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Miles Johnston

Try to get experience while you're still in school with small companies.

What have been the most defining moments along your career path?

I'd been working part-time at a major corporation trying to get a foot in the door with the accounting department. But, it seemed that all the accounting jobs require 2+ years experience and full time hours. I wondered if there were any jobs out there for college students graduating within a year, that don't require full time work. A friend suggested I try a small company. I took a leap of faith and left the major corporation to work for a small company. It seemed like a gamble at the time, since working for a large corporation could look better on a resume, but I wanted more experience. I knew I just couldn't break in at the corporation level and I had to try something. Turns out the smaller company was a better option for me.

How did you get your big breaks?

A friend knew of a small company that need some part-time accounting help.

What was the best advice you received when you were first starting out in your career?

Try to get experience while you're still in school with small companies. They usually need help as they grow. If you have some accounting skills like excel, basic math, quickbooks, and office skills in general, they might have a need for you. You'd be amazed how many small companies don't really need a full-time accountant but can really use someone who can help with the accounts payable tasks. The duties can vary from posting bills in quickbooks and processing checks, easy things like that. It's a great path to start gaining accounting experience.

What have you learned from your experience?

You learn more by doing it. Real life experience is so valuable.

What would you like to have achieved by the last day of your career?

I'd like to work for one of the top firms.

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