Going Big Four
Public accounting and taxation student Alexis Minneo ’16 paved her own path to a Big Four internship with PricewaterhouseCoopers and helped launch a new student org at Pace along the way.
Alexis Minneo ’16 makes the grades—she is a member of the Pforzheimer Honors College and the international business honors society Beta Gamma Sigma, and maintains a Dean’s List GPA while working multiple part-time jobs off-campus. But when it came time for this stellar student to apply for competitive internships at Big Four accounting firms, Minneo found that she didn’t make the cut.
The BBA in Public Accounting/MS in Taxation student recalls the moment during her junior year, at an interview with PricewaterhouseCoopers, when she realized she had to make a change. “The interviewer said, ‘You need to tell me what sets you apart, because there are a lot of people who have high GPAs and also work. What makes you different?’”
Rather than get discouraged, Minneo turned the interviewer’s question and advice into motivation. “I really reflected on that. I thought, I have nothing that makes me stand out. Other people are involved on campus or they do community service. I need to step up my game if I really want this.”
Minneo says that as soon as she found her passion in accounting, she knew that she wanted to be in the Big Four. So for her, “stepping up” meant stepping into some clubs and student organizations—like Successful Women at Pace (SWAP)—not only to distinguish herself amongst the Big Four competition, but to explore other interests as well.
After that interview, Minneo connected with arts and entertainment and global marketing double major, and longtime Pace pal, Alexandra Osten ’15, who was in the midst of putting SWAP together. Osten appointed Minneo vice president of SWAP during the spring of 2014, and the student organization has been inspiring, networking, and empowering women at Pace ever since.
“I can easily say that SWAP has been one of the most fulfilling and greatest professional experiences that I had in college,” she says. Not only has Minneo helped build a community for women at Pace to connect and support one another professionally, but she has also gained valuable skills for her career as well, like public speaking, meeting and networking with new people, communicating with administration, and more. “I want to give back as much as I have gotten,” she says of the SWAP community.
After months of heading the newly-active student organization, it was time again for Minneo to apply for summer internships with the Big Four. This time around, she landed interviews with three of four Big Four accounting firms, and aced them all.
“I felt like every single one of my interviewers was really impressed that I was part of this big movement that was happening at Pace with SWAP,” she says. One interviewer specifically remembered Minneo’s resume out of a large pool of applicants because of her involvement with the student organization.
Minneo had her choice of offers and ultimately accepted a position from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), her top pick of the Big Four, as an international taxation services–quantitative solutions intern. She starts her internship in June with an exciting trip to Atlanta, Georgia, with all of PwC’s tax interns for training.
With her dream internship secured, Minneo attributes her success to her active involvement in SWAP and encourages other students to make their mark on Pace as well. “Everything that you put in to Pace, that is what you’re going to get out of it,” she says.
Those interested in joining SWAP are encouraged to attend weekly meetings held every Tuesday from 3:24 p.m.–4:25 p.m. in One Pace Plaza, W614. And be sure to follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for updates on events, initiatives, and more.
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