College of Business: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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Accounting major Carmen Maiorano: 'Be yourself and stay disciplined'


Carmen Maiorano ’14
Accountancy, MAS 2014–15

Q. What’s been your favorite class so far?
A. ACCY 405—I took it last fall. My professor, EB Altiero, was great, and I learned so much in preparation for my winter internship with EY. Learning about the complete phase of an audit was extremely beneficial during busy season, and the activities and assignments helped reinforce what I was learning and how to apply it to the real world. I’m a TA for ACCY 405 now, so I’m excited to help students in the class be successful!

Q. Who’s your favorite instructor and why?
A. Paul Polinski. I had him for ACCY 303, and I have him now for ACCY 510 in the master’s program. Paul is an easygoing guy, but he wants his students to put forth effort and raise questions to gain better understanding. He not only wants you to know the answer, but why it’s the answer. He’s also a great mentor for students heading into audit—he worked for a public accounting firm before becoming a professor.

Q. Who inspires you and why?
A. The one person on campus who’s inspired me is Nick Edwards. He graduated last year and is working for EY now. We worked together at Campus Recreation and in Accounting Club. He’s a great communicator and worked hard while on campus. I tried to emulate him as much as possible. He was my mentor while he was here.

In business, EY manager Todd Wallin inspires me. I met him a few years ago, and he invested a lot of time into making sure EY was the right place for me. I admire his ability to balance his life between work and his family. I hope one day to be like that.

In my family, my mom, dad, and grandpa inspire me the most. They all work very hard to make sure the people around them are happy and comfortable. Most importantly, they’ve supported me every step of the way, and I’m so thankful for them.

Q. What’s been your biggest challenge during your time here?
A. Learning to be patient with myself. Since freshman year, I was eager to fit in with other freshmen and find organizations that fit my goals. Though it took me a semester to do both, the wait was worth it. If I had a bad day or performed poorly on an exam, I just remembered my end goals and changed my approach to help me get there. I’ve become more focused and successful as a result.

Q. What do you like to do when you’re not in class or studying?
A. On campus, I like to work out and listen to music—both great ways to relieve stress and have fun. I especially like to play soccer. I also like to spend time with family, friends, and my girlfriend Hannah!

Q. What’s something every student should experience before leaving Urbana-Champaign?
A. Every student—at least in the College of Business—should experience Susan Curtis’s debits and credits song/dance. I’ll remember that for the rest of my life. All other students should at least try Papa Del's Pizza. It’s glorious.

Q. What’s your favorite memory of your time at Illinois?
A. Accounting Club’s information night, last year. When I joined as a freshman, around 20 students attended meetings. Fast forward four years, and over 120 students attended our information night. I loved seeing how the club had grown since my freshman year. It felt great to see the direct impact I could have on campus, as well as seeing how others have helped shaped current students. It may not be the most fun campus memory, but it’s definitely the most fulfilling.

Q. What’s your favorite spot on campus?
A. Illinois Campus Recreation. I love having time to myself every day just to work out, or play soccer and basketball. On Fridays, I go to the Turf Fields and play soccer for hours. It’s a productive, beneficial way to catch up with friends.

Q. What’s on your iPod playlist?
A. I listen to a lot of different music. My favorite band is Yellowcard, and yes, they’re still making music! My other favorite bands are Owl City, Train, and the Goo Goo Dolls. I also have a special place in my heart for girl artists that rock out: Taylor Swift, Michelle Branch, Vanessa Carlton…you get the picture.

Q. Who would play you in a movie?
A. It would be pretty funny if Bradley Cooper played me—he’s pretty funny. One time, a hair stylist said we kind of look alike. I don’t think that’s true, but I’ll go with it.

Q. What are your plans after graduation?
Q. I’ll be working with Ernst & Young (EY) next fall! As I said, I did a winter internship with EY earlier this year and signed full-time. I also worked abroad in Australia with EY in July, and it was an incredible experience! I wrote a blog about my experience: It might be beneficial for students looking to go into audit to take a look at it.

Q. What advice would you give new College of Business students?
A. Two things: Be yourself and stay disciplined. It’s easy to get caught up in a bunch of different things and get off track. Find a close, quality friend group that supports you and wants the best for you. And the harder you work and the more disciplined you are, the more successful you’ll be. The biggest thing students can do is just enjoy life! Take your time to enjoy campus and make memories, because these will be the memories you take with you.

UIUC College of Business