Name: Nicole Young
Title: Senior Tax Accountant
Company: Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP
Can you briefly describe what you do at Baker Tilly?
I am a senior tax accountant at Baker Tilly. I work mainly on Corporate Returns that are multi-state filers. My client work mostly includes manufacturing clients with some international components.
I noticed you double majored in accounting and international business in college. What made you decide to begin your career in accounting?
I originally chose Muhlenberg College because I wanted to be a dentist, and they have an amazing pre-med program. I was not a strong science student in high school, so I am not sure why I thought I would excel at sciences in college. I had always done well at math, so during my freshman year of college, my mom advised me to take some finance courses in addition to my science curriculum. I enrolled in financial accounting and macroeconomics along with my biology courses at Muhlenberg. Financial accounting and macro came more naturally to me while I struggled to get good marks in biology. After my first semester of freshman year, I decided to nix the pre-med track and focus on accounting as well as international business.
How has your study abroad experience benefited you professionally?
I think traveling abroad, in general, allows people to be more open minded and accepting. I had an enriching experience abroad. I got to meet so many different people from many different countries and backgrounds. The university I studied at in the Netherlands used a “problem-based” learning system. This means that the students are heavily involved in teaching the classes. In a problem-based learning environment, students are personally responsible for their academic education. Learning is conducted in small tutorial groups. These groups analyze problems given by the course instructor. The groups conduct discussion and perform research about the topic and is then in charge of teaching the rest of the class about the topic they researched. Students are graded on how well they know the topic and address specific points as well as get the rest of the class involved.
The university believes that this approach and theory to learning as it helps motivate students to conduct insightful and thoughtful research on their own and experience the true strength of the group’s cultural diversity. This also helps to develop stronger debating and presenting skills. I found this style of teaching and my abroad experience extremely favorable. I think it helped me to think outside the box and encouraged me to ask more questions.
While abroad, I traveled a lot! I had four-day weekends and two breaks that were over ten days. This allowed me to visit 14 countries and see so many things. This experience has transcended into my career because it has given me a different perspective and approach to thinking. It has also encouraged me to work with others that have different working styles and to be more collaborative.
How has YPN impacted you in your career? Do you belong to a committee?
I have not joined a committee yet, but hope to in the future. YPN has helped me network of course! It has also helped me meet more professionals in the city and learn about other careers and companies located in Philadelphia that I may not have known about. Let’s face it, networking can be super awkward, but it can be so crucial to your career. In the public accounting spectrum, you depend on networking to build your book of business and clientele. YPN helps 30 something’s and under to develop valuable networking skills early on in our careers. Practice makes perfect and it will truly help down the road as we make our way through the corporate ranks.
You were instrumental in organizing all of Baker Tilly’s YPN members. Can you tell me a little more about that experience?
We have been involved and active in YPN for some time now, and my role involves facilitating information about events to staff. Our firm stresses the importance of networking, and YPN provides a wealth of opportunity with events for volunteering and networking. I encourage people to sign up for any events that interest them on the YPN calendar, but I also send out group invites for events I think people would benefit from attending.
Do you have a professional mentor or mentors? If so, tell us about your relationship with that person(s)
There have been so many wonderful mentors throughout my college career and professional career; it is hard to pick one! I think the common factor between all my mentors has been that they are approachable. You need to find that person you respect, admire, and aspire to be like. Once you find that person, you want to latch on and learn as much as you can. You always need to have someone who is in your court, cheering you along and wanting you to be successful in every stage of your career. I have had so many mentors who have influenced me and have helped me develop professionally.
YPN’s Professional Development Committee has a “PD Bookshelf,” with book recommendations collected from regional business leaders. What book are you currently reading, or have you recently read, that you would recommend to the YPN community? Why?
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. Although this book was written and published a long time ago, I think the message is timeless and transcends into this decade. I also like learning about others who are successful and the history of how they got their start. I think the book helps encourage individuals to reach their potential and to not plateau in their career.
How do you spend your spare time?
In my spare time, I like to read, travel, and spend time with family and friends. My friends live all over the place, so I like planning weekend trips. I also like to visit at least two new places a year, whether they are domestic or international destinations. My next trip is at the end of this month for Halloween, when I will be visiting New Orleans.