for temporary accounting, finance and bookkeeping professionals. “Asking experienced professionals who have specialized expertise about their role and what it involves can give you real-world insights.”

In fact, 36 percent of chief financial officers (CFOs) polled said these meetings are becoming more common, with nearly one-third (31 percent) receiving informational interview requests at least once a month. Job seekers should take note – 84 percent of executives said when someone impresses them in a meeting, it’s likely they will alert that person to job openings at the company.

Although informational interviews are not intended solely to seek a certain position in a company, it can set you up for consideration of future roles if you make a good impression. It could also lead to referrals to other contacts or job openings.

Informational interview etiquette guidelines

There are some basic etiquette guidelines to follow when requesting an informational interview, says Driscoll:

  • First, narrow down who you would ask for an informational interview. Create a list of companies you would like to work for, identify career paths that would suit your strengths and interests, and consider which industries interest you. Once you’ve identified these key factors, do some online research to choose the correct contact to interview.
  • Email is a good introductory mode of communication. Keep it simple – be concise but friendly. Briefly go over your background, state the reason you are reaching out to them, and request a meeting or phone call. Be sure to include why you want to meet that person in particular.
  • Look to your professional network to make an introduction. Seeing a message from a familiar name may increase your chance of getting a response.
  • LinkedIn can help you identify contacts and send messages. Keep in mind that people don’t necessarily log on to LinkedIn each day or check their messages on the site, so you might not get a quick response.
  • A phone call is another option to reach an informational interview candidate. Be prepared with what you’ll say in case you get a hold of the person or their voicemail.

How to prepare for an informational interview

Research the company and person you are meeting. Informational interviews tend to be short, so use the opportunity to ask the questions you genuinely want answered. Come prepared with your list of questions. Things you might want to ask are:

  • How did you get started in this industry/company/career path?
  • What is a typical day like?
  • What are the most important skills required in this role/industry?
  • How did you get your job?
  • Can you name some industry associations that I should join?
  • What do you like most about your company?

Dress professionally for your informational interview – just like you would for a job interview.

“Remember this is a business meeting and the way you dress can say a lot about you,” says Driscoll.

Go into an informational interview with a clear understanding that this is a chance to learn about a career, industry and company, to expand your professional relationships and to become better prepared for future interviews. Just don’t expect it to always lead to a job or job interview with that company.

“An informational interview is a great way to meet someone who can make hiring decisions, but don’t get discouraged if it doesn’t lead to a job interview,” says Driscoll. “The point is to learn and establish an important business relationship.”

When the informational interview is done, don’t forget to show gratitude. Always mail a handwritten thank-you note after an interview and keep your new contact updated on your job search and career progress.

Need career advice as a recent graduate? Go to our blog and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.

 

Bill Driscoll, Accountemps

Bill Driscoll, New England District President of Accountemps

Bill Driscoll is the New England District President of Accountemps, a division of Robert Half, and is based in the company’s Boston office. Bill oversees professional staffing services for Robert Half’s 23 offices throughout Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Connecticut, Rhode Island and portions of New York. Bill is considered a local and national expert on recruiting practices, hiring and job search trends, and other workplace issues.

Ready to begin your job search? Start at College Recruiter today!

Posted October 12, 2015 by

Salary Data and Occupational Outcomes for Business Administration / Management

70.6% of recent graduates in this major are employed full-time. These are the top occupations for recent graduates in Business Administration / Management:
Occupation First Year Avg. Salary Percentage of Business Administration / Management grads in this occupational field
Accountants and Auditors  $41,900 6.6%
First-Line Supervisors of Retail Sales Workers  $35,900 5.2%
Retail Salespersons  $31,400 4.3%
Customer Service Representatives  $31,100 3.5%
Managers, All Other  $42,000 2.7%
Human Resources Specialists  $35,300 2.7%
Financial Managers  $31,500 2.6%
Sales Representatives, Wholesale and Manufacturing, Technical and Scientific Products  $38,400 2.6%
Executive Secretaries and Executive Administrative Assistants  $24,700 2.6%
Sales Representatives, Services, All Other  $45,800 2.0%
Marketing Managers  $44,800 1.9%
Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists  $39,800 1.6%
Securities, Commodities, and Financial Services Sales Agents  $48,300 1.6%
Tellers  $23,700 1.5%
Office Clerks, General  $25,600 1.5%
Emergency Management Directors  $46,100 1.3%
Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks  $31,000 1.3%
Personal Financial Advisors  $46,200 1.2%
First-Line Supervisors of Non-Retail Sales Workers  $42,500 1.2%
Cashiers  $24,300 1.2%
Receptionists and Information Clerks  $19,500 1.1%
Food Service Managers  $33,300 1.1%

Note: Values in the right hand column do not total to 100% as we do not include occupations of less than 1%. Data courtesy of Educate to Career.

Posted October 11, 2015 by

Salary Data and Occupational Outcomes for Accounting Majors

69.4% of recent graduates in this major are employed full-time. These are the top occupations for recent graduates in Accounting:
Occupation First Year Avg. Salary Percentage of Accounting grads in this occupational field
Accountants and Auditors  $41,600 54.2%
Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks  $33,000 2.9%
Financial Managers  $43,400 1.7%
Managers, All Other  $47,500 1.6%
First-Line Supervisors of Retail Sales Workers  $32,900 1.6%
Executive Secretaries and Executive Administrative Assistants  $24,000 1.4%
First-Line Supervisors of Office and Administrative Support Workers  $30,800 1.3%
Emergency Management Directors  $43,700 1.2%
Credit Counselors  $38,000 1.1%
Tellers  $16,500 1.1%
Tax Preparers  $37,000 1.1%

Note: Values in the right hand column do not total to 100% as we do not include occupations of less than 1%. Data courtesy of Educate to Career.
Posted October 06, 2015 by

Top 5 careers with great job potential

Nurse visiting senior female patient at home

Nurse visiting senior female patient at home. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

The most important thing to do when choosing a college major and targeting a specific career is to do a little research on that specific area’s job market. While taking up a career of interest is important for a happy life, it isn’t all sunshine and rainbows in every case. You need to be sure of its job prospects.

Every student’s biggest fear when deciding on a college major is not finding a stable job after graduating. No one wants to invest a huge amount of money and time just to sit jobless or flip burger patties after graduating. This fear is what makes choosing a career the most difficult decision of one’s life. (more…)

Posted April 09, 2015 by

3 Key Steps to Having a Great Career as a Financial Advisor

Financial advisor talking to senior couple at home

Financial advisor talking to senior couple at home. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Financial advisors are becoming more and more important in these turbulent economic times that we are living in. Many people nowadays have realized that job security is not as guaranteed as it used to be a few decades ago. This has led people to look for financial knowledge and advice that can help them stay ahead of the curve.

A financial advisor is a professional who can give financial advice relating to investment vehicles such as unit trusts, mutual funds, stocks, bonds, variable annuities, life insurance as well as many other financial instruments.

To become a financial advisor, you need to be able to love the work because you will spend a lot of long hours on the job. If you work hard and are committed to being good at your job, a career as a financial advisor can be very fruitful for yourself and others. (more…)

Posted April 06, 2015 by

The Best Degrees that will Help you get a Job in the Government

Government search

Government search. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Federal, state and local governments are the largest employers in the country. Some people forego more money in the private sector for job security in the public sector. Most have a commitment to public service. Governmental entities hire many degreed individuals, many of whom do at least a portion of their studies online. Some of the best degrees for getting government jobs follow. (more…)

Posted November 14, 2014 by

Employers Plan to Hire 8.3% More College Grads Than Last Year

NACE logoA number of our employer clients have told me that they’re finding it harder to recruit well qualified recent graduates and students from one-, two-, and four-year colleges and universities as well as graduate schools. I recently saw a study that explains why.

The National Association of Colleges and Employers Job Outlook 2015 report indicated that employers plan to hire 8.3 percent more new college graduates from the Class of 2015 for their U.S. operations than they did from the Class of 2014. There was also substantial growth reported for non-USA positions, although not quite as substantial: non-USA hiring of recent grads and students was expected to increase by 3.2 percent. The overall reported increase was 7.5 percent. (more…)

Posted November 07, 2014 by

London Calling International Students

Beautiful colors of Big Ben from Westminster Bridge at Sunset - London

Beautiful colors of Big Ben from Westminster Bridge at Sunset – London. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Choosing the right college is one of the biggest decisions you will ever make. Rather than letting this daunt you, feel the excitement and put your all into research and planning. If you’re looking for a big change, along with challenges, experiencing a new culture and an internationally recognised education, studying abroad should definitely be one of your options.

But where to?

London was ranked second best city to study in (after Paris!) by QS Best Student Cities in 2012 and, according to The Guardian, it attracts one in nine students who are studying abroad. With fine establishments such as the London School of Business and Finance building its educational-scape, it’s easy to understand the attraction. (more…)

Posted September 19, 2014 by

Hiring for Internships Drops 3.4%

National Association of Colleges and Employers logoCompetition for internships may become that much tougher, as some employers are reducing their hires for these positions.  Learn more in the following post.

While employers plan to hire 1.3% more bachelor’s-degree level interns in 2014 than they did a year ago, overall intern hiring will fall 3.4% in 2014 from last year, according to results of a new survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE). (more…)