“At the end of my interview, my interviewer asked if I had any questions,” said Katie Ruff, a senior majoring in accounting. “I quickly asked the two questions I prepared, and then he looked at me and said ‘Really, is that all you have?’ I panicked, but apparently it wasn’t a deal breaker because I got an e-mail a couple of weeks later inviting me for a second interview.”

For the second interview with Baker Tilly, a full-service accounting and advisory firm with offices throughout the Midwest and East Coast, Ruff drove to the Washington, D.C. office and interviewed with different people in the firm, ending the day having lunch with two first-year accountants and another candidate. And this time, she had no reason to second-guess herself.

“I found out I got the job maybe a week after my second-round interview,” Ruff said. “I got out of class one day, and I had a missed call. It was from one of the partners at Baker Tilly congratulating me on my job offer. It took a little while to sink in that I actually had a job — a ‘real person’ job — and that made me really excited.”

Ruff describes her job search as pretty straightforward, leaning on the Career Development Center, Office of Alumni and Career Services, for on-campus interview opportunities and career advising throughout the process.

“I did everything for my job search through the CDC, and the staff made it so easy — I don’t know what I would have done without them,” Ruff said. “I tell people whenever I can to take advantage of these resources because we are so lucky to have them.”

Now that she’s successfully completed her job search, Ruff is looking forward to starting as a staff accountant in Baker Tilly’s Washington office. She will work on auditing and tax services with clients, helping them with tax concerns and checking the completeness of their financial statements.

“At a lot of big accounting firms, you have to choose right away whether you want to work in auditing or tax services,” Ruff said. “With Baker Tilly, I’ll be able to get experience working in both areas and then decide if I want to specialize in one or the other. In the classroom, all of our questions have answers, but in the real world that is not the case. I’m excited to really experience what accounting is like.”

But before she jumps head first into a career in accounting, Ruff has a goal for her summer break: studying for and passing the CPA exam.