COVID-19: The Career Connection Office is currently closed due to COVID-19. Please email us or set up a virtual meeting for advising.
Career Connection staff is available daily to provide students with career-related advice, from resume writing to choosing a career. A significant portion of staff time is devoted to advising students about options for fulfilling CPA licensing requirements, more information for which can be found in the CPA Requirements tab. Below is more information about Suggested Plans of Study, Resumes and Cover Letters, Interviews, Graduate Education, and our Peer Advisors.
Resume and Cover Letters
Your resume and cover letter are the first impression an employer will have of you. These documents reflect your most relevant experiences and qualities and are the basis by which you will be selected for an interview. We suggest reviewing the Resume Guide, Cover Letter Guide, and sample resumes in the sidebar prior to creating a first draft.
It is highly recommended that students come to our office for a professional resume review. If you would like to have your resume and cover letter critiqued by our office, please bring printed copies. Below are a few resume templates to help get you started:
The following are some common concerns students have when interviewing for internships or job positions. We recommend reading through this information and reviewing the Interviewing resources in the sidebar as part of your preparation.
- How do I respond to an interview offer?
Schedule a mutual time between you and your employer. Usually, the employer will give you a frame of reference (e.g. “Could you let us know when you are available next week?”). If your schedule permits, you should try to schedule the interview as far in the future within the employer’s timeline as you can to allow for the maximum amount of preparation. Consider what time of day you tend to do your best work and if you will have enough time to study before your interview. Once you have determined a mutually agreeable time, respond to the employer as soon as possible.
Try your best to stay within the employer’s suggested interview timeframe. If you cannot make the interview within the employer’s timeframe, do not be afraid to say you are unavailable in a friendly manner and suggest alternative dates/times. If the employer is already interested in interviewing you, requesting a different time will not lead them to revoke an interview offer.
If you can pick the time of your interview, try to give employers multiple options. They often have to coordinate with multiple interviewers who are also busy.
- What do I wear to an interview?
Dress for the job that you want. For instance, a student who is interviewing for the position of an Investment Banker should be dressed as if they are meeting with a client. First impressions are critical, and when in doubt, you should lean toward dressing up. You want to show the employer that you are taking this opportunity seriously.
Make sure you are comfortable in what you are wearing. You do not want to be distracted by the fit of your clothes.
Do not let your clothes distract from your personality. It is fine to show off your style, but your clothes should not speak for you.
- How do I prepare for a first interview?
The first interview could be an in-person interview, virtual interview, or phone interview. In almost any position, the first interview is usually behavioral: the company is trying to find out more about you, your personality, and how you fit within the culture of the firm. That being said, you should be ready for a couple of technical questions, as employers are also trying to gauge whether or not you should go on to the next round.
If possible, try to use websites like Glassdoor or Vault to see if you can find interview questions for your particular position at that company. It is also helpful to research popular interview questions and practice answering as many of these questions as you can.
- How do I prepare for a second interview?
The second interview is typically in person at the firm’s office. The firm may pay for a flight and hotel for the day of your interview. Second interviews are usually longer, with senior staff, and are typically much more difficult than the first interview. Often, second interviews are with several different staff members from different departments of division of the firm - people you will be working with if you get the position.
Your studying for the second interview should be much more technical. You may have to complete a challenge or solve a problem in this interview. The firm wants to see how you work under pressure and your capacity of problem-solving.
- How do I prepare for a third, fourth, or fifth interview?
Many firms have more than just a couple of interviews. It is incredibly expensive, labor-intensive, and time-consuming to train new employees, so employers will want to be sure that you are the right fit.
Financial and Consulting firms often have interviews called “Superdays,” where all the candidates are flown to office headquarters. Candidates are put through an intensive day of interviewing, problem-solving, and networking.
If you are on a fifth interview and do not feel any closer to getting the job, there is an appropriate way you can inquire about when you might hear about the position and if there is anything else the firm needs from you. That being said, patience is the best policy when waiting for a hiring decision. There is often a lot of red tape involved in hiring because it is such an expensive and time-consuming process.
Graduate Education for Economics and Accounting
- Preparation for a Masters in Accountancy
Many students continue their Accounting education through a Masters program. Masters programs in Accounting are generally one year full-time programs. There are programs students can complete while working part-time, but these programs typically take longer. Most Masters programs have their own recruiting schedules, and they work very hard to get students positions upon completion.
Reasons why students may consider getting a graduate degree in Accounting
- You would like to obtain more experience in Accounting before going on the job market
- You would like to make yourself more competitive after completing your undergraduate degree
- You do not meet the credit or unit requirements for the CPA
Applying to an Accounting Program
Entrance requirements for a Masters in Accountancy vary significantly from school to school. Some schools require the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) and the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT). Some schools have rolling admissions, and others have specific deadlines for applicants. Please refer to AccountEdu.org for more information about specific Accounting programs.
- Preparation for MBA Programs
Typically, students do not pursue a Masters in Business Administration directly after their undergraduate education. MBA programs can range in duration, but a full-time program will typically last for two years. Most competitive MBA programs will look for students who already have some professional experience.
Reasons why students may consider getting an MBA
- You desire to gain access to a large business network
- You desire to obtain a career in an upper management role
- You wish to gain a potential salary increase
Applying to an MBA program
The following are materials commonly required for application to an MBA program:
- Bachelor’s Degree or equivalent from any major
- The GRE or the GMAT
- Work experience (highly suggested)
- Required essays or writing samples
- Admissions interview
- Preparation for a Masters in Economics
Masters programs in Economics span one to three years and are aimed at placing students in government and private sector positions. Some students will also pursue a Masters degree in Economics prior to pursuing their PhD, but this is not always necessary.
Applying to a Masters Program
If you are thinking about getting a Masters in Economics, it is in your best interest to start preparing early in your undergraduate career. This includes taking more Mathematics courses, gaining research experience, and making connections with your professors - more than what you’ll gain solely from the Economics undergraduate major.
- Preparation for a PhD in Economics
The length of PhD programs in Economics may vary, but typically span five to six years. PhD programs generally focus on getting students academic positions with research universities, but many students also pursue careers in the private sector.
Reasons why students may consider getting a PhD in Economics
- You love intellectual pursuits and being a scholar. The idea of making discoveries excites you
- You enjoy math and are skilled at it
- Studying formal models in Economics courses is the best part
- You are comfortably studying 70-90 hours a week
Applying to a PhD Program
If you are thinking about getting a PhD in Economics, it is in your best interest to start preparing early in your undergraduate career. This includes taking more Mathematics courses, gaining research experience, and making connections with your professors - more than what you’ll gain solely from the Economics undergraduate major.
Please refer to the links below for helpful information on choosing and applying to a PhD program:
The Department sponsors a Peer Advising Program throughout the academic year. Outstanding Upper-Division students are employed and trained to offer assistance with career advising, CPA advising, internship and job advice, among other general office duties. Every Career Peer is well-trained in providing assistance across a wide range of career concerns.
- Meet Our 2020-21 Peer Advisors
Andrew Cheng: Andrew is a third-year Economics & Accounting major who is also pursuing the TMP certificate. He is from Arcadia, California and plans to work for PwC after graduation. Andrew is very passionate about business and entrepreneurship and sees them as ways to solve issues such as access to sustainable energy and education. Outside of school, he enjoys playing volleyball, doing Jiu Jitsu, and cooking.
Cassie Gao: Cassie is a third-year Economics major and part of the Dean's Honors Program in the Department of Economics. This past Spring, she worked as an investment analyst intern at JD.com, and most recently, she interned on the equity research team at Allied Millennial Partners. Additionally, she finished the Strategic Investment Program and is currently on the team of the Dean's Investment Group.
Nate Kim Nate is a senior at UCSB majoring in Economics and Accounting with a minor in Music. He has previously interned in investment banking and corporate finance roles and will return as a Financial Analyst in Cisco's Leaders in Finance and Technology (LIFT) rotational program upon graduation. In his spare time, Nate enjoys playing the guitar and following developments in the tech industry.
Spencer Sween: Spencer is a fourth-year Economics and Mathematics major who holds a strong interest in Economics research. Throughout his undergraduate experience, Spencer has contributed to several academic research papers, worked for a hedge fund, and interned at the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. He invites students to reach out to him at the Career Connection Office to talk about research opportunities or related career paths!
Suggested Plans of Study
The following are suggested plans of study for the most popular careers or degrees that Economics students pursue following their undergraduate education. Please note that these are only suggested schedules, and will be different according to each student’s needs.
Schedule an Appointment
Have the following information:
- UCSB Perm Number
- Reason for appointment
- 3 dates and times that you're available in the afternoon
Bring a printed copy of your resume or cover letter if you would like them critiqued
Resumes and Cover Letters
Student Clubs and Organizations
Connect and explore career opportunities in Economics and Accounting