A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of representing Froehling Anderson at a collegiate accounting banquet where we presented a scholarship. As I met students who were at various points in the program, it was clear that they were anxious to learn about how to best steer their career. It seemed that they wanted a magic answer for the direction they could take. I remember feeling overwhelmed too and wondering which direction to move into and which type of firm to work for. It seemed that many of my classmates had already declared tax or audit and I was puzzled at how they could decide this after only a few classes.
As I looked for my internship, one of the few things I did know was that I wanted to work for an organization where I could be challenged, enjoy going to work and still allow me time for my passions outside of work. Froehling stood out to me because quality, creativity and fun were themes within their mission, vision and values. Upon interviewing on campus and later at the office it became clear that they really do strive to provide a work-life balance for their employees. This was very important to me since I was an athlete with a very active lifestyle. Equally, they have given me the opportunity to gain experience in both tax and audit. Froehling Anderson’s theory is to develop well rounded accountants who will grow to be highly qualified business consultants. This philosophy keeps me learning continuously, engaged and challenged.
As I have received exposure to so many areas of public accounting, I can now start to see what areas I enjoy and how to best direct my career. While I look back to the whirlwind that was my transition from student to professional, I am pleased to see how far I have come. I no longer feel that I have to decide my direction today but rather continuously learn, grow and start to shape my career. Through my experience, I have become an advocate for myself and ask for specific work on various projects. There is so much to learn as an accountant and I take pride in the fact that I will continue to grow as a professional each year. It takes dedication, a willingness to learn and a little bit of patience.
As I listened to the students, I realized how far I have come. While I still don’t know the exact path I will take, I have a better idea of where I am going. My advice for students is to be patient and enjoy the journey. Areas of specialty will come, but only through experience. This profession is dependent upon knowledgeable expertise and this only happens through exposure to various disciplines, time and experience.