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Heather Rullo’s story

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Heather RulloAfter unexpectedly discovering a passion for accounting, I kept exploring and found my way to Grant Thornton.

My path started at my first accounting class. It was a prerequisite for my international business focus, but I was surprised to find it fascinating. The class showed me that accounting is the opposite of what I had expected, which was basically clicking away at numbers all day. Instead, I found that accounting offers the challenge of figuring out answers to business questions. So who falls in love with accounting? I did.

The next natural steps were switching to an accounting major and joining the professional honors fraternity, Beta Alpha Psi. One fraternity requirement was visiting accounting firms. My favorite visit was to Grant Thornton. The people in the Melville, N.Y., office, were friendly and helpful, and I kept Grant Thornton in mind as I continued my studies.

Heather Rullo group photoDuring my junior year, I went to a business fair and learned about the Grow with Grant Thornton Summer Leadership Program. I applied and was accepted. It was an amazing three days. We interacted with Grant Thornton professionals of all levels to build leadership skills and define our own professional goals. We heard great speakers, including young women, and I was inspired to picture myself working my way up in the business world. One of the speakers was someone I wouldn’t have expected to be there — the CEO, Michael McGuire. I liked how he described the firm as “Big enough to make a difference, small enough to make a decision.”

Grow with Grant Thornton was such a wonderful experience that I applied for an internship. The interviews were relaxed and casual. Actually, they were conversations; the interviewers invited me to ask any questions. When I told one interviewer that I was curious about her biggest career challenge, she named balancing work and life. But, she said, Grant Thornton makes it easy. “What do you like best about the firm?” I asked. Her answer was work-life and culture.

A month after the second interview, I was delighted to be offered a year-round internship. I worked full-time that summer along with studying for the CPA exam. The staff at the Melville office was very understanding about my time pressure and helped me with a flexible schedule. That fall was the beginning of senior year, and my internship went to part-time.

Heather RulloI learned so much and got to know the most down-to-earth, hardworking people, and experience the healthy culture that Grant Thornton embodies. Before Grow with Grant Thornton and the internship, I was nervous about speaking up in the office. But I responded to encouragement to ask for feedback and became more successful in my work. My dream was to be at Grant Thornton after graduation.

Just before graduating with an accounting degree, I received two great pieces of news about the next year. First, I was presented with Hofstra University’s Myron and Merle Levy 5th Year Accounting Endowed Scholarship, based on the recommendation of the dean of the business school. I’ll be earning my master’s in tax.

Then my dream firm, Grant Thornton, extended my internship through that fifth year and offered me a job to start the next summer. I couldn’t have been more thrilled.

Now my friends tease me, telling me I “bleed Grant Thornton purple.” I just smile and say, “Yes, I really do!”