Transitioning from Hockey Journalist to Staff Accountant: Your Experience Might Be More Applicable Than You Think

By Michael Stuart

Staff Accountant | Assurance & Advisory

I remember walking into the Deloitte office for my interview just over one year ago. I had so many things running through my head.

“Is my tie tied right?”

“Do my socks match?”

“How does my experience click with what Deloitte is all about?”

Those were just a few of the questions that had my nerves running at a million miles per hour on that crisp autumn afternoon.

Let me rewind for just a moment.

Prior to joining Deloitte, I didn’t have an ounce of extracurricular accounting experience. Going through recruitment, I was really nervous about that. In fact, one of my biggest fears heading into the recruiting season was my belief that I lacked applicable experience for a job with Deloitte. I worked as a hockey journalist and golf caddie while going through school. What do those things have to do with accounting, right?

It was only after talking to people from the firm that I realized one very important thing: Applicable experience comes in all shapes and sizes. Consider my pre-Deloitte resume as one of many examples.

Writing about the Tampa Bay Lightning and running around golf courses might not seem like the most relevant experience on the surface, but it turned out to be a whole lot more applicable than I originally thought.

Working in journalism gave me the opportunity to develop my writing skills. It taught me how to work with deadlines. It offered me the chance to serve a dedicated and engaged group of “clients” (i.e. readers).

Caddying on a professional golf tour allowed me to develop relationships with people from all over the world. It taught me how to manage stressful situations. It gave me a chance to work in a dynamic environment.

Those are all skills I use each and every day here at Deloitte.

So, it turns out that writing about Steven Stamkos and carrying a golf bag did provide me with skills and experience that have translated to working in the accounting world after all.

The point here is that what really matters is the experience inside the experience. It’s not necessarily the job title that counts, but rather the skills you’re able to develop and refine while working as a hockey journalist, or golf caddie, or whatever else.

Think about your work experiences, whatever they are, and you’ll likely realize that you have a lot to bring to the table. Be confident about it. I’m sure previous accounting experience is a great asset, but it’s not the only experience that can make a difference during recruitment.

Michael graduated from University of Alberta with a Bachelor of Commerce. He is currently a staff accountant in our Assurance & Advisory practice.

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