Tyler Brendel

UC Berkeley, Class of 2019

Major: Business Administration
Email: tylerbrendel@berkeley.edu

As I began my junior year in the Haas School of Business, I had no idea what career I intended to pursue. However, after taking one accounting course I knew this was the profession for me, but I was not on pace to complete the 150 units required to become a CPA, and my network within the accounting profession was non-existent. Completing 16 units over the summer while simultaneously attending the various networking and firm-related events directly addressed these two pressing issues. The BCPA program is perfectly tailored towards allowing students from all backgrounds to develop their accounting knowledge and skills while making meaningful connections with numerous firms. Additionally, the rigorous nature of the program permits students to develop lasting connections with fellow classmates and faculty alike; both of which proved to be invaluable whilst preparing for Fall recruiting and a career as a CPA. The program is ideal for students interested in quickly and efficiently completing their CPA-unit requirements while learning about career opportunities from recruiters and partners representing nearly a dozen firms. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions about the program!

Isabella Pilgaard

UC Berkeley, Class of 2019

Major: Business Administration
Email: ipilgaard@berkeley.edu

When I started school at UC Berkeley in August 2015, I had no idea what career path I wanted to choose. Last year, when I entered the Haas School of Business as a junior, I was still unsure which aspect of business I wanted to focus on. After taking the mandatory introductory financial accounting class required for my major, I knew I enjoyed accounting, but I was still unsure of what career opportunities were available in the field. In the spring semester of my junior year, I decided to apply for the BCPA program. Participating in the program has helped me in countless ways. After gaining more exposure to the accounting profession, I have decided to pursue a career in auditing. With the help of the BCPA program, I will now be able to meet the 150 unit requirement for the CPA exam by the time I graduate in May 2019, which means I will be perfectly positioned to enter the workforce. In addition to the academic benefits of the BCPA program, it has also provided me with invaluable networking opportunities through firm visits and on-campus events with recruiters and professionals from leading accounting firms. After my summer in BCPA I feel thoroughly prepared for fall recruiting and I look forward to representing the BCPA program as a student ambassador.

Amy Tao

UC Berkeley, Class of 2021

Major: Intended Economics
Email: amytao@berkeley.edu

Finishing my first year at college, I was undecided on what career path I wanted to pursue. I had heard about BCPA through a friend, and thought that it would be a great starting point for me to explore a branch of business. I was a part of the Introductory BCPA program, and look forward to continuing with the Advanced program in the future. The pacing of the classes is definitely rigorous, but the knowledge I gained, the professors I had, and the community we formed made it worthwhile. The networking events were some of the best parts of BCPA for me, as they not only helped connect me to professionals from top accounting firms, but they also helped me navigate the how-to’s of networking. The smaller setting and repeated meetings with these professionals made it easier to foster longer lasting relationships and connections that I would not have been able to achieve otherwise. Through BCPA I was connected to CalCPA, and am now the CalCPA Ambassador for UC Berkeley. I highly recommend anyone wanting to explore this field to join BCPA!

Lu Wang

UC Berkeley, Class of 2021

Major: Data Science, Economics
Email: luwangdyzx@berkeley.edu

I want to pursue a career in the finance industry. Since accounting is the language of business and is crucial for operations and growth of any company, I wanted to gain a thorough foundation of accounting principles. Because I had not been exposed to the systematic learning of accounting, I really appreciated the courses in the BCPA program that helped me build a concrete foundation of accounting knowledge in the business world. Without the BCPA program, I would not be able to enroll in these accounting classes during the school year. I also cherished the opportunities for visits to Bay Area accounting firms and early access to accounting professionals and recruiters, which allowed me to start building network connections early and prepared me to enter the profession. The networking and advising opportunities provided by the program helped me gain a profound understanding of how the technical skills of accounting learned in classes translate into real-world applications. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions!

Nicolette Washburn

UC Berkeley, Class of 2020

Major: Intended Economics
Email: newashburn@berkeley.edu

I had a long journey (starting in Biology!) throughout my first two years at Cal before I decided I wanted to pursue a career in accounting. As a non-business major, I was very worried that I wouldn’t be able to take all of the classes that I needed for the CPA exam. Luckily, I was directed to BCPA and had a wonderful experience in the Introductory Program during the Summer of 2018. I liked the accelerated pace of the program and was able to build up great relationships with our instructors because the class sizes were small. In addition, our office visits and networking events meant that I had a BCPA community that extended beyond the students in my classes to partners, managers, associates, and recruiters from a variety of accounting firms. The resources BCPA provides can really jump-start your first steps into a career and provide you a strong base of fundamental accounting skills. Next summer, I will be interning with PwC and I’m very excited to see everything I learned in BCPA put into action! Please feel free to contact me with any questions.

Grace Zilli

UC Berkeley, Class of 2019

Major: Environmental Economics and Policy
Email: gzilli@berkeley.edu

The BCPA program truly paved the way for me in terms of a career and both professional and personal development. When I came to Cal in 2015, I had a variety of interests ranging from economics to literature to the environment, which allowed me to declare a major in Environmental Economics and Policy and a minor in English. Despite my wide array of academic interests, I yearned for a technical skill set, a skill set that would set me up for future success no matter what career path I chose. That’s when I decided to apply to the BCPA program. A rigorous accounting class load coupled with mentorship and professional resources, the BCPA program has allowed me to gain the exceptional learning both inside and outside the classroom. By completing both the beginning and advanced BCPA program, I have kick-started my career by not only gaining the units needed for the CPA exam, but also networking with professionals in the field, which enabled me to accept first an internship and now a full-time offer at Deloitte. In short, I feel beyond grateful to have participated in the BCPA program. Feel free to reach out to me with any questions!

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