Campus Blog: The misconception

By Jamie Goodman

Consultant, Risk Advisory

I used to think it was nearly impossible to land a job at one of the Big Four accounting firms. They only hired extraordinary people, and I was convinced that I would never make the cut. Here’s how I beat that misconception.

The revelation

One day while attending my accounting theory class, I realized that the people who would soon be working for the greatest companies were the same people sitting right next to me.  They struggled through the same textbooks, they wrote the same exams and they received the same grades.  I was determined to become one of them.  By doing some research and observing the people around me, I learned three valuable lessons about how to join this esteemed group.

Lesson 1:  Luck is for leprechauns

The most important thing you need to realize when going after your greatest goal is that successful people are not actually lucky.  They are the people who make a firm commitment to chase their dreams, no matter how out of reach they may seem.  My journey towards becoming a Big Four accountant began when I decided to actively pursue this goal through a calculated plan and a persistent attitude.  Success was not going to happen by accident or by luck.

Lesson 2: Falling is not failing

The second thing you need to realize is that failure is often a good thing.  I used to be incredibly afraid of networking.  To overcome this fear, I attended every networking event I could until firm tours started.  Although I struggled at first, my fumbled words and awkward silences eventually turned into confident conversations and interesting stories.  By the time recruitment season came around, I was a networking machine!  You must accept the fact that every failure is another step towards achieving your goal.

Lesson 3: Free-time is go-time

The last thing you need to realize is that free-time is what successful people use to set themselves apart from everyone else.  I used to spend a lot of time watching football and “hanging out” while many of my friends were gaining valuable skills that you cannot learn in school.  With my new goal in mind, I began filling my schedule with on-campus initiatives, team sports and volunteer work.  This helped me gain a practical skill set while building a rock solid resumé.

The result

After one year of focus and discipline, embracing failure along the way and using my free-time wisely, I successfully achieved my goal of working at Deloitte.  By following these lessons, I know that you can achieve your greatest goals too!

Jamie Goodman is a graduate of Concordia University with a major in Accounting and a Graduate Diploma in Chartered Accountancy. He is currently a Consultant for Risk Advisory in our Montreal practice.

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