Going to college was not an easy decision for me. I was down on money and I had no one to ask for help if I needed to.

My expenses were planned down to the nickel. No wild parties. No mocha lattes. No road trips with friends.

And of course, it only got worse with student’s loans creeping on me like a crazy ex-girlfriend.

Throw me a pity party, right?

Anyway… I just knew I had to keep my priorities in check if I wanted to graduate. So I started to hunt for any source of income to finish my accounting major.

My first attempt was asking for advice from my family.

Mom and Pop were blue-collar employees. That’s great and they’ve provided everything I needed to progress in life. But their only suggestion was to find a part-time job and I wasn’t keen on following that same road.

Then I talked to some seniors and even a couple of professors.

None of them had any real expertise outside the academic world. And guess what… there’s not much money to be made in the academic world.

My hunt was falling apart and I started feeling desperate.

But in the summer before my junior year, I met someone who would change my career forever.

I struck gold…

This guy was friends with my dad in high school. My old man invited him home one night after bumping into him at the mall, and I ended up eating dinner with him.

Guess what?

He took accounting after school and knew a guy working at a Big 4 accounting firm who was looking for fresh students to do a paid internship.

What are the odds?

I immediately told him I’d love to get a referral.

His answer?

“Not so fast kiddo…”

He had me meet him at his office the next morning. I was there at 9 am looking sharp.

Or so I thought…

He told me I wasn’t looking that sharp — at least not for an interview at a Big 4. My resume was a mess. And I didn’t even know what a cover letter was until he brought it up.

I’m so glad he didn’t just throw me to the wolves…

I would have failed that interview miserably and made him look awful in the process.

But no, this guy was really committed to helping me.

He showed me what to put on my resume and even drafted a cover letter with me that same morning. On his advice, I borrowed one of dad’s fancy suits for the interview. He even shared a few one-liners that I could use during the interview to sound like a pro.

Then the magic happened.

I landed the internship. It was a paid one.

That summer completely changed my life.

Not only would I never have to worry about my finances again, but I did so well in that internship that I came back the next year for another one. And the year after that for my first full-time job!

And it all came down to luck (and then a lot of help)!

If my dad hadn’t bumped into this guy at the mall, who knows where my career would be at today?

Or if I’d even have one…

A great career starts with a single first step.

If you use all the advice, insight and knowledge that I’m willing to share with you, your first step into the business world will be the key to your professional success.

Let’s take that first step together,

George Montgomery