Business + Entrepreneurship

Strive for Success

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Are you someone who wants the very best out of a product or service?

Whether you enjoy working with numbers through calculations and forecasts, prefer to persuade others toward a specific goal, or have a natural acumen for identifying successful innovations, careers in Business + Entrepreneurship offer ample opportunities for the savvy student. 

As the backbone of economic activity, people who pursue Business + Entrepreneurship are often driven to increase efficiency and profitability through roles such as finance, accounting, management, sales, real estate, operations, logistics, actuarial science, and quantitative analysis to predict future business models. Learn how you can jump-start your career in Business + Entrepreneurship and reach your highest potential.



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Get Hired: Accounting

For complete information on job search strategies, resumes, cover letters, LinkedIn, interviews, and more, review our starter tips to Get Hired in all careers as well as the specialized tips on this page.

Accounting Employer Overview

When applying for formal experience programs or full-time opportunities with organizations, it is important to understand the employers and their recruitment process. Getting hired in accounting requires paying attention to timelines and deadlines, especially with the Big Four firms. It can be easy to miss an opportunity if you do not pay close attention. 

Click below to see the different types of organizations that hire in public accounting.

The four largest firms that offer accounting services to clients or companies. They are Deloitte, Ernest &Young (EY), PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), and KPMG, and their typical services include audit, tax, consulting, and advisory work. Each of these firms recruits on-campus at UCSB and are very competitive in their application process.

Mid-tier firms offer the same services as the Big Four; however, they are smaller in size and scope, focusing on middle market companies while building a niche in a specialty service line or specific region. There are numerous mid-tier firms that recruit from UCSB, such as BDO, Crowe Horwath, and Moss Adams.

There are many smaller firms you can consider working for locally within the Santa Barbara area.  In addition, it is important to conduct research on accounting firms that are located within your hometown if you wish to relocate to a specific location after graduation. 

Beyond the traditional accounting firms, all companies hire accountants. Therefore, you can consider working in industries such as corporate finance (including entertainment and technology companies), government, nonprofit, education, and more. 


Learn More

To see options beyond working in the public accounting sector, check out the Accounting section of What Can I Do With This Major? For more specific companies in this industry, check out Top 25 Accounting Firms and Accounting Career Resources & Guides.


Common Application Timelines

To best prepare for accounting recruitment, there are important timelines to consider for the different types of positions you are applying to. Click below to understand when to apply for the best opportunities for you. 


Maintain your GPA


Attend 'Meet the Firms'
Apply for exploration programs


Participate in exploration programs


Maintain your GPA


Attend 'Meet the Firms'
Apply for leadership programs


Participate in leadership programs


Update your resume and cover letter
Attend 'Meet the Firms'
Apply for internships


Maintain your GPA


Participate in internship


Update your resume and cover letter
Attend 'Meet the Firms'
Apply for full-time positions if you didn't receive a return offer from your internship


Maintain your GPA


Participate in full-time position

Tips for Transfer Students

If you are an incoming transfer student, it is critical to prepare your application documents early because deadlines occur during the first weeks of fall quarter. Because you will not have a GPA at UCSB yet, indicate your community college GPA on your resume. It is highly recommended to participate in accounting recruitment events and apply for internships in Handshake, even if the system indicates that you do not meet GPA requirements.


Accounting Recruitment: Meet the Firms (MTF)

Meet the Firms (MTF) is an event that allows students to participate in large-scale networking and interact with recruiters from various accounting firms. This is a great opportunity for students to ask questions, learn more about the profession, and make connections with recruiters.

Students pay registration fees through the Undergraduate Accounting Society (UAS) in order to participate in this event. Upperclassmen attend MTF during fall quarter while underclassmen attend MTF during winter quarter.

Click below to learn the primary ways to prepare for MTF.

During fall and winter quarter, UAS hosts an event for its members called 'The Gauntlet' to practice before MTF. The event includes a mock interview, a resume critique, and a mock MTF set-up. Typically, students directly interact with representatives from accounting firms during this practice session.

It is recommended to have your resume and cover letter critiqued at the Career Connection office at the UCSB Department of Economics (located in 2119 North Hall). For guidance on content and format, review these sample accounting resumes and cover letters as well as our general pages about Resumes and Cover Letters

Note: It is important to place an estimated CPA eligibility date on your resume because many accounting firms want to know when you anticipate to complete these additional requirements.

Always have a professional introduction prepared -- you never know where an important connection can be made. During the various accounting events held throughout the year, talk to as many people as you can and ask genuine questions that you have about the profession. Learn more about professional introductions on our Interviews and Offers page.

Step 1: Review tips on Interviews and Offers and company websites.

For some accounting firms, visit the company website and review tips they provide for interview preparation.

Step 2: Complete a mock interview on Big Interview.

Practice makes perfect -- begin by practicing your interviewing skills from home.

Step 3: Schedule an Interview Skills appointment with Career Services.

Meet with Career Services to polish your interview points and skills before the big day!

Step 4: Prepare your Interview Attire.

It is always better to overdress than underdress. For the accounting profession, business professional attire is recommended for most interviews, career fairs, and recruitment events, while business casual is recommended for most office visits and some social events. The Career Services Career Closet is open to all students in need of professional outfit. The Career Closet is located in the Career Resource Room (Building 599); utilize our drop-in services to access the Career Closet.

Application Process

Most applications for internships or full-time employment can be submitted through Handshake. It is important to read each job description carefully for all of the specific requirements. In addition to Handshake, some companies will require students to apply externally and submit additional information on their company website. 


When applying for positions, make sure you know what type of interview the accounting firm is holding. Oftentimes, interview slots are provided on a first-come, first-serve basis typically starting at midnight and fill up quickly.

Tips for International Students

It is mandatory to report to the Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS) if you are participating in an off-campus internship and will also need to apply for either Curricular Practical Training (CPT) or Optional Practical Training (OPT). Your internship or full-time job must be related to your economics-accounting major. International students are eligible to apply for a 24-month extension of Post-Completion OPT after graduation if their major is Economics and Accounting. The Bachelor of Arts in Economics-Accounting at UCSB qualifies as a STEM major. For more specific details about CPT and OPT, review our International Students page.

Take advantage of the H1B visas database in GoinGlobal to research U.S. companies that have hired international students for accounting/finance positions in past years. This is a great strategy to leverage if you wish to consider other options beyond relying on getting hired by the Big Four accounting firms.


Additional Ways To Get Recruited

Beyond participating in MTF, there are numerous internship and full-time employment opportunities to consider, in areas such as consulting, finance, government, nonprofits, technology, and entertainment. Search for accounting positions directly on the company’s website or visit our Job Search Strategies page for more guidance. 

Lastly, be sure to visit our Events page to learn how to attend upcoming career fairs and speak with companies who are looking to hire students with accounting backgrounds.


Learn More

Join the email listserv of the Undergraduate Accounting Society (UAS) to stay current on accounting recruitment information at UCSB.

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