Utilizing Career Connection

How will I choose a career in Economics?

Career Connection is committed to helping students in the Economics or Economics & Accounting major enter careers that best utilize their skills and interests. Students can attend one of our Alumni Engagement Programs to gain a better understanding of what career paths may interest them. Students can also utilize our Peer Advising Program to speak to Upper-Division Economics students for career advice. For more information, please see the Job Opportunities tab. We welcome students of both Majors to visit the Career Connection office and see how our staff may assist you in choosing a career. Please see the sidebar for our drop-in hours or schedule an appointment via email.

I am an employer seeking to advertise a job or internship listing. How can I get in contact with Career Connection?

If you would like to post a job or internship listing to the Career Connection blog, please send an email of your posting to econ-careerconnection@ucsb.edu. Your listing will be advertised to a targeted group of roughly 600 Economics and Economics & Accounting Majors. We are also happy to promote any professional events that might appeal to our students. If you would like to reach all UCSB students, you can post your listing on UCSB’s Handshake system. Your listing will be advertised to roughly 13,000 university students from all majors. More information on Handshake can be found on the Career Services website.

I am a UCSB Economics alumnus or a career professional interested in advising students who are in the Major. How can I offer my time to Career Connection?

Thank you for your interest! Many students find it valuable to speak with someone in their aspiring field as they transition from college to the workforce. If you would like to offer your time for an informational interview, a mock interview, seminar series, or other form of professional advising, please contact our Career Connection Coordinators.

Interviewing Etiquette

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 most positions, 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.

CPA Requirements

Do I have to be in the Economics & Accounting Major to get my CPA?

Not necessarily. We advise that the best way to get your requirements for the CPA is to be in the Economics & Accounting Major. You will not be able to take Upper-Division Accounting courses unless you are in the Major.

Do I have to complete the total 225 quarter units required for licensure before graduation?

No. With the Economics & Accounting Major, you should have 36 quarter units of Accounting subjects and 36 quarter units of Business-Related subjects upon graduation. This will allow you to sit for the CPA exam in California, but please double-check prior to graduation, especially if you are a transfer student. However, most firms will want you to have the 225 units required for licensure before you are working.

If I study abroad during my time at UCSB, will those credits count towards the CPA?

Yes. Courses that you take during a Study Abroad Program run through UCSB will show up on your official transcript. As long as the course titles meet CPA requirements, they will apply towards your CPA coursework. Most commonly, students can find Economics classes that count towards their Business-Related Subjects requirement or towards the total 225 units needed for licensure.

In most cases, Career Connection does not recommend studying abroad during the fall of your Junior year. This is when a majority of accounting recruitment takes place. It is in your best interest to be on campus during this time.

Do classes taken on a Pass/No Pass basis count toward CPA course requirements?

Yes, they count as long as you Pass. However, we advise that all of your Accounting courses are taken for a letter grade, as this is what firms will want to see on your transcript.

Do both Upper-Division and Lower-Division classes count toward the CPA course requirements?

Yes, both levels of coursework count. There are currently no requirements that any of the units required for the CPA be Upper-Division.

Can I list a class more than once on the planning worksheet?

No, classes may only be listed once.

Do courses taken through UCSB Extension meet CPA course requirements?

Yes, Extension courses count towards the total 225 units needed for licensure. They may also count towards the subject unit requirements if they have the appropriate course title.

If I have taken the same class at two different institutions (e.g. community college and UCSB), will all of the units count toward the CPA requirements?

Yes. Because community college coursework will be documented on a separate transcript from the UCSB transcript, you are allowed to count all the units (make sure if it's a semester institution that you convert the units to quarter units by multiplying by 1.5). However, if you repeat the same course at the same school, you cannot count the units twice.

Do Advanced Placement (AP) credits from high school count towards the CPA?

Yes. AP credits will count towards the total 225 credits needed for licensure. There have been cases where credits will count towards your Accounting, Business-Related, or Ethics unit requirements, and some cases where AP credit does not count towards these subjects. We recommend only counting APs towards your 225 total unit requirement, not the subject unit requirements needed for licensure.

I will fall short of the CPA course requirements by one or two courses. What should I do?

Many students are in this situation. We recommend that students consider taking classes at local community colleges or at UCSB Extension during the Summer or Fall after graduation. Many of these classes are offered online and can be flexible to meet your post-graduation schedule.