Personal Narrative: An Interview With My Mentor

Having a mentor is a truly rewarding experience, it helps build relationships and bonds that can create lifelong relationships. I really enjoyed meeting with my mentor Devon French. Devon is originally from the Chicago suburbs and attended school at the University of San Diego for both his undergraduate and graduate degrees. He started his career at Deloitte during the fall of 2014 and currently is entering his second year as an Audit Senior. During his tenure at Deloitte, he has served a number of industries including retail/distribution, media, not-for-profits, government, and manufacturing.

Devon’s words positivity resonated with me, he is well spoken and made me feel I was in the right career path. Currently I am applying to internships to gain critical experience, although I have received a few interviews and second interviews, I have still have not received a position yet. Devon assured me that because I’m getting interviews as a sophomore that is a good sign. The market is competitive and juniors with more experience have an advantage. Devon gave me very useful interview advice and techniques. I learned not to be a scripted speaker; interviewers like to feel what you are saying is genuine.

Reading off your resume is not a good approach, the best way is to think of the main idea you are trying to get across and naturally discuss it. Devon encouraged me to continue my job search and stay persistent. There are many jobs available in accounting and opportunities are plentiful. Devon is a detail oriented and organized. I was able to understand his approach to his career and life plans. He plans ahead, he plans for the future and before taking actions he calculates precisely to make rational decisions. These are characteristics that lead to success and I can learn a lot from his approach.

I asked Devon on what inspired him to pursue his degree in accounting. He explained to me that his initial plans were to major in international business but later he felt it was very broad. He realized that a degree in international business doesn’t have a particular focus. He came to the conclusion that he needed to gain a skill that would be a necessary tool in an organization. This was a really important insight to me. Employers need people who have a distinguishable skill that can be directly applied to the business.

A broad degree does not provide an employee with an applied skill that will be a significant asset needed to operate an organization. I always understood that accounting is an applied skill but Devon’s insight gave me a new outlook on how valuable accountants are to an organization. My first year in college I was also confused on what I should study. Initially I was planning economics, I later learned that the job market for economics majors is not the best. If I were to major in economics I would need to complete my PhD to have good opportunities.

Economics is a broad major just like international business. We also discussed the CPA. After Devon received his bachelor’s degree, he continued with his masters in accounting. The main reason he pursued his masters was to be CPA eligible. His master’s helped set him apart in the field. He explained to me the value that employers set on CPAs and recommended I take the exam as soon as I graduate so that my knowledge accounting knowledge will be fresh in my head. I learned that the financial benefits of receiving a CPA start out good and get better over time.

Companies provide great bonuses for passing this exam. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act is enforcing higher standards for public accounting, therefore there is driving demand for CPAs. I was inspired by my mentors thirst for knowledge, he is a very hard worker and is now considering studying for his CFA. Devon is constantly working to improve his credibility and knowledge, even after receiving his masters and CPA he is still striving for more and I admire that. His drive motivated me to pursue my masters after graduating. I think it’s important in life to always try to better yourself.

Average will give you average results and working for the best will give you the greater results. Hard work and persistence is key and Devon emphasized persistence. Hard work is important, but repeating your hard work on a daily bases will bring results, that is why persistence is vital. Devon has a noble perspective to ethical and social responsibility. He views that ethical and social responsibility is not only good for the business, but also good for the employees working in an organization. An honest workplace will lead to better productivity and employee relationships.

Ethical actions in the workplace is contagious. When an individual acts ethically he is not only benefiting the business, he is also benefiting society as well. Good ethics will improve society as a whole and will also be a great influence on others around you. In the accounting field there is always a large emphasis put on acting ethically and responsibly. The field gives a chance for the unethical to act unethically. Accountants have the power to adjust financial statements to their liking, therefore behaving ethically in this field is critical. Meeting with Mr.

French was a truly valuable experience, I appreciate his time and expertise. The opportunity to meet with someone who works in the field you aspire to work is rewarding. I realized how expectations are always accurate, we all have an imagination that doesn’t always derive from facts. When you meet with someone in the field you aspire to be in, it teaches you a lot about what your life will look like in the future. It gives you a new outlook on your career path and initiatives. I am now able to think rationally about this particular subject and plan decisively for the future.

There are times when I question if this is the right field for me and after meeting with Devon I became more confident in my choice. Speaking with Devon I learned more about the different sectors in accounting. From that knowledge I plan to do more research on the many sectors in accounting so that I can have a better idea on what I would want to specialize in. Learning more about Devon’s work I become more interested in audit. My brother is a tax accountant and always encourages me to go into tax, but I think i will reconsider his advice.

I feel audit deals with more of the financial side of accounting and that is something I enjoyed learning here at DePaul. I once interned as an investment research analyst and were I was creating cash flow projections and this was intriguing to me. I have not taken any tax courses yet so I will I have to be patient in making my decision. Lastly, I am very grateful I met with Devon French. I enjoyed his talks very much and not only did I learn a lot from him, but he also gave me many words of wisdom and inspiration. I appreciate his time and expertise.