Nominate an accountant winner: John Grimaldi
We asked the Becker community who inspired them as an accountant. Who motivated you to take the bigger steps for your career? How did they help light the fire in you?
We received dozens of submissions, and it was tough to choose only one, but we’ve done it!
John Grimaldi, an experienced associate at PWC and based in New York City, was nominated not only for his expertise in the field (he is an Elijah Watt Sells winner, after all), but for his influence as a mentor.
John’s intern in the summer of 2019 was Chris Billing – a master’s student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. When Chris went to his boss for advice on preparing for the CPA Exam, John went out of his way to go over how he tackled each part of the exam and even shared his study strategies.
Even though he himself is early in his career, he did not hesitate to begin mentoring as soon as possible.
“I think it is very easy to be a mentor even from the very early stages in your career,” John says. “Less experienced professionals tend to not be as confident in their ability because they are always surrounded by very talented CPAs. I think it’s worth taking a pause and reflecting on how far you have come in your career and sharing your knowledge with the new talent around you.”
Apparently, John gave some good advice, because Chris says he was able to pass his first three exams (FAR, REG and AUD) on the first try.
“We talked about the timing of the exams, study tips, and how to make the most of my schedule,” Chris says. “I stuck to John’s advice and have so far passed every exam I have taken on the first try! As such, I appreciated our discussion and nominated John in this competition.”
Chris also says the value of networking and mentorship cannot be underestimated, especially in the accounting profession. He has found it to be an excellent resource in developing himself personally, professionally and even technically.
John, as part of a Big 4 firm, echoes the importance of seeking out mentors, especially early in your career.
“I think mentoring is the most important part of working at a Big 4 accounting firm,” John says. “It is very often the least experienced people who are doing the bulk of the audit work. Everyone needs a good mentor to coach them through the process and resolve any issues. My audit team has a great culture of mentoring others but also demanding accountability from one another.”
As far as drawing his own inspiration, he named one accountant in particular -- Alexander Hamilton.
“If I could meet any dead accountant it would probably be him,” John explains. “He’s the perfect intersection between our profession and one of my favorite periods in history.”
John is a native of Basking Ridge, NJ and has been with PWC for a year and a half. He graduated with a bachelor’s from the Carroll School of Management at Boston College in 2018 and is in the final stages of processing his CPA licensure application.
John: from all of us at Becker, congrats on all your achievements, and thank you for being an accountant’s champion! We also want to thank Chris for this meaningful submission.