My name is Jeff Pai and I’m an Accounting major. I am really excited to start my first accounting-focused job! I look forward to working at Withum, a local firm here in Southern California. I was born and raised here and this opportunity lets me connect with, learn from, and work with companies in the community I grew up in. I’m also a very hands-on learner, so having the opportunity to apply all the accounting concepts I learned in class to real-world practice gives me the chance to expand on my education!

Practice, practice, practice – that’s my strategy. You really have to be comfortable with the uncomfortable when it comes to interviews and job searching. I worked very closely with the Accounting Society and the Argyros Career Services in order to get this internship. In Accounting Society, I attended all the speaker meetings, mock interviews, resume help, and networking opportunities. This got me in the door and also helped me get a little taste of what it would be like to recruit for all the firms. Next, I set up weekly sessions with Tuanni Vasconcelos to really practice and hone my interview skills. Beyond that, you really have to just take the leap of faith. It’s impossible to practice ALL the questions that could come up, but once you practice enough, you build a nice repertoire of stories and skills you can weave together to answer just about any question. It’s all about getting to know yourself more and also trying again and again.

Don’t worry about others and focus on yourself. I shook many hands, got many business cards, met nice people, got yelled at, and pushed aside – I went through it all. There were many days where all I heard about on LinkedIn were just friends and classmates getting great jobs and internships.  Everyone except me. I’m the type of person who always has a plan. When nothing goes your way it really hurts. However, I was reminded by Dr. Castaneda and Tuanni to forge my own path because there is no one size fit all model. Don’t give up and keep trying! Remember to be yourself because everyone is already taken!