Erin Salois ’15
Marketing & Accounting Double Major
I pride myself on working hard and dreaming big.
But, for most of my life I’ve been very much “in my shell,” nervous about meeting new people, and reluctant to share my ideas in a group setting. Now, however, I’m at a different place in my life.
During my first year at Bay Path University, I was selected to participate in the First Year Institute, a teambuilding workshop for a small group of students. We traveled to the High Five Learning Center in Vermont and endured intense problem-solving activities—even using a ropes course. I didn’t want to go, honestly. But it challenged me to be brave and make personal connections with my classmates.
That was really the beginning of a personal evolution for me.
As classes got underway, I began to think about what direction to steer my career path. I realized that in order to achieve my ambitious goals, I would need to step up and continue to put myself out there like I did at the First Year Institute, when, in the past, fear may have held me back.
In my first Women Empowered as Learners and Leaders (WELL) class, Professor Laurie Cirillo helped me build my resume and prepare for job interviews. I learned to transform my weaknesses into positive attributes. For example, in an interview, I might define my major weakness as introversion, but would follow up with, “That means that I get all of my energy from data”—perfect for an aspiring accountant.
As a double-major in marketing and accounting, the career center was instrumental in ensuring that I graduate on time. With guidance again from Laurie, I was able to secure a summer marketing internship in just two weeks’ time. When I walked into the company, Gravity Switch, for my interview, I was put right in the job for four hours to work on a graphic design project. And at the end of the summer, I was told that I would always be welcomed back.
My quest for a fulfilling career didn’t stop there, however. I decided to reach for the stars and pursue an internship with one of the “Big Four” accounting firms. An opportunity presented itself at a career fair I attended with Bay Path’s Accounting Association, where I found the courage to exchange business cards with a KPMG recruiter.
When I cold-called the recruiter a few days later to ask if there were any open positions, I was terrified. However, I was offered an eight-month tax internship that started in January, full-time.
While interning at KPMG, I worked about 50 hours a week and maintained a full-time class schedule. Faculty like Professor Kara Stevens made it possible by working with me on rearranging my classes from on-campus to online. And the scheduling demands paid off—they prepared me for what I’ll be doing as an employee, since I was offered and accepted a full-time position with KPMG beginning in October.
I know the opportunity ahead is the beginning of a rewarding chapter for me, and I want to make the most of it. I’ve made it my next goal to become a licensed Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and am currently studying for the exam, aiming to complete all four sections before stepping back through the door at KPMG.