Women in the spotlight: Elrene

At PwC, we foster an inclusive culture. And we believe the best way to show that commitment is by letting our own people share their stories. Caroline, Rebecca, Isabel, Janet and Elrene are just a few who inspire us every day.

Elrene's story: Staying connected

Unlike most of my colleagues who work at PwC, my career began in the education profession. Having taught for five years, I decided to return to school and obtain my MBA in International Management. It was whilst I was studying for my MBA that I fell in love with the accounting profession for the diversity of experiences and continued learning opportunities offered.  I joined PwC Bermuda in 2008 as an intern and was delighted to learn that my prior experience was viewed as an asset to the company. I chose PwC because of their commitment to my personal and professional growth in alignment with the firm’s global strategy.

As a new associate, becoming qualified to practice could have been a nerve-wrecking experience.  However, before I returned to university to finish the final year of my accounting degree, one of my mentors pulled me aside and recommended that I sit my exams prior to returning as an employee.  While I was still in school, our HR department stayed in constant communication with me, ensuring that I received my study materials and had all the necessary preparation to successfully pass the first 2 sections of my CPA exams.  Upon returning to the firm, I was immediately put to work on one of the busiest clients in the office. However, as I still had 2 sections of my degree left to finish, my coach in collaboration with the HR and L&E departments worked to ensure that I had enough time off to study during the week in addition to several weeks off prior to sitting my final exams. Furthermore, the firm provided financial support for my study leave and examinations so all I had to focus on was my studies.

Having successfully passed my exams, I’ve been able to mentor upcoming CPA candidates. Specifically, one of my mentees faces the awesome challenge of being a single mother and the firm has worked with her to allow flexible study times during work hours and taking practice tests from home online.  Although I am currently working in the Insurance and Reinsurance department of the firm, I also have an interest in Investments and am currently pursuing the CFA charter. To this end, the firm has again supported my goal by allowing me to gain experience of working with our Investment teams and also by providing financial assistance and study leave. In short, the support that I have received for my studies at PwC Bermuda is parallel to none. In addition to their willingness to facilitate flexible study and testing schedules, the coordination between our departments enabled me to quickly finish my exams so that I’m now able to focus on other aspects of my career.