Name: Chris Hodgens, CPA
Class Year: 2017
Title: Audit & Assurance Senior 2
Organization Name: Deloitte & Touche LLP
1. In one sentence, what does your job entail?
As a public accountant, I investigate client financial data to evaluate its validity on behalf of the Board of Directors and Company Shareholders.
2. What planned and unplanned events connected you to your industry and your first employer after Holy Cross? How did you learn/decide it was a good fit for you?
When I arrived at Holy Cross, I did not have accounting on my radar at all. By the time second semester of my first year rolled around, I had made friends with several people in my Montserrat class/cluster. Through these friends, I had heard great things about Prof. O’Connor’s Financial Accounting class and decided to register – and the rest is history as they say.
3. What were you involved in when you were on campus?
I was an active member in campus ministry, SPUD, and also worked in Dinand.
4. What was your major and how did it affect your career decisions?
Accounting. I was lucky enough to major in a subject that has a somewhat predictable pipeline to public accounting. Through my accounting professors (shoutout to Prof. O’Connor, Baldiga, Teitel, and Sandstrom!) and the Center for Career Development, I was provided with ample opportunities to network with professionals (and HC alumni) from the “Big 4” public accounting firms.
5. What are one or two skills that you developed at Holy Cross that you use in your work?
Without a doubt, the amount of writing that I did in all of my classes was hugely beneficial. Many people think “accounting” and assume that I work in a dimly lit room with a calculator – not so! The audit profession (and accounting in general) requires a high degree of analysis into what the numbers really mean to the different stakeholders – so communicating that information is key. In fact, a large portion of my day is comprised of sending emails to clients, communicating the status of work to my direct superiors and to clients, and drafting memos to substantiate identified risks, understanding of the business, etc.
6. What advice do you have for students on campus today?
I would encourage everyone to start thinking about life post-college early on – attend the career fairs, alumni/industry panels, etc. Have conversations with your professors – many of whom started their careers in the industries/topics they now teach about – to get some additional perspectives. For my accounting major friends, make it a point to attend recruiting events and introduce yourself to campus recruiters from Deloitte and the other “Big 4” accounting firms. Each firm has leadership programs for sophomores to attend and get a feel for the culture at each firm – be sure to apply to these. These programs often lead to an internship offer for the following summer – so it pays to start building these relationships early.