Baker Tilly representatives talk to students about transition to workplace

As many students prepare for summer internships or their first full-time job in their industries, Baker Tilly representatives Patrick Welteroth and Karri McClellan spoke to students in BA 297 Career Planning and Strategies about the transition from college to the workplace.

Some of the topics they covered included how to learn about and meet expectations in a new position, manage time and prioritize assignments and exhibit professionalism in communications.

“Email and written communication have changed so much in the past few years,” said McClellan. “I see a lot of interns and new employees who don’t come across as professional in their email communications at work.”

Some of McClellan’s and Welteroth’s tips for email communications, as noted in their presentation, included to think about the intended audience and message, always use spell check, and avoid using emoticons, abbreviations and caps lock.

That sense of professionalism should transfer to employees’ in-person demeanor, too, say McClellan and Welteroth—both in and out of the office. McClellan said that some interns and new employees forget that professionalism is just as important at firm-sponsored, after-hours social events.

“You have to think about the big picture,” said Welteroth. “You have an image to uphold, and you are a representative of the company.”

Overall, one of the most important things a new employee can do is to learn the corporate culture.

“Be observant,” said Welteroth. “Learn to see how things operate.”

Integrity is integral to the company culture at Baker Tilly, for example, and its employees and management demonstrate this in everything that they do.

“We have a culture that demonstrates not to cut corners at the expense of quality, making the appropriate decision instead of the easy decision, and upholding professional honesty and trust,” said Welteroth. “One way we do that is through respect for our client’s financial information. You come to a certified public accountant because you trust them.”

For more information on transitioning to the workplace, students can attend the Career and Corporate Connections office’s Successful Transition to the Workplace event at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, April 23, in 362 Willard Building.

Baker Tilly is an accounting and advisory firm with offices located in 11 cities throughout Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Washington, D.C., and Wisconsin. The firm also is a Smeal Corporate Associate, committed to recruiting Penn State students for internships and full-time positions. The Corporate Associate Program at the college provides increased visibility among Smeal students and direct access to students through organizations and career fairs.

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Last Updated April 21, 2014