Ike Nzerem, a recent UMass Dartmouth graduate who earned his degree in accounting, shares his strategy for landing a job fresh out of college.
Building my future
As an accounting major at UMassD’s Charlton College of Business, I joined Beta Alpha Psi, the business honors society led by one of my professors and advisors, Chris Jacobsen. I knew that being in an honors society was something to take seriously, so I decided to position myself for my future career. My mindset and outlook changed in terms of the academic goals I was striving for as a student outside of the classroom.
Benefiting from faculty mentorship
I’m grateful to Professor Jacobsen who taught the accounting 212 and 312 classes I completed. Accounting 212 is the reason I fell in love with accounting. Professor Jacobsen made the curriculum easy to understand and took time to explain and work directly with students. With his guidance, I gained confidence in my potential as a student and that came with me gaining job opportunities as well.
Gaining real-world experience
Early in my academic studies, I knew that employers wanted to see relevant professional experience on applicants’ résumés, so I made sure I secured an internship each summer. During the summers of 2018 and 2019, I interned at State Street, working in the Global Services and Global Operations departments.
In the spring of 2019, I worked at the New Bedford Community Economic Development Center during the tax season to prepare and file taxes for low-income families from New Bedford. I learned a ton of Microsoft Excel skills like VLOOKUP’s, pivot tables, computing functions, how to prepare taxes for individuals, and how to prepare and go through an audit and its many steps.
I am currently working at Novogradac & Company, LLP in Boston as a staff accountant intern. These internships have prepared me for the real world in many ways. I understand expectations in the workplace. I’ve learned how to handle indifferences, effectively communicate, the importance of teamwork, and professional etiquette. They’ve also given me a career outlook. I know what I want to strive for in the future and how to be an individual that stands out.
Launching my career
This summer, I will begin my full-time position at State Street Corporation in Boston as a senior associate in their rotational program within the accounting department.