Accounting & Auditing | BLI Leadership | Legislative / Regulatory | Organizational Development

Six things accounting students want from employers

DSC00244 The top six things students want from their employers as they enter the workforce:

  1. Mentoring with senior people in your organization.
  2. An understand the big picture and why they are doing things.
  3. A career pathway or road map: What are the rules of the game and what do they need to do to get promoted?
  4. Flexibility when possible. They believe work is an activity, not a place to go.
  5. An open-door policy to the senior management.
  6. Involvement and a sense that they are valued for their talents and education.

Our Eastern Shore chapter packed the room in the Guerrerri Student Center on campus for a recent town hall / professional issues update. Our MACPA members love the four hours of free CPE (part of our six-point plan to help our members during the recession).

In these sessions -- designed to update our CPAs about the current issues facing the CPA profession -- we always include a piece on the latest workforce trends and pipeline of employment. We were fortunate to work with accounting educators (Dr. Dombrowski and department Chair Ken Smith) to feature a panel of students from Salisbury University. This year included a panel of six seniors at Salisbury, including two Beta Alpha Psi officers. (Pictured above from left are Matt Beitman, Sarah Kooistra (BAP vice president) , Porchia Brown, Katie Bauer (BAP president), yours truly, Erika Brown and Jinga Rana).

The discussion about social media was also a big hit with our members and the students. The more seasoned CPAs came away with a sense of "I am feeling very behind in this technology." The students really enjoyed hearing the perspective (and, in some cases, fear) of the other generations about how they view these digital natives and their texting, iPods, etc. Both came away with a better understanding of each other -- which is the whole point. Check out some of the photos we loaded on Flickr.

This "net generation" coming through college has a very different set of experiences than the prior generations. Their brains are physically different. They are better at technology, media and collaboration than any of the previous generations. The secret to success is to engage them (and your other team members) in finding the right answer for your organization.

One of our members summed it up well when he said, "These students are much more articulate and polished than I was at that age and they know what they want."

I always love these exchanges. I felt like I was the student and the students were our teachers. Thanks, Salisbury!

You can view a copy of my presentation here.

Our town hall / professional issues update resource center is here.

Here is our social media learning tool for CPAs.

Don't forget to join the MACPA on LinkedInFacebook and Twitter. We also have created Facebook student page (CPA Careers).

Students: Join our Tomorrow's CPA program free at