A popular academic route for many of Robinson’s undergraduate accounting students is to enroll in the college’s Master of Professional Accountancy (MPA) program immediately after graduation. For Josh Sanders, back-to-back degrees set him up for rapid career success. Upon completion of his master’s in 2014, he started as a staff auditor at EY. Two years later, he transitioned to PwC’s Capital Markets & Accounting Advisory Services team; he quickly moved up to manager in that group.
Sanders constantly collaborated on group assignments throughout the MPA program. The interpersonal acumen he developed was his greatest takeaway, even more than technical skills.
“I emerged with the ability to interface with people with different backgrounds and priorities,” Sanders said. “Given today’s fast-changing professional environment, you have to be versatile and adaptable.”
Sanders’ flexibility has served him especially well when working on clients’ initial public offerings (IPOs)—some with total proceeds of more than $1 billion. At this point, his skill set is so solid that colleagues from around the country reach out to him as a resource for IPO transaction knowledge.
Sanders is as passionate about his own success as he is about carving pathways for others. He participates in PwC’s employee resource groups for members of the Asian, Black, Latinx, and LGBT+ communities, as well as inclusion networks for veterans, women, and working parents. He feels compelled to foster an inclusive workplace, and to infuse those practices into the company’s recruiting processes.
“It’s fairly easy for someone like me to get a seat at the table,” Sanders said. “It’s incumbent upon people [at PwC] to hire people who might not have had the same advantages.”