At The Mom Project, we love sharing opportunities that help those in our talent community grow in their careers and develop new skills that allow them to build a better future for themselves. We’re excited to provide details on a rewarding program from one of our amazing employer organizations, PwC.
PwC’sWhile You Work – Certified Public Accountant (CPA) Acceleration Program is a unique one-year program designed to provide a path for eligible individuals who will have completed their bachelor's degree to obtain additional credit hours and a master’s degree while working at PwC. This paid part-time fellowship combines real work experience at PwC and a tuition-paid, online master’s degree program at the D’Amore-McKim School of Business at Northeastern University.
It’s an exciting time to be a CPA and to work for PwC. The CPA’s role is constantly evolving and plays a pivotal part in the business community. Nowadays, CPAs can take on more impactful responsibilities early in their careers, apply a deep and digital skillset, and are at the forefront of analyzing complex data. Whether you want to own your own business, be a CEO/CFO or work with the highest level of leadership in any sector, accounting can help get you there. Accounting is the language of business and can provide a fulfilling and lasting career, where you're able to put your personal purpose into action, especially at PwC, while growing within the field.
Hear from Kersy Castro, former PwC While You Work fellow and current PwC Private associate, on how PwC's While You Work (WYW) program has helped her pursue both her personal and professional aspirations, and creates opportunities for potential returners, career switchers and caregivers.
Q: Tell us a bit about yourself and what led you to PwC's While You Work - CPA Acceleration Program?
I was born and raised in the Dominican Republic and immigrated to the United States 10 years ago when I was 18. Today, I am the mother of an 8-year-old daughter and have been married for 10 years. In my home country, I studied accounting for two years and when I emigrated, I decided to continue with the same career. Although my family who already lives here in the US recommended that I pursue the health field, I wanted to follow my passion of accounting.
The idea of obtaining a master's degree always seemed far away because of the cost and time involved. When I found out about WYW, I saw a wonderful opportunity to get a master's degree and at the same time work in one of the most prestigious and well-known accounting firms, PwC.
Q: What made you interested in accounting?
My interest in accounting was born when I was incredibly young (around 8 years old). My mother was an accountant, and for as long as I can remember she would take me to her office in the summer to help her. For me, this was a wonderful experience and something I looked forward to doing every year. However, this was only the beginning of my interest in this career. As I learned more about the opportunities that accounting offers, and that it has so many paths from which I could choose, it caught my attention, and I made the decision to become an accountant.
Before finishing my bachelor's degree in accounting, I worked part time filing taxes for individuals, which sparked a compelling curiosity to specialize in this branch of accounting. Tax accounting is my career but also my hobby. I enjoy learning about tax laws and how to apply them in different scenarios.
Q: How did WYW help you achieve your career aspirations, especially in progressing towards becoming a CPA?
WYW was the opportunity I had always hoped for, but thought was outside of my reach. I applied for an internship with PwC because I was interested in learning what "being an accountant in real life" was like. I still remember the day the PwC recruiter told me about all the benefits of the WYW program. I could not believe it! I was going to have the opportunity to get a master's degree at one of the most prestigious universities in the United States (Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts), and at the same time work for the firm I had always dreamed of—PwC. At that time it all seemed like a dream to me—and sometimes it still does!
First, PwC's WYW program gave me the opportunity to get a Master of Science in accounting. This completed the 150 credits needed to obtain my CPA license. Second, I was able to work at PwC as a fellow and be mentored by highly qualified people who help me every day to become a better professional.
Today, I am on my way to becoming a CPA and I can honestly say that without PwC's WYW program, and all the people involved in this program, this would not have been possible. This program provided me with the tools and skills I needed to achieve this goal.
Q: What experiences or achievements from your time as a fellow have had a lasting impact on your career and personal life?
The experience that most impacted my life during my fellowship with the WYW program was the support from the fellows, my PwC coworkers and the WYW program team. This was the first time that I had received so much support from people who had no blood ties to me. All the people around me were willing to help and were interested in my success in this program. When on many occasions, I thought that I was not going to be able to finish for different reasons, I always found support from one of them. Certainly, I say, the best experience I had was creating those relationships that helped me to finish victorious, become a better professional and put me on the path to achieving my career goal of becoming a CPA.
Q: What advice do you have for moms and caregivers hoping to pursue or make a career switch to accounting?
One of my biggest concerns as a mother is to have financial stability so that I can provide a solid life for my daughter and be present in her life. Accounting is the career that has allowed me to provide my daughter with that security and have time to enjoy her milestones. Accounting allows professionals to work in different areas such as auditing, tax, consulting, bookkeeping and much more. My advice to moms and caregivers who want to make the switch to accounting is that now is the time. Accounting is a career that will not disappear and is growing, offering flexibility for them to spend quality time with their children and have financial security for their future.
Opportunities like PwC’s WYW program allow individuals to enhance their circumstances, gain invaluable knowledge, and transform the trajectory of their careers. And at The Mom Project, we’re proud to work with companies that believe in improving the workplace experience for all.