Middle Market Firms and Big Four Firms
During your recruiting semester as an MPA you will face the decision concerning what company(s) you want to apply for. The best way to figure this out is to attend all the events and information sessions that these companies hold for you. I know this is repetitive and we probably have been told a million times to “attend all the events” and “gather as much information as you can”. However, it has become clear to me this semester that it really is the best way to make a knowledgeable decision about which type of company(s) will be the best fit for you. For example, anyone interested in public accounting has to decide which firm size/type fits you.
A brief word of advice, try to not silo yourself into just the big four or just middle market firms. Really make the effort to go into recruiting open-minded. Try to give ALL of the firms a chance.
The middle market firms BDO and UHY held their own event the second week of school to give students information on why they are also excellent companies. I was very surprised to see the small turn out of MPA students at this event. There was around less than half of the students at the middle market firms’ info sessions than there were at the big four info sessions. The BDO/UHY event was really nice with catered food following their informative presentations. I learned a lot of new things about these companies and the differences between middle market firms and the big four firms that I had not known before attending their event. I also gained some more exposure talking with partners and recruiters, which can only help me in the long run. And hey, practice makes perfect, right?
Your major takeaway from this post: Be open-minded during recruiting. You might regret it later if you look back and realize you limited yourself in your choices. I actually gained a lot of perspective from attending BOTH the middle market and big four info sessions. In turn, I feel more confident in my choices and in my ability to talk with recruiters. All of these companies really are great choices. Let’s face the hard part though, you will have to choose just one of these firms eventually. The ultimate goal during recruiting is to ensure your own happiness with whatever choice you make for your internship/potential career. You can only do this by putting yourself out there and attending all the events set out for you.