Ralph Xavier Bito Degala (BBA 2012, Accounting)
Hometown: Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Current Job: audit staff at BKD
Recent graduate Ralph Degala was both excited and nervous to begin the search for a job. Those emotions soon turned to confidence in his junior year, as he began to regularly attend career fairs and mixers held by the college’s Rockwell Career Center and was eventually selected as a candidate for an on-campus interview. After the first rounds of interviewing, Degala was invited by several accounting firms for office visits, resulting in multiple offers for employment. He chose BKD, LLP, the 10th largest public accounting firm in the nation, where he interned as a student.
Q: What was the internship/job search process like for you?
A: The job searching process was very exciting and nerve wracking. Bauer and the Rockwell Career Center do a great job providing their students the resources they need, and it was up to me to utilize those resources. I took advantage of the semi-annual career fairs and Bauer Career Gateway.
It was during my junior year, when I started to go to mini-mixer events and the semi-annual Bauer Career Fair to get acquainted with many of the companies recruiting on campus. I was fortunate enough to be selected as a candidate from Bauer for an on-campus interview. After the first rounds of interviewing, I was invited to multiple office visits from different accounting firms. The hard work paid off and after getting multiple offers on the table, I went with BKD, LLP.
Q: What skills from your Bauer courses have been the most applicable in your internship/job?
A: A combination of the material from Financial Reporting Frameworks and Accounting Information System. The basic knowledge of the chart of accounts and financial statements really helped me understand the tasks assigned to me. Accounting Information System (AIS) highlighted internal controls which was also an integral part of my internship.
Q: What do you think gave you an advantage in the job market over grads from other schools?
A: Definitely my experience and leadership accolades. Aside from my internship, I co-founded the Asian Business Student Association (ABSA) at Bauer in August 2010. Résumés tell stories, and when companies have so many résumés to look through, it takes something special to get you the interview, and eventually the job.
Q: What advice would you give to graduating students looking for internships and work?
A: Start early! Don’t wait until your semester of graduation before pursuing internships and a job. Be proactive in student organizations and events going on around Bauer. Networking doesn’t have to be with professionals; it can be with your alumni and peers. The best advice I received was from people who were in the same shoes as me during our tenure at Bauer. Most importantly, have fun!