Florida F500 opportunities

Hello all,

I've gotten great info from this site since joining. Special shoutout to accountingbyday who gave me more info than I could've asked for.

Just wanted to gather a few more opinions on F500 finance as far as your location goes. I'm an accounting major at a non-target Florida school, although we are the second biggest school in the nation. If I can't get into some sort of F500 FLDP/rotational program, which seems unlikely, I plan to go for an MSA to get 150 credits and do Big 4 for a few years, then jump to F500, with the ultimate goal of something along the lines of corp dev.

I've been in Florida since I moved from NY at a young age. I'm not completely opposed to doing an MSA somewhere near a big city, such as Baruch in NY or UIUC in Illinois, and doing Big 4 there, but the low cost of living, familiarity, and friends/family I have here in Florida make me want to stay.

So my question is, if I stayed in Florida for Big 4, would I have relatively similar opportunities as compared to a bigger city? I know there are F500 companies in FL, but I'm just not sure how much more there are in bigger cities.

Any opinions/experience would be appreciated.

Thanks,
--Art Vandelay

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Comments (7)

Jul 15, 2012 - 5:50pm

If you decide to stay in school you should leave UCF and go to UF, if you stay in FL. If you are willing to leave then there are better places but certainly nowhere near as cost effective.

As far as F500 companies are concerned, there are just over a dozen in Florida...which isn't a small number, but isn't large either. Also consider they are spread out between south Florida, Jacksonville, Orlando, Lakeland, St. Petersburg and Tampa...as opposed to NYC or Boston that are going to have dozens within walking distance. So, you don't have to move out of Florida, but you will certainly increase your odds of working at a F500 if you did.

Regards

"The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they're ignorant, it's just that they know so much that isn't so." - Ronald Reagan
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Best Response
Jul 17, 2012 - 11:47pm
cphbravo96:
If you decide to stay in school you should leave UCF and go to UF, if you stay in FL. If you are willing to leave then there are better places but certainly nowhere near as cost effective.

As far as F500 companies are concerned, there are just over a dozen in Florida...which isn't a small number, but isn't large either. Also consider they are spread out between south Florida, Jacksonville, Orlando, Lakeland, St. Petersburg and Tampa...as opposed to NYC or Boston that are going to have dozens within walking distance. So, you don't have to move out of Florida, but you will certainly increase your odds of working at a F500 if you did.

Regards

Thanks for the info. The main attraction of FL, as I said, is the low cost of living comparable to bigger cities, and the fact that I've lived here almost my whole life. I just dont want to do anything that would hinder my career growth. I know there are more F500 corporate finance opportunities in a big city, but probably also much more competition from people applying for the same positions. I guess its possible it would balance out.

Anymore input is welcome,
--Art Vandelay

PS: I could never bring myself to become a Gator. I got accepted and was set to go, then everyone else in my graduating class that was accepted acted as if they just got a full ride to Harvard. Turned me off from UF forever.

Jul 20, 2012 - 10:17am

I did finance u-grad, and am doing the MBA (both at UCF). I know a FEW people in the MBA/MSA/MST program who either already work for, or have offers from, a big 4 firm. I cannot comment on how accounting opportunities will differ in other states.

I can say that UF has a much stronger brand than UCF, and a degree from UF will most likely have more national recognition if you choose to work outside of FL. A graduate degree from UCF will open doors when looking for a job within the state, but if you're going to work elsewhere then (imo) you should lean towards UF or FSU.

I'll do what I can to help ya'll. But, the game's out there, and it's play or get played.
  • 1
Jul 20, 2012 - 5:20pm

I went to a school very close to you for a non-business bachelors. I had friends that got into big 4, but all did masters and none at UCF. I know there are some that get offers from there, my accounting teacher was connected to a few.

The biggest thing if you want to go big 4 is to go to a school that they actually recruit at. This will end up costing more, yes. I think it's asinine you won't go to UF. They place well. It will be much cheaper there. I would have gone there if I had the prereqs. This is grad school, everyone ends up supporting their undergrad school regardless of where they are at for grad school. It will be MUCH cheaper than any of your out of state options. I'm looking at 58k for my one year program. UF would be a fraction of that. What's 40-50k additional cost worth to you? No one is going to force you to go to Gator games or anything...

Outside of Miami though, big 4 is pretty small. They are much smaller offices. There are other big 4 offices that are much bigger in areas that are still cheap to live (Think: Raleigh). If I feel like sticking around for the long-haul, I'll probably try to transfer after a few years to a Florida office since all my family is there. I'd rather start off in a larger market that will expose me to larger clients.

Don't let foolish pride cost you 50k in debt and a great respectable degree.

Jul 24, 2012 - 3:18am

I can attest the overall arrogance that students from UF tend to display about their school having just transferred from there to UCF...

Art, why are you immediately disqualifying a FLDP? I can't imagine it's THAT difficult to get into one assuming your grades are decent.

or am I wrong?

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Jul 24, 2012 - 6:18pm
TheDudeDudeski:
I can attest the overall arrogance that students from UF tend to display about their school having just transferred from there to UCF...

Amen to that. Lot of friends that I thought were cool people became condescending jackasses as soon as they got into UF.

To the others that say its asinine for me to stay at UCF instead of UF, the area around UF is awful compared to Orlando, and from what I understand, if they recruit there, they recruit there, simple as that. If I am proven wrong based on experience, I will certainly reconsider.

TheDudeDudeski:

Art, why are you immediately disqualifying a FLDP? I can't imagine it's THAT difficult to get into one assuming your grades are decent.

or am I wrong?

Its definitely a consideration. I just know Big 4 accounting is a little easier, especially considering we're not at a target school. I know of three FLDP programs recruiting there (Siemens, Lockheed Martin, Boeing), but I'm sure there are a few others I'm missing.

My grades are good, 3.92 with my only non-A being a B in Finance, which was due entirely to my own laziness, not difficulty.

--Art Vandelay

Jul 25, 2012 - 1:46am

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