Mark is a partner in the Advisory practice specializing in Finance Effectiveness. He began his journey at PwC in 1996 as an intern. He has had the opportunity to work in several PwC offices, including Cleveland and Chicago, as well as the London office of PwC U.K.. When not in the office or traveling on business, he spends the majority of his time with his wife and two children. He also tries to spend his free time participating in sports, whether it’s playing on a PwC team or coaching his son’s t-ball and soccer teams.
Q: Tell us how your journey began at PwC.
A: I started as an intern in the winter of 1995 in the Audit practice in Cleveland. I was an Accounting major at Miami University of Ohio and worked as an intern my spring semester. I went back to school the next year and had a job offer to come back and join Assurance, which at that time was called Audit, as an associate after graduation.
In the midst of my third year in Assurance, I realized that real, technical accounting and SEC technical work was not my cup of tea. Thankfully, I had a couple of good coaches at the time. The Advisory practice didn’t really exist back then, but a group of about seven partners and principals had put together a small process improvement team that consisted of finance, operations, and IT skills that worked with smaller clients. I was able to join that team in 1999.
I stayed in Cleveland and worked with that group for almost four years. At that point, an opportunity came up for me to work in the London office of PwC U.K., joining the Operations Deal Services team there. Essentially, the role was meant to help manage the deal flow between the US and the European firms and build the capabilities, teams, and skills in the Operations Deal Services space. After my three-year tour was completed, I ended up in Chicago on the Finance Effectiveness team.
Q: How did spending time in the UK shape your career?
A: Going to PwC UK to get the international experience and network was a key decision for me. Coming back and joining such a large account team was another key decision. I’ll tell you, when I talk to people about the international experiences, personally, I would tell you it’s one of the greatest things that our people can do and it was, for me, an invaluable life experience.
Q: With all of those experiences, especially your time at PwC UK, you’ve probably grown personally as well as professionally.
A: I completely agree. While there were some familiar faces, moving meant I had to develop a new network as I had been out of the US for a few years. Now having moved around a couple of times successfully, the confidence that you take away from something like that - in addition to just the gravitas and life experience - it absolutely made a big difference for me.
Q: How have your professional relationships influenced you?
A: It is important to have a good set of coaches. I don’t think any one coach or mentor is clearly enough, right? Having strong coaches who can help you navigate hurdles is critical.
In our world, your network is everything.
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