When I began my college career at Whitman, like many of my peers, I was torn on what my major would be. I knew I enjoyed thinking analytically and using numbers to solve problems. It wasn’t until my sophomore year when I took Professor Wagner’s corporate finance class and Professor Zadzilka’s managerial accounting class, that I realized I had a knack for finance and accounting. Professor Zadzilka’s class emphasized the importance of going to Whitman’s Career Madness, describing it as a great opportunity for students to get their names out there to employers, even as sophomores.
Although I had never been to a career fair or spoken to prospective employers before, with the support from my fellow members of Alpha Kappa Psi, the professional business fraternity, I was prepped on how to give a 30 second pitch and how to build a résumé that will be sure to stand out. While at Career Madness I was able to network, develop connections with prospective employers and discover opportunities each company had prior to the career fair. Career Madness was a great icebreaker for students to have with employers prior to the career fair. As a result of my preparation, I had a great conversation with the Ernst & Young recruiter who recommended that I stay in touch and attend other Ernst & Young events on campus.
As a member of the National Association of Black Accountants (NABA) in Whitman, I discovered that Ernst & Young (EY) would host the next meeting. I updated my résumé again based on the feedback I got from Career Madness and made sure to attend the meeting. After the NABA meeting, I was connected with the EY recruiter again to get more feedback on my résumé and shortly after was provided an internship offer for the LAUNCH internship program, which was geared towards underrepresented groups.
The year following my LAUNCH internship, I was chosen from thousands of applicants for an EY summer internship abroad in Auckland, New Zealand. I know I could not have done it without the support from the network I had at Whitman. Throughout my experience in Auckland, New Zealand, I was able to enhance my professional skills by developing a global business mindset and adapting to different work cultures.
Whitman gave me the platform to start my career at Ernst & Young, as well as the opportunity to grow as a business professional through organizations such as NABA and Alpha Kappa Psi. I am glad to say that I have just completed my first year in EY’s Advisory program. One of my favorite aspects of working at EY has been to come back to Whitman for EY recruiting events to connect with students to share career insights and stories about the great opportunities Whitman has provided me.