Faculty & Departments

Career Options

Cindy Smetana
"In public accounting, the knowledge I gained about other companies … gave me a solid foundation I could later build on at Citibank and eventually as the CFO of a nonprofit charity."

Cindy Smetana

CFO, Catholic Charities - Archdiocese of Chicago
University of Notre Dame, BBA ACCT '82

Success favors the prepared. In accounting, preparation is a three-step process; earn enough accounting credits to sit for the CPA exam, pursue a master’s degree, and work in public accounting. You’ll reap great versatility in terms of career options with this simple formula.

 

When I attended Notre Dame, I chose accounting simply because I knew I’d always have a job. As it turns out, not only have I been gainfully employed, but the degree opened the door to a successful career. In public accounting, the knowledge I gained about other companies – what makes them tick, their strengths and weaknesses, how their corporate culture helps or hinders them – gave me a solid foundation I could later build on at Citibank and eventually as the CFO of a nonprofit charity. In my husband’s case, the same undergraduate degree and CPA certification led to a CFO position at a billion-dollar company.

 

Whether the ultimate goal is public accounting or private business, a nonprofit organization or a publicly traded company, it doesn’t take an accountant to calculate the possibilities that are available in the accounting field today.

D_Rahill
“The changing financial landscape is opening the door to more varied opportunities in accounting.”

Dan Rahill

Partner-in-Charge,
Tax for KPMG's Chicago Business Metro Unit
University of Notre Dame, BBA ACCT '79

Pick up a Wall Street Journal and there’s a good chance you’ll see an article calling for increased accounting regulations. President Obama, Congress, the SEC – all have jumped on the bandwagon to strengthen government oversight. The upside of prospective U.S. financial reform is the likelihood of more accounting jobs in the public and private sectors.

 

The changing financial landscape is opening the door to more varied opportunities in accounting. An accounting degree is a great foundation for jobs in positions of oversight – the SEC or the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) – as well as for careers in private business, Wall Street or entrepreneurship. 

 

Like many Notre Dame graduates, you may begin your career in public accounting. Becoming a CPA and staying in public accounting until you reach the management level is sound advice. Once your career progresses, however, take advantage of new opportunities that come your way. Your value to your company and your clients will be linked to your consulting advice and people skills. It will no longer be solely a numbers game.

Susan Kurowski
"As a partner in a CPA firm, I’m thankful that my undergraduate work taught me how to think and analyze complex business problems.”

Susie Kurowski

Audit Partner, DeLoitte LLP of Chicago
University of Notre Dame, BBA ACCT '93

Growing up in a family of attorneys, I had my career plan mapped out long before I entered college: become a CPA and pursue a law degree. On that path, however, I realized that I liked public accounting, and I’ve never left it.

 

As a partner in a CPA firm, I’m thankful that my undergraduate work taught me how to think and analyze complex business problems. Much of my time is spent studying the impact of buying and selling companies or determining a company’s capacity to make an acquisition. The training I received at Notre Dame – which included an attitude of corporate social responsibility, ethics and integrity – prepared me well, helping me to apply the proper judgment to the problems I encounter on the job.

 

As you complete your education and survey the current business landscape, step back and take stock of the knowledge you have gleaned and the skills you.