Josie Graybeal started meeting with professional accountants during her freshman year of college. By the time she was a junior going into fall recruiting, her networking skills had been honed and polished by the Center for Career and Calling.
“By the time interviews came around,” she says, “I probably knew more than 10 people at each firm, and at all different professional levels, from staff to partner.”
Her familiarity with a number of accounting firms in Seattle gave her a leg up in interviews and a feel for the differences among firms.
She received first- and second-round interviews, and eventually accepted an internship with Deloitte in their tax practice for the summer following her graduation.
“My favorite thing was probably getting to know my colleagues,” she says. “And it’s so important to be able to communicate with your supervisors, whether you are on track or feeling overwhelmed.”
Upon completion of her internship, Josie pursued a master’s degree in professional accounting in taxation from the University of Washington. She returned to Deloitte after sitting for the CPA exam.
“Lots of people think tax is a tedious, mind-numbing profession, but I really enjoy the work itself,” she says. “I’ve gotten to work on everything from huge local corporate clients to high-net-worth individuals to venture capital firms and even international work.”
Josie says the CCC was helpful in perfecting her résumé and cover letters, which helped get her foot in the door at some firms. She built personal relationships with staff who connected her with recruiters and prepared her for interviews.
But networking remains Josie’s biggest key to success.
“More than anything I would say get out and meet as many people as you can,” she says. “As important as it is to have a good GPA and a clean résumé, I think it’s even more important that people can put a face to that résumé and that they know and like you for your personality.”