Ask A Recruiter - Armanino
Career Services Center: Please introduce yourself and tell us a little about Armanino.
Sarah Stricker: My name is Sarah Stricker and I am a Senior Campus Recruiter at Armanino, a public accounting firm. Before Armanino, I was an Assistant Director in the Office of Undergraduate Admission at Santa Clara University and counseled high school students and their family through the application process. At Armanino, I work with undergraduate students through their internship and job search.
Armanino’s goal is to be the most innovative and entrepreneurial firm that makes an impact on the lives of our clients, people, and communities. Our purpose, values, and anchors not only make us stand out, but they also make Armanino a great place to work. One of our core values is having positive energy. It is especially important during uncertain and stressful times like many of us find ourselves in now that we remain positive and see room for opportunity and growth. I’m so lucky to work for a firm that values and harnesses the strength and power of positivity.
Career Services Center: Tell us a little about what makes Armanino a great place to work.
Sarah Stricker: Simply put it would be our values and our people. Even at an entry level we want to hear everyone’s opinion. You do not have to be a partner to be heard and valued at Armanino. We also have an open and collaborative culture. Our culture committee acts like a party planning committee and they host events to bring everyone together. Another example is our Staff Advisory Board (SAB). The members meet with our CEO once a month to come up with new initiatives on behalf of the staff. These are just some examples that make Armanino a great place to work.
Career Services Center: What are the company’s core values? How would you describe the culture?
Sarah Stricker: In addition to positive energy, the company has three other core values: firm first, empowered, and wickedly smart. All decisions, both small and large, should benefit the firm to progress us towards our goals and accomplishments. We also want to encourage and empower our people to follow their ideas and passions. This is the kind of support that can transform success. Lastly, we are focused on attracting, supporting, and retaining wickedly smart people that challenge themselves and each other to push innovation forward.
Career Services Center: What is the first thing you notice when reviewing resumes, and how could all applicants make their resumes better?
Sarah Stricker: I want to see a one-page snapshot of who you are. In your bullet points I want to see your accomplishments and not just the tasks. Your resume should clearly have your name, contact information such as email and phone number, the school you attend, GPA, and CPA Eligibility date. I would always recommend having another set of eyes on your resume. It can be so helpful to get an outside perspective.
Career Services Center: What experiences can really make a candidate stand out?
Sarah Stricker: We seek students who are well rounded. Some examples include leadership experience, involvement in extracurricular activities or clubs, and volunteer experience. We love to see this type of involvement in candidates because they are experiences that can add such great value to an organization. Students with these types of experiences are also more likely to be active employees within our firm and contribute to our overall firm culture in a positive way.
Career Services Center: What are the most common mistakes that students make during the job search and interview process?
Sarah Stricker: Some mistakes we see students make are not attending events to meet recruiters and professionals face to face, not following application directions, and responding to an interview question with one sentence. I love when a candidate can really engage with the questions and provide examples. We encourage candidates to share your personal story to make yourself standout.
Career Services Center: How would you recommend a student reach out to a recruiter or alumnus they haven't met in person?
Sarah Stricker: A quick email introduction or personalized message on LinkedIn is a great way to interact with a firm or company you might be interested in. The goal is to make sincere connections, so make sure to do your research on what exactly you hope to gain as a result of the connection. Do not just ask for something right off the bat, but make sure you are considerate and appreciative of their time. You don’t lose out on anything by reaching out in this way! Don’t be afraid to network and reach out to recruiters and alumni that you have not formally met. These types of interactions can help you gain confidence and experience in the internship/job search.
Career Services Center: What tips do you have for interviewing over video or the phone?
Sarah Stricker: Dress for the interview! We notice when a candidate does not put effort or research into their interview and dressing for the interview is one way to help you get in a more professional headspace. Make sure to do your research before the interview. Share your story and provide specific examples that can help you stand out. Practice your introduction with family or friends to get more comfortable with speaking it out loud.
Career Services Center: What types of activities can students be doing that would look good on their resume if they can't do an internship during the summer?
Sarah Stricker: There are plenty of opportunities outside of an internship that can be valuable for your resume. Take this time to do your own projects, whether it is building your portfolio, learning a new skill such as excel, building a website, etc. Students can also volunteer with an organization or a cause they are passionate about, join or start a club/organization, or search for an on-campus job to name a few. See if your university is hiring tour guides. This is a great way to improve your public speaking and communication skills, which is helpful in any job! Your professors should also be a great resource for this question. They might know of opportunities that could be helpful for your field of interest.
Career Services Center: In hindsight, what do you wish you had known as a new graduate launching your career?
Sarah Stricker: I wish I knew to take my time with it. The job search can take a while, so it is important to start early, but don’t rush it. I was in such a rush to land a job before graduation, that I feel like I did not take the time to make sure it was the right job for me. Make sure you enjoy the work, feel supported by the team, and that the company values align with your values.
Career Services Center: Any final advice or words of wisdom for our students or information about Armanino?
Sarah Stricker: My final piece of advice would be to enjoy your time as a student! You will miss it someday and you want to make sure to appreciate how lucky you are to have had this opportunity and experience. A thank you to those who have helped you get here can go a long way! Lastly, make sure to take advantage of on campus resources while you still have them! Visit the career center, academic advising, network with your professors, go to workshops, games, performances, etc.