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My experience knowing a Retired Big 4 Accounting Firm Partner

December 16th, 2009 at 06:57 pm

I feel really lucky to have gotten to know a retired a Big 4 Accounting partner over the past year in a very unique way.

I met her in the Spring and her background was unknown to me at the time. She was in my legal and controllership courses. The first day of class, she made an impression on me because she was much older than most of us but also well put together. She didn't seem like the "usual" 50 something masters student. She was very aware of what she wanted to do, confident, eloquent, and came into the class very professionally.

She also had etiquette skills and a way of relating to anybody that I WISH I had or could develop that skill one day.

Most of the other 50 something masters students that I know do it to pass the time, say they've been out of school so long that they are struggling... No, not her.

We had a mutual friend in the legal course introduce us, which was how I found out that she already knew all this stuff and had the experience those of us in class could only dream of.

Regardless, she wanted to teach in her retirement and without a master's degree - she couldn't. So back to school she went. She finished it in record time too. She started in January and is graduating with me on Saturday.

Anyhow,

Most of the professors knew her because of the firm's affiliation with the university, but one professor was new to campus that year. She wanted to be treated like other students so she didn't let up to the new professor what her background was. It was comical at times listening to the new professor, arrogant as he was, tell her "Now, when YOU are a CPA...." and she never let on that she was coming from one of the Big Four public accounting firms as a partner.

Our mutual friend did warn me though that although she is sweet as ever, she's a tough boss so I'm also well aware that underneath her very personable self - as our mutual friend says "She's a bulldog."

But anyhow, knowing her as a classmate this past year has been a unique privilege. And I took the opportunity this evening to tell her my dilemma with scheduling the CPA exam.

It was reassuring to hear from her that although stressful, she told me to just go for it... reminded me that I'm a good student & with my study habits I should be able to do well. But to make sure I focus in order to pass.

I hope to keep in touch with her in some capacity over the years. She has such a wealth of knowledge that I find it extremely admirable she went back to get her masters to teach in her retirement.

There aren't a lot of people that I meet in everyday life that take me aback where I just say 'wow' in amazement and can identify what a privilege it is to know someone. And its not purely because of her professional background, she has personal skills that I could only hope to one day have. I may not aspire to be a 'Big 4' partner but I can say that she is an accounting role model of mine.

1 Responses to “My experience knowing a Retired Big 4 Accounting Firm Partner”

  1. DeniseNTexas Says:

    She sounds like a good one to learn from and aspire to be like. Congratulations on meeting and getting to know her!

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