The Growing Importance of the “Accounting Summer Leadership Program”

About The Author: “Bailey Maxwell is an HR Generalist and Campus Recruiter at Bennett Thrasher. She has 7 years in the recruiting field and is entering her 6th fall accounting recruiting season. Her biggest passion by far is helping students prepare for the transition between student and professional, while enabling them with the tools they need to have confidence as they go through the recruiting process. Below is her take on summer leadership programs for college accounting students”

Why Accounting Students Should Attend SLPs

Bennett Thrasher is preparing to host our 6th annual “Break Through” summer conference on June 21st and 22nd. During our conference, we will cover a variety of topics pertaining to the transition from accounting student to CPA, as well as provide networking opportunities for students to get to know our associates.

Offer & Internship Opportunities

As a recruiter I cannot put enough emphasis on how important it is for students to attend summer conferences or “SLPs” as they are commonly called. Six or seven years ago these conferences were summer extracurricular events for students to get to know firms before the fall recruiting season and for the most part were just that. Fast forward to now, almost every public accounting firm hosts a summer conference which is by invite only and more times than not conclude with an offer for a future internship to the student. This is a huge shift from how recruiting has been done in the past and has an effect on not only the students but firms as well.

Recruiting Begins In A Student’s Junior Year

Traditionally the fall semester of a student’s senior year is jam-packed with recruiting events and socials, and they are overrun with opportunities to meet and interview with firms to hopefully gain an internship offer for the upcoming spring or summer semester. Firms are now about a semester ahead of the customary recruiting calendar. It is now imperative for students to apply and interview for summer conferences in the spring of their junior year.

My advice to students is to attend as many conferences as they can and truly evaluate their time with each, to determine if they can see themselves working there. This shift also means that in the fall semester of a student’s junior year they should be networking and attending firm events, as the connections they make in the fall will certainly help them secure an invitation to a summer conference.

Apply Now

The application for the Bennett Thrasher “Break Through” Conference is open until March 9th. Students can apply on their school website. If you have questions about summer conferences or the shift in recruiting please feel free to reach out to me at bailey.maxwell@btcpa.net or call 770.396.2200.