GIVING STUDENTS A CHANCE TO ‘EXPERIENCE AEM’
Accounting students typically learn about a potential employer through tours or a visiting speaker. While informative, we’ve heard that these types of “information sessions” often leave students without a good understanding of the firm’s culture and day-to-day life. Abdo, Eick & Meyers knew there could be a better way.
More than two years ago, the firm began asking students what they wanted to learn about the firm, as well as public accounting in general. “We knew this was an opportunity to do something that would benefit both students and the firm,” explains Learning Director Jana Cinnamon. “After all, the sooner we’re able to get in touch with students, the better chance we’ll have to draw the best talent.”
Jana and her team listened closely to students and soon had their solution: a two-day intensive program designed to give students “a day in the life of Abdo, Eick & Meyers.”
“Experience AEM” was born.
“To start, we invited eligible students to apply,” explains Jana. “We conducted interviews and eventually chose the 20 best and brightest students to participate.”
On May 22, 2013, the 20 students—hailing from Minnesota State University Mankato, St. Cloud State University, University of Wisconsin (La Crosse and Eau Claire), and Southwest Minnesota State University—converged upon Abdo, Eick & Meyers’s Edina office for the first-ever Experience AEM.
The two-day schedule included a class on Excel tips and tricks for accountants, a new hire panel comprised of one- to three-year level staff members, a lunch and learn on the CPA exam, and, of course, a tour of the Abdo, Eick & Meyers office. Break-out sessions for both tax and audit students took place in the afternoon.
There was fun to be had, too. Group activities included a presentation on selling, a barbeque lunch, and in the evening, bowling at a local hot spot.
After receiving overwhelmingly positive feedback from students, Jana and her team are now looking forward to Experience AEM 2014. “Experience AEM was successful because it focused on more than just our firm,” says Jana. “In addition to an inside look at our firm, it gave students a chance to see if public accounting is really what they expected it to be.”
For Abdo, Eick & Meyers, Experience AEM provided a valuable opportunity to connect with top students—and future interns.