Building a reputation for a strong work ethic, Florida International University (FIU) accounting grads are making their value known across the nation.
This was a key message from Carl Allegretti, Deloitte Tax LLP chairman and CEO. He came to FIU’s College of Business for the first time on March 7, 2013 to serve as Executive-in-Residence, meet with students and faculty, and visit with interns headed for several Deloitte offices.
He came away with a strong sense of FIU as a great match for Deloitte’s needs.
“My goal is to build the best team of professionals with diverse skills and experience, and FIU is part of that strategy,” he said. “You’re on our list of strategic schools.”
At an evening lecture and reception that drew over 150 students, Allegretti shared his personal roadmap for success, and urged students to continue on the path of hard work, collegiality and balance in life that they began at FIU.
“The students here are great,” he said. “You can see their enthusiasm. What distinguishes FIU is the work ethic.”
Maximizing opportunities is the key to success.
He urged students to remain open to opportunity. As a young man growing up in Gary, Indiana, “seventy percent of my high school class did not go to college, and I planned to be one of them,” he said.
Yet a summer’s experience of working in a blast furnace changed his mind, leading him to Butler University, and the accounting field. It also left him with a lifelong appreciation of the value of hard work, which, he said, FIU students exemplify by holding down jobs as they pursue their studies.
“Your work ethic is going to take you to the next level,” he told students. “Never lose sight of that.”
He also emphasized the importance of strong communications skills as a key ingredient for success in the accounting profession, and the importance of building and maintaining solid relationships throughout a career.
“This is your first and best network,” he told students. “Maintain it and nurture it. Success is built on your relationships.”
“It’s important for students to hear from a leader of Carl Allegretti’s caliber, one who emphasizes the importance of communications skills as well as accounting expertise,” said Ruth Ann McEwen, director of the School of Accounting. “We value our relationship with him and his colleagues at Deloitte, and we look forward to continuing to work with this exemplary firm.”
Carlos Sabater (BACC ’81), Deloitte’s global managing director for audit and enterprise risk Services and an FIU Business graduate based in Miami, previously served as Executive-in-Residence.