Lindsay Wing, Tax Partner at PwC, shares her experiences in the UW Foster School’s tax program. She graduated from the program in 2003.
What is your impression of the tax program’s alumni network?
Before I started the tax program I interned at PwC’s Denver office and received a full-time offer. So I did not utilize the alumni network in the sense of helping me find a job, but I did form a lot of personal relationships that have lasted throughout my career. It is so impressive to me how much people have stayed connected and reach out to each other on a regular basis. There is also such a good name and reputation associated with the program. The people that I have met in the New York office that went through UW’s program have always been very highly skilled, qualified, and technical professionals. In Seattle a lot of firms hire from UW, but when you encounter people all the way out in New York that went to UW they really stand out against their peers.
What are your impressions of faculty?
The faculty has changed since I was a student, but it is evident that the culture of the program is the same. The faculty cares about their students’ well-being and wants them to succeed. This environment remains the same even with different faculty because that’s what makes the program successful. They want you to learn so they challenge and push you. But they are also there to mentor you and help you succeed. I think the investment UW’s faculty makes in their students is one of the most unique and important attributes of UW’s tax program.
What strategies did you use to balance work, life, and the tax program?
I was a full-time student during the program and was not working, so I treated the program like a full-time job. One of my strengths is that I’m very organized. I figured out how to organize my day around classes, projects, and whatever else I needed to accomplish. I think it’s so important to establish a routine and a plan in order to be successful. Part of that requires learning how to prioritize and multitask, which is a good precursor for professional life. During the program, my aunt convinced me to run my first half-marathon with her in Vancouver. I had only run 2-3 miles at a time previously, so carving out the time to train was really important despite my already demanding schedule. Obviously as you advance in your career the magnitude of your different obligations grow, but the ability to multitask and prioritize requires practice and diligence. The earlier you start honing these skills, the easier it will be to balance what is expected of you as a tax professional with extracurricular activities or other goals you have in life.
Is there anything else you want to tell prospective students about this program?
In all my years working at PwC, I have not come across people who received an education on par with what students receive at UW. This program puts professionals a step above their peers, through establishing a strong educational background and superior work ethic. I get the impression from a lot of other programs that they are more of an extension of your undergraduate degree in order to reach 150 hours for the CPA exam rather than a specialized tax program. As I have become more involved in recruiting at PwC, it has become apparent that the UW prepares their students in ways other programs do not. Candidates are more prepared, organized, and knowledgeable. This program is truly a great foundation to start your career.