Building corporate chops at some of Chicago’s top shops
When Michael Palarz came to Loyola two years ago, he “went crazy” looking for a job.
His secret? He made good use of Quinlan’s resources from Day 1.
Palarz had a job when he started attending Loyola but decided he wanted something different. So he went job-hunting on RamblerLink and eventually landed an internship at Sidley Austin LLP, one of Chicago’s top law firms.
There, his tasks vary from being a runner in the internal delivery system to helping file month-end reports, with special accounting projects on the side.
“With an internship, it’s not just what you do or what tasks you have that makes it valuable,” Palarz says. “Just by going into the corporate world, you learn so much. They are the smallest things that you would take for granted, like how to communicate properly with your boss, but they are crucial in navigating the corporate world.”
Palarz is gaining real-world experience in more than just his internship. He competed in the 2013 Deloitte FanTAXtic Case Study Competition, where student teams tackle a reality-based tax case. At the suggestion of a recruiter at the competition, Palarz applied for the 2014 Deloitte Chicago Leadership Program and was accepted to the summer conference.
Last February, Palarz also completed the PwC Honors Program, which holds select workshops covering three areas of accounting: tax, advisory, and audit.
“I didn’t go into college thinking, ‘I have to take advantage of every opportunity,’” Palarz says. “But when people suggested that I should apply for things, I did.”
Palarz is also involved in events at Quinlan. As vice president of Beta Alpha Psi (the honors accounting, finance, and information systems organization), he is responsible for managing professional events and firm presentations.
“What makes Michael so successful are his strong organizational skills, his attention to detail, and his outgoing personality,” says Brian Stanko, chair of accounting. “He managed the outreach, promotion, and event day activities for close to 15 professional events over 15 weeks for Beta Alpha Psi. Each of them was a complete success.”
Be like Mike
So when in doubt of your next career move, Palarz has some advice: “Take advantage of the Quinlan School of Business and of Chicago. Professors at Quinlan have so much experience in the field, and the best firms in the city want to educate and recruit you.”
Connect with Michael Palarz on LinkedIn.