By Kevin Reiser
Last Saturday August 13, I attended the Armanino McKenna Sophomore Leadership Conference (for incoming juniors). Armanino McKenna is one ofCalifornia’s biggest Consulting and CPA firms. I had heard about sophomore leadership conferences for the Big Four firms but I never actually got around to applying for any of them. I applied to the Armanino McKenna Conference to get a mid-size firm feel. The Big Four leadership conferences are often two day events but AM’s was one day only.
We were told ahead of time about the structure of the day by Kevin Turco, the campus recruiter for Armanino McKenna. When I arrived everyone was very friendly and I soon realized that they had a lot of employees for this event, even on a Saturday! There were about forty students there, mostly from around the Bay Area. It was clear from the start that this conference was not about presentations about the company only; instead it was designed to teach us other important things about our career choices and the in-and-outs of accounting jobs in general.
The first couple hours of the day were devoted to a True Colors presentation which helped to pinpoint the type of person we are in our personal lives and also in the work place. They taught us about the different people we work with and the best strategies to improve work (and classroom) relationships. After a delicious lunch, we listened to Rebecca Ryan, a public speaker from outside the firm who gave an invigorating talk about her life experiences and how it was working in many different industries. She also spoke about what kind of person is successful and happy inside and outside the work place. After that, we had the chance to ask questions of the senior leader panel including the managing partner who answered deep questions about work-life balance. Lastly we were able to talk to individuals one-on-one and they gladly answered questions about the jobs they do.
Overall it was a valuable experience and I’m pumped to enter the accounting field even more after this conference. The people at Armanino McKenna helped answer a lot of questions I had about the career in general and finding answers like this can be tough to find elsewhere.