Campus Blogs: Passion leads to opportunities

By Richard Ma

Staff Accountant I, Audit & Advisory

My campus recruitment journey began even before I realized it. I had just finished orientation week and I was feeling more disoriented than ever.

I was asking an upper year student for help and advice. He told me to get involved and we talked about some of the clubs on campus. After advising me to apply to various clubs, he told me to add him on Facebook and stay in touch.

Over the next few months I would take his advice to heart. I got more rejections than positions, but because I applied to so many clubs, I still ended up becoming quite involved. At first I applied for positions because my resumé was lacking, but soon I began to enjoy these clubs. This led to me applying for positions even knowing they wouldn’t show up on my resumé.

Getting involved became my passion. When I grew tired of doing homework, I would take a break by doing extracurricular work.  The meetings were something I looked forward to because of the interesting projects and the people I got to work alongside. People often asked me how and why I do so much work, and I told them it’s because I don’t consider it “work.” Everything I did made an impact, whether it was putting on a great event or raising money for charity.

Soon it was winter break, and I had now memorized the names of the Big Four. The upcoming recruitment season was making me anxious, and the planned networking sessions sounded stressful.

Before I had a chance to be stressed by the prospect of networking, I received an email from the same upper year student who had previously given me advice. He was inviting me to a one-on-one coffee with a Deloitte recruiter. This was before I ever stepped into a networking circle, and before I had the change to practice my handshake.

My point in sharing this story is simple. Recruiters don’t want to know the “you” that you present in a networking environment. Your attire, whether it is business casual or formal doesn’t matter. Neither does the font on your business card. They want to know you as a person and what you’re passionate about.  

The campus recruiter had one simple question for me. He asked: “What makes you tick?”

I had my answer. I hope you find yours too.

Richard is a 2nd year student at the University of Waterloo majoring in Mathematics/Business Administration.

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