Accountants work in teams and communicate frequently with clients. They need to be able to give presentations, dispense advice and deliver news (sometimes bad news) in formal and informal settings.
Big 4 recruiters will assume you learned to write as an undergraduate, and that your corporate communications professors will sharpen those skills. So during interactions with you they’ll observe your interpersonal communication style.
They’ll assess how you behave in different settings – a friendly cocktail party vs. a formal job interview – and whether you come across as an energetic, effective communicator.
The UNC MAC curriculum includes communications classes, coaching and feedback to sharpen your interpersonal communication skills.
Big 4 recruiters want to hire employees who could become leaders at work and in their communities. They want to hire people who can influence others and make an impact. Leadership skills are critical.
Extracurricular activities, volunteer work and involvement in organizations outside of school are all signs of leadership potential. If you served as an officer or some other leadership capacity, that’s even better.
The last factor that recruiters consider is how well you’d fit in with their firm’s culture. But fit is something you should be considering, too.
Some firms foster collegial environments, where everyone works to support one another. Others emphasize community service and encourage employees to get involved in nonprofits and volunteer causes.
New employees who fit in well with a particular corporate culture are much more likely to be successful there. So as you talk to recruiters about fit, you need to clearly assess what kind of environment you want to work in.
What, specifically, do the Big 4 firms really value? Download our Big 4 Skills Checklist to find out about the accounting skills and soft skills you’ll need to succeed in public accounting.