My story - Nate Smith
In May 2008, my wife and I visited Grand Cayman on a Caribbean cruise. When we arrived, we anticipated that it would be much like the other Caribbean islands we had been to over the years. We certainly didn’t expect that our visit would be a life-altering event. The people we met and the sites we saw caused us to question why we too were not living in such a fantastic locale. Upon our return home to New Jersey in the United States, we began investigating what living in Grand Cayman would be like, and if there might be any opportunities for us. Two years later, after fulfilling some personal commitments, we turned our original visit to Grand Cayman into a permanent residence.
I’m originally from Pennsylvania, but prior to moving to Grand Cayman, I spent the last eight years living in New Jersey; four years serving in the United States Air Force and four years working in the accounting and auditing industry. I obtained my bachelors degree in accounting by going to school at night while in the military and then completed my MBA at Monmouth University while working as an auditor.
Once I decided that the time was right to make the move, I began contacting possible employers directly through email, social media, and by telephone. PwC has a great reputation around the world, and after speaking with a few contacts in Grand Cayman, it quickly became my first choice for potential employment.
Moving to the island has been exactly the type of experience that I was looking for; a world-class employer, challenging work, and a culture that emphasizes the importance of a work-life balance. There certainly have been some adjustments with moving from the fast-paced lifestyle of the New York City area to the flip-flop-wearing, stores-closed-on-Sundays environment of Grand Cayman, but I think I am adapting quite well!
Immediately after moving here, I fulfilled a personal goal and learned to kite surf, and during the windy season, I will spend most weekends out on the water. The island is extremely active, and there is always a sport to get involved in; my basketball team recently won the Cayman Islands Basketball Association’s Division II championship. Another aspect of the island that I have thoroughly enjoyed is all of the people that I have met from various parts of the world. The island is a veritable United Nations and learning the customs and traditions of so many different cultures provides for hours of conversation. In the short time that I have been here, I have made connections with people and co-workers that will last a lifetime.
My employment with PwC Cayman has been challenging, but rewarding. As I’ve mentioned, PwC Cayman has allowed me to find the work-life balance that I was seeking while permitting me to progress in my career. Financial Services was a new industry for me, but the firm had a comprehensive training program in place that helped me to quickly become comfortable with the nuances of the industry. Partners and managers maintain an open-door policy and take an active interest in professional development. The PwC Cayman office is a tight knit group, which looks out for each other both professionally and personally. The fact that almost everyone in the office has moved to the island, away from family, friends, and the “known” lends itself to a community atmosphere. We often get together after work hours and on the weekends to take part in the various events/activities that Grand Cayman has to offer. The firm facilitates the community atmosphere by allocating a generous social budget that they use to throw quarterly events, beach days, and parties. The firm also encourages us to get involved in local charities and projects and will often sponsor teams in local running and swimming events; it’s just another way PwC supports the Cayman community while helping us get involved.
I’ve been very happy with my move to PwC and Grand Cayman. I’d recommend it to anyone looking for an adventure, and I look forward to continuing in the island lifestyle and my progression at PwC Cayman.