Accounting student gains real-world insight

In Features

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Taryn Hoffmann-Torres, senior business honors student, went into the workforce after graduating high school because her parents never encouraged her to pursue a higher education.

At the time, no one in her family had attended college. Like her parents, Hoffmann had to work full time, move out and earn her bread independently.

In 2001, Hoffmann-Torres moved to Germany for an internship that she received through her volunteer work for civil service community projects. After civil service, Hoffmann-Torres went into sales and eventually became an administrative assistant.

She left Germany at the end of 2009 and decided to enroll in college a year later, in search of something more fulfilling.

While in college, she came across the Accounting Society, a professional student organization within Cal State Fullerton’s Mihaylo College of Business and Economics. This organization aims to promote social interaction with business professionals and accounting as an area of concentration.

Through this society, students like Hoffman-Torres are exposed to opportunities for networking and career development.

She is now the Vice President Correspondence of the society.

“I’ve never considered myself to be at a good position because an administrative assistant never really advances,” Hoffmann-Torres said. “In Europe, much like here, they want to see a degree … I felt frustrated that I was not able to establish a career in the corporate world without a degree.”

Hoffmann-Torres found herself maturing very quickly because she traveled at such an early age and was alone in a country where she did not have family. Learning a different language and getting used to a different mentality outside of her own was a difficult transition for her.

“I know if I went to college years before, I definitely would not have approached it the way I did today,” Hoffmann said. “Today I am a business honors student, today I am heavily involved in the Accounting Society, and today I also mentor a lot of young students. I don’t believe I could have done that back then.”

Hoffmann-Torres felt she was lucky to be able to pursue her career in a better setting compared to her fellow classmates who struggle working a full-time job and attending school full time.

In order to graduate sooner and accumulate her units, Hoffmann-Torres was able to open an online jewelry shop with the support of her husband and dedicated the extra time to school.

However, this was temporary and her sights were still set on a successful career.

Hoffmann-Torres said acquiring an internship during your college career provides a solid gateway to a full-time position.

This past summer, she received the opportunity to intern for Deloitte, a Fortune 500 company.

CSUF’s Accounting Society has direct connections with various firms that students are able to get involved with. The club gave her the opportunity to meet with professionals from the top four accounting firms which include: Deloitte, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Ernst & Young and KPMG.

Accounting Society President, Cindy Martinez, said they give their members plenty of opportunities to gain exposure to companies, and Hoffman is a great example of how important it is to get involved.

“Our most popular event is Meet the Firms. This semester we have over 50 companies attending this event,” Martinez said. “And they will be heavily recruiting for internships and full-time positions.”

The possibilities increase if students take advantage of the events available and make their presence known to the recruiters, Martinez said.

Hoffman-Torress’ position as a global intern brought her to Brazil, and once again she found herself in a foreign country.

Hoffmann-Torres was faced with the challenge of learning Portuguese within a short period of time. Deloitte provided her with Rosetta Stone to learn the language three months in advance.

The first four weeks of her internship were spent working in local sites as well as training at the University of Deloitte in Texas. The last four weeks were spent working on sites in Fortaleza, Brazil.

Every morning, Hoffmann -Torres had breakfast and the concierge would wave her down to take a taxi to her client site for the day. Deloitte paid for all her expenses including taxi fares, flight expenses and food throughout her time there.

In spite of the thousands of students who applied for this internship, Hoffmann-Torres was very fortunate to be one of the 17 interns chosen by Deloitte.

“I hope to begin my promising career with Deloitte, and then after a few years, begin to apply for their Global Development Program (GDP), and see what opportunities become available to me,” Hoffmann-Torres said.

Hoffmann-Torres accepted a full-time contract offered to her by Deloitte and she will start working with them after the completion of her bachelor’s in May. She does not plan to pursue her master’s.

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