Saint Leo University is proud to place current students and graduates into internship and employment positions across all fields. One recent example of this is the connection between Saint Leo and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), a global professional services firm known for its highly-rated accounting services.

From PwC's Vantage Point

"PwC's tax professionals are valued business advisors, working in teams on the cutting edge of one of the most challenging and intellectually rigorous fields, solving problems and helping clients anticipate and adapt to complex and evolving tax environments," says Kate Friedman, a business recruiting manager at the PwC Tampa Tax Service Delivery Center. "Working with Saint Leo, we have been able to identify talented individuals to join our team and make a real impact. Over the past four years, we've hired over 30 students to join the PwC team at our Tampa Tax Service Delivery Center."

Saint Leo's Bridge to PwC

It was a faculty member in the university's Tapia College of Business who assisted in building the bridge of this informal partnership.

"When I first came here seven years ago, I noticed we didn't really offer any opportunities for students to network with potential employers," says Dr. Daniel Tschopp, a professor of accounting at Saint Leo. "I wanted us to offer more recruiting opportunities for students on campus."

Dr. Passard Dean, one of Tschopp's fellow faculty members, also has had a hand in the relationship.

There have been both undergraduate and graduate students who have landed positions with PwC, including those from Saint Leo's BA in accounting and Master of Accounting programs. Students have had the opportunity to intern at PwC in full-time, paid positions. They've also earned college credit while attaining real-world experience.

Tschopp, a CPA and former consultant at PwC, believes students are prepared with all the tools they need to prosper, thanks in large part to their experienced instructors.

"We have a wide variety of faculty from various industries and backgrounds who prepare our students for successful and exciting careers," he says.

The College of Business also has an Accounting Club. Representatives from PwC and other accounting firms and organizations have come to the club's meetings to speak to students about what their firms do and what it's like to work in the finance space.

Saint Leo Alumna Succeeds at PwC

In 2015, Rosanna Crocitto attained a bachelor's degree in economics with a minor in accounting from Saint Leo. She earned an International and Experiential MBA from the university the following year. For the past year and a half, she has proudly worked as a tax process specialist at PwC.

"I prepare state and federal tax returns mainly for partnerships in California and other states out west," she explains. "I think here at PwC, we have a lot in common with Saint Leo. They look to hire individuals who have similar qualities and core values to Saint Leo students."

She says she has reveled in the opportunities from the new doors that have opened for her at PwC.

"I've really enjoyed the opportunity to grow and learn a lot," she says. "We use new software and get lots of training on new skills. They really give you the room to grow and succeed here."

In addition to crunching numbers, Crocitto and her teammates have participated in the Tampa Bay Heart Walk through the American Heart Association and have provided support to The Salvation Army.

She offers high praise about her experience as a Saint Leo student.

"I always tell everyone that I take the core values with me wherever I go," she confides. "I loved the small classroom setting there. The professors give you the time you need for any assistance. I got to work as a graduate assistant, and this was by far one of my favorite jobs. I got to write something for a journal, and I even got to go with a professor to a conference in Myrtle Beach, SC."

In her recollection, there were a few professors who really stood out to her – Dr. Patrick Murphy and Lucia Farriss for their guidance along her educational journey and Drs. Tschopp and Dean for helping her land the PwC position.

And what advice does Crocitto have for current students who may work for PwC or a similar firm someday?

Always keep an open mind," she encourages. "Always be dedicated and hardworking, and know that your efforts will show in the end. When you interview with a big company, you might feel like you're outnumbered. Just remember that you're going to be recognized, especially if you bring those core values to the table."

Photo caption: The photo included in this blog post shows several Saint Leo University students who will be doing internships at PwC during the Spring 2018 semester.

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