The 2020 spring semester will be one that students never forget. At a moment’s notice, campus life was changed from the traditional in-person learning environment to completely online classes and remote coursework. Amid all this, many Broad College students are keeping their spirits up and looking ahead to the next opportunities on their career path.
Daisy Wu, a master’s student in accounting, has already begun her onboarding process as a consulting analyst at the Barthwell Group, a small management consulting firm in Detroit. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, she expects her position at this firm to be mostly unchanged.
She accepted the position in 2019 after initially applying for a different role at the firm. Due to visa restrictions, she was unable to accept the first role, but with tenacity, she landed her current opportunity. “I told them if I was selected for a full-time role, I should get a chance to share the value I can add as a summer analyst,” Wu said.
Although Wu has participated in other internship programs at several of the Big Four accounting organizations, she was excited to join a smaller firm. “At this point in my career, I value the opportunity to work for a boutique consulting firm as there are unique benefits I can gain from experience,” she said.
Wu noted that she will have the chance to shape her specialty and focus, more opportunities to build relationships with clients and greater responsibility at an entry-level position. This kind of exploration is a necessity for students at the start of their careers for great professional development, Wu explained.
Journey to MSU
Before coming to study at MSU, Wu completed her undergraduate degree in Taiwan, where an advisor from Broad’s career center made frequent visits to her university. “During these visits, I began to notice the support that MSU faculty provides,” Wu said. She explained that during the MSU admissions process, Shannon Mulally, director of the M.S. in Accounting program, continued to “show nothing but support,” and Wu said this faculty support was a key reason for her to become a Spartan and follow her passion.
“During my undergrad, I worked in several countries for NGOs, startups and consulting,” Wu said. “During my professional experience, I found my passion in solving problems and making an impact.” Wu said that what she enjoys most is pairing her experience with data insights to find a solution. While earning her master’s, Wu is combining these two passions by double-concentrating in public corporate accounting and information systems.
Although Wu has been fortunate to be able to begin her onboarding process, some firms have rescinded full-time employment and internship offers, leaving many students in a state of confusion. Wu encouraged students in these situations to avoid feeling discouraged as it is not a reflection on them. “The most important thing is to trust your own value,” she said. “Companies extend offers because they see value, and even if circumstances change and the offer is no longer available, you still have value.”
Her advice for students is to use this work-from-home experience for their own benefit. “With everything happening, there are likely to be changes in business and new trends. Find common ground between your passion and new trends and develop that skill set,” Wu said.