From sponsorship of McIntire’s Center for Innovation in Professional Services to the launch of the School’s women recruitment event Days at McIntire, longstanding corporate partner PwC has had an important, enduring association with the Commerce School that has proven beneficial for both students and the international financial services firm alike.
PwC Partner Robert Vallejo (McIntire ’92) says that the relationship consistently creates valuable opportunities on many levels. Though student interaction is highly prized by PwC, as it provides access to potential new hires who have made substantial contributions to the firm over the years, the visiting professionals—many of whom are also alumni—enjoy the opportunity to come to Grounds, share their experiences, and offer employment guidance.
“Because of the large number of McIntire graduates who work or have worked at PwC, we have a community of alumni within the firm that can continue networking and investing in each other’s career,” Vallejo explains, noting that McIntire alumni work at PwC offices around the world. “Despite working in different offices and in different lines of service (assurance, tax, and advisory), our internal McIntire network is close knit and available to each other for mentoring, advice, or providing a sounding board. Similar to how the students at McIntire look out for each other, our PwC Hoos have each other’s backs.”
PwC also collaborates closely with McIntire faculty, with professors welcoming firm representatives into the classroom and inviting their perspectives on topics ranging from the latest developments in accounting standards or the impact of digital and essential technologies on business.
A “purpose-led, value-driven organization,” the firm sponsors programs at the School that extend well beyond hiring, Vallejo says. Days at McIntire, for example, provided first- and second-year students an opportunity to interact with successful female executives. “The event was powerful and inspiring and a great opportunity for the students, no matter where they choose to start their career.”
Vallejo also points to the enthusiasm of PwC U.S. Chief Network Officer Farhad Zaman (McIntire ’93) and members of PwC’s Transaction Services team, who regularly plan for visits to the classroom, meetings with professors, and interviews with students—often after a long workday or on weekends. He believes Zaman’s personal efforts to recruit Commerce alumni and support McIntire initiatives are a direct result of the firm’s ongoing support of the School.
“The number of quality professionals we hire from McIntire makes that a very easy business decision,” Vallejo says. “The key is to continuously find new ways to make an impact. Our mission to empower women in the workforce made sponsoring Days at McIntire a perfect fit.”
Vallejo cites another relevant example illustrating why PwC’s long-lasting partnership with the School will continue: a commitment to diversity, a priority for both the firm and McIntire. “Our Chairman and Senior Partner, Tim Ryan, started the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™ initiative two years ago with the support of more than 700 CEOs and university presidents,” he says, adding that McIntire Professor Andrea Roberts and PwC joined forces several years ago to educate and ultimately increase the number of underrepresented minorities admitted into the M.S. in Accounting Program.
“Our shared values of increasing diversity and inclusion in the business world showcase the power of our partnership,” Vallejo says. “Programs like these are why we’re always going to be here to support McIntire and its students.”