Recipient of AICPA Minority Scholarship (2011-12)Next profile
Audit Associate, PwC
Rick Hernandez knows that anything is possible as a CPA; that’s why he set his sights on being CPA to the stars.
During college, Rick volunteered his financial expertise to Husky Records, the University of Connecticut’s independent student record label. He also puts a lot of work into managing his friends’ band (even spending some time on tour with them). These experiences have helped him grow as a budding accountant and sparked his big career dreams. “I’d love to work in the music industry. I love being a manager and helping people make money doing what they love, so I think it would be great to run my own record label some day. I could also see myself being successful as a Partner in a Big 4 firm.”
Rick already has quite a bit of experience under his belt to get him to either of his career goals. He has completed three accounting internships as an undergraduate – two at PwC and one at EY. “I got to get my hands dirty and see what the profession is all about. My internships prepared me for the reality of the job. I know that it’s going to be intense, but it will be a great experience.”
Rick also got great experience while serving as an AICPA Legacy Scholar. When Rick was searching for a project, he was asked to join AICPA’s Pre-certification Education Executive Committee (PcEEC). As the first-ever student representative on this committee, Rick was tasked with gathering information about creating an AP accounting class for high schools as part of his AICPA Legacy Scholars Program tasks. This project has allowed him to expand his network (he rubs shoulders will all-star accounting educators from across the country at committee meetings) while working to expand the profession.
Rick’s AP accounting AICPA Legacy Scholars project also gave him the perfect topic for his honors thesis. He completed the requirements for graduating with university honors by writing a discussion of how to get an AP accounting course started, what that course might look like, and the effect an AP accounting course could have on the profession. “It was a perfect opportunity. I was searching for an honors thesis topic and this fit perfectly.”
Now that he’s started his full-time job at PwC, he’s looking forward to completing his last sections of the CPA Exam and calling himself a CPA. “Becoming a CPA will add a level of professionalism to what I’ve established as an undergraduate. I have a degree and that’s important, but when people see a CPA they know that they deserve respect. People know about the hard work CPA’s put in, so if you can get the certification, you know a lot about the profession. Plus, for a lot of firms, you can’t do much without your CPA, so it’s also valuable in getting promoted.”
Even though Rick isn’t a CPA yet, his smarts, morals, and drive to succeed will surely send his career skyrocketing to where he wants to go.
I wake up and grab some breakfast before I start my busy day.
It’s time to head to campus. Today I’ve got my Assurance class where we learn about the differences between GAAP and IFRS.
Teaching Assistant Duties
After my class, I facilitate a freshman seminar class on getting acclimated in the business school and the business environment. Today we are having a speaker come in from the Career Development Office to talk about resumes.
To pay the bills, I work at my university’s visitor’s center. Some days I give tours of campus, but today I’m answering calls about scheduling tours or finding places on campus.
After my shift, I stop in to the Student Union to grab a Cesar salad and a bowl of loaded-potato soup.
Work on Thesis
As an honors student, I have to complete a thesis. My topic is the effect of establishing an accounting AP course. Today I’m interviewing a professor about his experience with trying to establish a high school level accounting course.
For my management class, we’ve been assigned a strategy simulation that’s a class competition. We’re going over our project and planning what steps we want to take for next-week’s assignment. If things go well, we could be in first place!
'Husky Records' Meeting
I love volunteering with our on-campus musical talent! Today I’m talking with artists about production strategies and starting to plan our annual music festival in April.
Delta Sigma Pi Meeting
Intramural Hockey Game