Spartan Insights: Featuring Andrew Corsi, CPA
This week’s Featured Spartan was Andrew Corsi, CPA & Associate at Goldman Sachs (See his LI profile.) Andrew had agreed to answer questions about his industry, career background, and anything else he can help you learn to further your career. This discussion was open from 04/28/15 until 05/11/15.
Spartan Insights is a regularly scheduled Linkedin discussion thread inside of the MSUALUMNI Linkedin group. Each discussion is meant to give you the opportunity to ask questions regarding one Spartan’s experience within a specific company, industry, or occupation. Answers will be given at the convenience and discretion of the featured Spartan and will be answered from the Spartan’s own personal experiences and opinions which are not meant to be representative of his/her company’s official position. Questions regarding a person’s applicant status at the featured Spartan’s place of business will not be answered in this forum. Interested in being a helpful Spartan? Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks Dave for the brief intro. Excited for the opportunity to discuss my career.
Hi Andrew, Thanks for being here! I’ll kick this off with the first question. I’m just curious if you can talk a bit about how you went about your job search to get into your industry? In particular, the economy was pretty tough as you graduated from MSU, especially the financial sector. What did you do to work your way in? Subsequently, what have you done to advance yourself as a young professional?
When I graduated, the economy was starting to slow. I had a job offer from Ernst & Young in Chicago. Work was slow for the first year and it’s ultimately why I looked elsewhere – a way to hopefully get more experience in a very bad economy. For me, it was about patience and flexibility. Being a recent graduate with nothing keeping me in a single place allowed me to explore all options. When I began in financial services, I started in Chicago but was quickly relocated to New York City. As the economy has improved, I’ve had a much easier time moving into roles that are more interesting (while continuing to use what I’ve learned in the past to allow me to be successful). About 3 years ago, I returned to Ernst & Young with an opportunity in Dallas and being here has allowed me to get my current role at Goldman Sachs working in investment accounting of real estate. I also would like to add that networking is a big key to advancing. Local alumni groups are a great way to start, but also being part of charities or industry groups are helpful. I’m active with the Michigan State alumni chapter here in Dallas and also am on the Young Professional Board of Back on My Feet – a charity that allows me to be active in my community.
Laura – Hi Andrew; What is the current trend regarding when the major banks will return to GAAP accounting practices (and mark to market)?
Hi Laura. Thank you for the question. Unfortunately with my role I do not do any accounting at the corporate level so am not familiar. All of the real estate portfolios that I work on do use GAAP. I apologize as I should have updated my Linked In profile with more details on my role. Basically I work on various investment portfolios of real estate and perform the investment accounting. I handle the audits and any questions that property managers have during the normal course of business.
Andrew, can you talk about why you decided to become an accountant? Also, how about sharing what a typical day/week looks like for you, for those people who are completely unfamiliar with investment accounting? What would you say are the core competencies and traits that a place like Goldman Sachs might be looking for in someone who may be interested in a job that is similar to yours?
I was actually pretty young when I first thought about being an accountant (about 10/11). Several family members are accountants and my parents put the idea in my head. As I got older, I knew I wanted to go into business and I felt that an accounting degree and the experience out of college would allow me to have a great career. I also felt that if I ever wanted to leave accounting, it would be good to have the experience as many business departments like to hire people with the financial background. I’ve been in my current role for a year and can honestly say that each day/week/month offers new challenges and different issues to work through.
Any job has their routine items – cash recs, approve payments, reviewing journal entries and financials are several of mine- but some we don’t actually manage the property, we are involved with the actual acquisition and disposition as well as handling investor and lender requests including audits.
I would say all the companies I have worked for look for people who can think outside the box and can handle very high pressure situations and deadlines. Being able to work well in a team is also very helpful. Meeting goals and deadlines require everyone to be on the same page and continue to communicate throughout the process.
Kara – Hi Andrew! Could you offer some advice on job hunting in other states? Eventually I would be interested in relocating to California, but I’m not sure how to even get started! What helped make your state to state transitions run smoothly, or even not so smoothly?
Hi Kara. I’ve found that people I’ve met and the network I’ve made has helped. Being a graduate of Michigan State also provides you with a great network. Join local alumni groups and get involved. You would be amazed at how many people you can meet.
Thank you Andrew for your insights and willingness to help Spartans in this way! This discussion is now closed on Linkedin, but a new Spartan is featured in a “Spartan Insights” discussion each week in our Linkedin Group.