Alumni Spotlights

Alyssa Miller

Alyssa Miller (2011)

Program/Degree:
B.A. Accounting & MBA Accounting
Profession:
Deloitte, New York City Office – Senior Tax Consultant
Bio:

I am in a specialized group in Deloitte called Global Information Reporting. This is a division within the Financial Service Industry that handles a variety of information reporting returns. I am also involved in a number of related tax consulting projects, including implementation of processes and procedures related to the new Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), tax reporting on liquidation of assets for bankrupt clients, Foreign Bank Account Reporting (FBAR), and working with the IRS on behalf of the client to reduce or abate tax penalties.

I had an internship with Deloitte during my last semester as an undergraduate at Niagara. I was introduced to John Rieger, who is a proud alumnus of Niagara ‘86, through Myriam Witkowski, Assistant Dean of the College of Business Administration. John Rieger is the National Tax Managing Partner of the Financial Services Industry Practice at Deloitte. He is very well respected and leads a significant number of professionals in this practice. John is very committed to returning to Niagara and recruiting graduates to start their accounting careers in the New York office. We are looking to continually grow our group of Niagara graduates!

I did my internship from January through April of 2011, which happens to be the height of the tax busy season. I was extremely busy as an intern and was treated more like a regular staff than an intern. The professionals I worked with were very welcoming, supporting, and wanted me to come back and join the group, so they made every effort to give me a real experience. Although I did my fair share of “intern work”, I was also thrown right into preparing returns and was actually staffed on one of the current projects.

Describe the characteristics that you are looking for in an accounting student when you attend a recruiting event for potential opportunities with Deloitte?

I think the most important factor I am looking for in an accounting student when I attend Meet the Accounting and Finance Professionals night or similar recruiting events is well-roundedness. I do not want to discount the need for high, competitive GPAs to be considered, but there is more to being successful than simply what is on paper. Accounting students happen to be extremely bright as a whole, but they need the other aspect of being successful: people-skills. Although I can only speak on my experience at one of the big four firms, this is crucial. Yes, I do sit at my desk a lot of days and do calculations, prepare returns, etc. However, I am also involved in a number of projects that require direct contact with clients. If clients do not like working with you, they are not really going to care that your work is impeccable. As you move up the chain of command, if you cannot work with and manage people in a way that earns you respect, your team will not function very well. The way you present yourself as a knowledgeable, personable professional is the key.

When I attended Meet the Accounting and Finance Professionals Night at Niagara in 2013, I met a senior by the name of Emily Read. I saw so much potential is her, as well as a few other students, who I had recommended that John Rieger consider for an internship. Emily blew it out of the water on her interviews and is currently an intern within the Financial Services industry practice. Although we are not working together on a day to day basis, I want to give her the same great experience I had as an intern.