Secrets of the Temple

by Thomas Cleary

As a new student of Baruch and the Zicklin School, I am constantly figuring things out on the fly.  Some troubling complications can be as simple as knowing which way your card faces as you slide it through the reader at the turnstile. (picture away from you).  Or the vertical campus elevators and the confusion they caused the first time I walked on for a ride.  These issues are comical in the grand scheme of things, of course.  My biggest conundrum is deciding which strategy is best as I start an accounting program and try to get placed in my “dream” job:  Do I work as I go to school? Or, do I focus on school (which implies straight-As) and join as many clubs can?

If I work, then Manhattan will truly become my campus – sprinting on and off subway cars and dodging nuts-for-nuts carts as I try to get across town for class.  Sounds like fun, right?  I’m not too sure.  Will the part-time work truly help my career? It will most certainly help my budget and allow me to take my partner-in-crime out to dinner more, but will it help me get the full-time work I dream about? That’s the question I ask myself every day.

Studying full-time and “getting involved” means that when I apply for an internship at Ernst, Price & Deloitte, I will fit the mold.  I will utilize the library (as long as I stop swiping my Metrocard at the entrance) and hopefully do a good job networking around campus.  Many of the professors have connections to the firms we all wish to work.  Knowing my name, at the very least, may be enough to have them to make a phone call.

I have gone on a few interviews found by my temp agent, Miriam, who is a lovely older woman.  She offers me the opportunity to make several hundred dollars a week and, possibly, work under a CPA.  The money would cover the amount of money I receive to the cost of tuition, which would cut my debt in half.  The experience may also lead to a permanent position.  It may even give me more skills.  The best job, for me anyhow, would be under a CPA so I can have my required experience signed off on.

I cannot decide.  One day I make up my mind, then the next I’m mad at myself for being so stupid.  If only I had a crystal ball. In the end there are many paths that lead to the “dream job”, but I’m definitely on the one that twists and turns its way to the destination.

The day before classes started a seat in Business Law opened up, giving me a full course load and a chance to be that much closer to graduation.  I finally concluded that part-time work wouldn’t help my career; I enrolled full-time and decided an all-out pursuit for a summer internship at a top firm would be best.

I walked into the VC happy that I successfully navigated the turnstile – enough said.  Past the endless sea of legs and heads ascending and descending the stairs to the elevators that I knew went to the eleventh floor,  where I was one of the many that protected my goods (in all sense of the word) as I squeezed on board.

My initial experience at Baruch has been great.  I toiled over a challenging decision, but, after first impressions, I though full-time study and getting involved – like clubin’ it with ZGAS (Zicklin Graduate Accounting Society) – was my best shot at landing my dream job.  Also, I need to give a shout out to The Hairy Monk for being my post-exam bar of choice. They root for my Red Sox, but everyone should visit. (Try the Monk Nachos, they are delicious).  I wish all new and veteran grad students the best of luck. I hope to see you around so we can talk job placement strategy.

2 Responses to “Secrets of the Temple”
  1. Emily McMillen says:


    Great post. It’s nice to see how baruch looks to a newer student. When I first started I had the same dilemma as you. Concentrate on just being a student full-time or add a part-time job to the mix. I ultimately chose to work part-time and I think in the long run it has helped me now that I will be working for Grant Thornton. I gained work experience while being able to show recruiters that I had the ability to multi-task and diversify my interests while still maintaining a decent GPA even if it wasn’t exactly 4.0. I think your potential opportunity to work for a CPA is something worth considering. It will look great to the B4 accounting firms as well as others you may be interested in
    so I hope you decide that it is something you can handle.

    Best of luck this semester!


    • Thomas Clary says:

      Thank you, Emily. Seeing people do well out of Baruch is wonderful, so congratulations on your job. I am sure it is well-deserved. I normally would work while going to school, but nothing too interesting has popped up.

      Anyway, you should share your experience with incoming students as much as you can. Would you like to get some coffee with me, perhaps?

      Thanks for the response!


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