Loyola University Chicago

Quinlan School of Business

Zero to Big 4

Zero to Big 4

Xin Min’s involvement in student activities led to a Big 4 job.

Xin Min came to the US two years ago—no family, no friends, no job. When she graduates this June, she will be working at one of the Big 4 audit firms.

“I started at zero,” Min says. “I built up everything in three months.”

How did she do it? First and foremost: getting involved in student activities. Beta Alpha Psi, volunteer opportunities, and events sponsored by Business Career Services helped her improve her English, make friends, and build a network. Min also always made time to stop by Professor Lisa Gillespie’s during office hours, which led to a job as a teaching assistant.

“I saw, firsthand, her very strong work ethic,” Gillespie says. “She displayed a level of honesty and integrity that is very rare. She has the exact characteristics I desire in a fellow coworker. When I realized I needed a new TA, it was a no-brainer.”

With a supportive Quinlan network, solid extracurricular experience, and a solid work ethic, it's no wonder Min landed a Big 4 job upon graduation.


Min's advice for making it to the Big 4:

  1. Attend networking events, such as Real Time with Employers. The Big 4 firm that Min will be working at in the fall? It started with a 10-minute chat with a recruiter, set up by Business Career Services.

  2. Send followup e-mails if you don’t hear back for a while. After a Big 4 networking event, Min sent an e-mail and heard nothing for four months. Then, she sent the recruiter a Merry Christmas e-mail and got a reply, with an interview a week later.

  3. Get second (and third and fourth) opinions about your résumé. Business Career Services, alumni, professors, and MBA students all looked over Min’s résumé. Remember, a résumé is always a work in progress.

  4. Use career fairs as opportunities to follow up with, not just go shopping for, employers. “Go to RamblerLink, and apply for the position you want for the company you want before the career fair,” Min says. “Then when you go to the fair, say that you applied to that position, and chat with the employer. Afterward, of course, send a followup e-mail.”

  5. Explore workshops through Business Career Services. They offer great networking opportunities and easy-to-follow tips wrapped in one convenient event.

  6. Visit professors during office hours. “I didn’t talk much the first few months at Loyola,” Min says. “International students are often shy about their English ability. But after a while, I visited Professor Gillespie’s office a lot, and she eventually offered me a teacher’s assistant position.”

Connect with Xin Min on LinkedIn.