WASHINGTON, Oct 16 (Reuters) – When Gemma Urquiza interviewed for her job at True Partners, a Chicago tax and consulting firm, she remembers talking about her university honors, her ambitions and her dad’s restaurant.
Urquiza, 25, is the eldest of four children of Mexican immigrants and, like many first-generation Americans, she’s found accounting to be a perfect fit.
Her employer likes her work ethic and multicultural upbringing, as well as her technical mastery and spreadsheet savvy. She likes the variety of the job and its stability.
Accounting has long provided a path for first-generation Americans into the professional classes. Good pay and a focus on numbers makes it an attractive career choice.
Still, recruiting the children of immigrants is complex, say some Certified Public Accountants (CPAs). Parents’ opinions are influential and they often don’t know the field, a problem that alternatives like medicine or the law don’t face.
Once on the job, first-generation CPAs can face new challenges like decoding the relationship-driven, sometimes self-promotional American business culture.
As accounting firms rev up recruiting efforts on college campuses this fall, there is rising demand for multicultural candidates like Urquiza to match an increasingly global focus.
“It’s important to have talented accountants that reflect the demographic of a global economy.” Ken Bouyer, Ernst & Young Americas director of inclusiveness recruiting, told Reuters.
Specific figures on first-generation CPAs are hard to come by, but the biggest firms are spending millions of dollars on a diversification push that’s trying to reach minorities in college, high school and even as early as grammar school.
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