Through Game, Networking Becomes Play
On a recent Friday across the Lawrenceville campus, more than 40 Accounting Society students had the opportunity to interact with recruiters from some of the national Big 6 accounting firms. While the students were there to network with the professionals, it certainly did not look like a typical dress-shirt-and-tie event. Instead, the students, who were dressed in Accounting Society T-shirts and placed in teams with the professionals, had a chance to show off their creative, strategic planning and leadership skills through a series of “creative missions.”
It was all part of The Go Game sponsored by the Rider University Accounting Society. Based in San Francisco, The Go Game featured technology-fueled games and scavenger hunts for groups of three to 10,000 players around the world. Companies, such as Apple, Dell, Facebook and Google, have used the service to increase team building among employees.
In fact, Iram Khan, a junior Accounting major and vice president of the Accounting Society, proposed the idea to hold The Go Game at Rider after participating in the interactive game during her co-op with Johnson & Johnson last fall. The office in Titusville, N.J., where Khan was working, held the team building event because it was going through a reorganization. At least 100 employees participated in the event held in New Hope, Pa.
“The game featured riddles about J&J’s history and future,” Khan said. “It was a good way to learn about the company and the opportunities available, and to network. Hopefully, the students from the Accounting Society got the same experience.”
During the game at Rider, each team was given a camera to document their missions, which were prompted from The Go Game’s phone application. Most of the scavenger hunt questions were accounting related, but there were a few missions that asked for the students to stretch their creativity. For examples, as part of the “New Territory” missions, the teams were asked to take a photo of one or more people in the group “trying something they have never before done but would like to try to do.” In another mission, “Historical Ballet,” the teams had to choose a significant event in history and tell the story of what happened by means of a dance.
The guest professionals included Tiana Lautato of EisnerAmper; Robin Naismyth of Johnson & Johnson; John Ng of KPMG; Brian Preston of Deloitte; and Anthony Torrington ’92 of Ernst & Young.
Dr. Maria Sanchez, associate professor of Accounting and adviser of the Accounting Society, said the game gave the students a chance to network with professionals in a relaxed and fun atmosphere.
“It allowed our Accounting majors to showcase their talents - connect with the professionals from the firms and it gave the professionals a chance to see our students in action,” Sanchez said. “During a formal interview, it’s really hard to judge their problem-solving and team building skills, but their personalities really have a chance to come out during The Go Game.”
Torrington, who received a bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Rider and is a recruiter for Ernst & Young, agreed with Sanchez.
“An employer only has 30 minutes to get a sense of an individual during an interview. You can learn more about an individual during the four hour game that you can’t get in an interview,” he said.
Brian Lubing, a junior Accounting major, said the successful completion of missions involved a lot team work and communication.
“I heard that it was a great way to network with various professionals from different aspects within the accounting field,” Lubing said. “It was one of the first networking events that I attended and it gave me more confidence.”