Accounting Informational Interview

The main idea behind conducting an informational interview is to gain knowledge in a specific area of business. These types of interviews are intended to get advice from a professional in the business world.  I chose to do an informational interview with an account so I can get  knowledge about possible job opportunities and how to reach future goals. It also allows us to gain contacts and get known in the business world. Like they say It’s who you know, not what you know.

Contact Name: Matt Rose
Title: Senior Account Manager
Company: Target
Industry: Accounting

I have known Matt for a few years now from being a family friend. I met with Matt on Thursday March 20 at his home in Lakeville, MN to talk to him about his job at Target and to get some information about a typical day and any guidance he may have for me.

I really enjoyed meeting with Matt and learning about what he does and how he got to where he is today.  I learned a lot from him about things that I am doing well and things that I can improve on, as well as he helped me create a more professional resume. Another Interesting thing he was able to share with me was the difference between public and private accounting since he has worked in both.

What are your educational and career backgrounds? What would you do differently if you were starting over?

My contact attended University of Minnesota and graduated with his bachelors of Economics and an MBA in Finance. He has worked for Regis Corporation, and Legacy Professionals before starting at Target and working his way up to SAO.  One thing he said he would do differently would be to make sure he talked to as many companies and professionals as possible to gain as many contacts as he can.

What are the common misconceptions about working in this field?

I would say the biggest misconception is that the work is boring and tedious, it is rather interesting every day and I get to meet a bunch of new people and get to work with people from all over the place, it is not as boring as many people expect.

What skills do you think are important for somebody trying to get a job in accounting?

He said getting your CPA license is important for college graduates pursuing an accounting job because it makes you more marketable to companies. He says it’s something that company’s look for, and it can help get you in the door at a company. He also said that once you are in a company work ethic and attention to detail are some of the most important element of being successful at your job.

Communication questions

How would you describe the balance between written and oral communication in your workplace?

In this technology day and age the communication in this job is starting to skew more toward email. There are even less phone conversations which makes it more difficult. You must be even clearer and make sure your emails have a positive attitude. He has he enjoys the oral part because it is more personal and you learn more about people through actually talking to them.

Could you please describe the typical kinds of writing you do and tell me a bit about each?

The most typical writing I do is email. I am constantly emailing customers. Occasionally I will write a few business letters to customers or thanking them for their business. I also email other employees on business operations and daily updates to keep them informed.

What do you find most challenging about your day-to-day writing? What challenges do recent graduates face as they move from “academic writing” to “workplace writing”?

The most challenging about my daily writing is making sure my message in understood and nothing gets lost in excessive writing. Sometimes easy business messages can be misconstrued by unnecessary information. That would be the hardest thing graduates have to learn is to be short and concise. Being able to convey the message clearly with as little writing is a talent and a valuable skill that is learned through time. Also being able to decipher when to send messages or when it would be unnecessary is a learned skill too, I find many graduates send useless emails that just waste time.

 

Conclusion

I am glad that the interview went well and I received great information. The informational interview process was a big learning experience for and was a great way to start networking and find out the facts about a future career. I learned it takes hard work and determination to be very successful. It is a big factor if you enjoy what you are doing. Another big factor I noticed is that interpersonal skills are very important. Communication is going to continue to expand and you need to keep up with it. It was also nice to get some insight on both public and private accounting fields.  After having my first informational interview, I can walk away feeling like I have a better understanding of what to expect of a future career and ways to succeed in it.