My Career Story Monday: Kelsey Valente (’17, CFA)

Name: Kelsey Valente

Class Year: Class of 2017

Position: Tax Associate

Company: PwC

Can you describe your career path for me?

I began my journey with PwC the summer after my sophomore year. I had applied for their summer leadership program and was lucky enough to be invited to the National Elevate Program which was held in Houston, TX. Not long after the conference was over I received a call from the PwC campus recruiter who offered me an internship position for the next summer, the summer after my junior year. After my internship I was offered a full-time position which I ultimately accepted!

How did you become interested in this career?

Like many Bentley accounting students, I always felt that I would graduate and start my career in audit. Upon talking to more people in the profession, however, I quickly realized I was actually passionate about tax. I was fascinated by the complexities of a tax return and the wide variety of opportunities available in the tax field. A lot of people assume that if you enter the tax field you will only work on completing tax returns, which may not be for everyone. I was lucky enough to realize early on that this wasn’t actually the case. At PwC for instance, I am able to work on a specialized team which focuses on a variety of tax projects. I may be working on a project for a client that will only take a few weeks or be on a larger project that lasts a few months, but ultimately, every day I am working on a small complex part of a tax return, as opposed to the full thing.

What aspects of your job do you find most rewarding?

I find my job to be extremely rewarding as many of the projects I get to work on within my team are complex issues that we get the opportunity to help a corporation solve. Each project is unique and this provides me the opportunity to learn something every day. Outside of my day-to-day tax work I also enjoy the opportunity to assist in recruiting events, which is also rewarding as I get to interact with students who are going through what I went through. Lastly, I really enjoy how many opportunities we have at PwC to volunteer in the surrounding community.

What aspects do you find most challenging?

At first, it was difficult to jump right in to a project when I felt that I had no clue what I was doing. However, my team knew that this was my first time working on these types of tax problems and they were eager to explain to me what we were doing as well as why we were doing it.

What advice do you have for someone preparing to enter this career?

For anyone entering this career, I suggest having an open mind. You never really know what aspect of tax you will find interesting to you and if you don’t take advantage of an opportunity you may be missing out. If you are offered an opportunity to work on a tax project that you have no idea what you are doing, don’t hesitate, just jump right in as there are always seniors and managers willing to help you learn!

On a more practical level, if you are considering entering into a tax accounting career, or really any accounting career that requires a CPA, I would take advantage of getting your CPA exams done as early as possible as it is extremely difficult to get in the mindset to study while working.

Have you used Mentor Marketplace? 

Unfortunately I haven’t had the chance to yet, but it’s on my to-do list!

By Caroline Gervais
Caroline Gervais Student Director, CareerEdge & Event Planning Team