Timothy A. Smith ('10, '11)
"There is no replacement for hard work and dedication in everything you do."
Title: Audit Senior Assistant
Hometown: Bossier City
Now resides in: Dallas
Degree: B.S. accounting, M.A. accountancy
Tell us a bit a regular "Day in the Life of Tim" at work: What can I say other than that there is no such thing as a typical day. Most people think of accountants as people who sit in an office crunching numbers all day with limited personal interaction; well I am here to tell you that at least in my case, that cannot be further from the truth. First of all, I am rarely if ever working at our office in Dallas; usually I am out at the client site, which in my short career has consisted of Albuquerque, San Francisco, New York City and various other cities in the Dallas metroplex. Secondly, my day consists of an unlimited amount of personal interaction, both with my engagement team (other Deloitte employees) and the client. Finally, one of the things I have most enjoyed out my job thus far is that as soon as you start to become comfortable with one area/assignment, you are assigned to a new area/assignment, and thus you are constantly growing the depth and breadth of your knowledge.
What brought you to Tech? I came to LA Tech initially because of TOPS and the University's close proximity to Bossier City, my hometown. I also liked the overall campus atmosphere and size, while in high-school I decided I wanted to attend a University that had all the advantages/opportunities available on a large campus while also small enough to not make you feel like just a number. Tech offered the best of both worlds.
What made you choose this profession? I first took an accounting course as an elective my senior year in high school. After completing the course, I didn't think too much about it again until the summer before college when it was time to register for classes. I looked thru the student catalog and thought accounting sounded like a good place to start, figuring I could always switch to finance or business administration if I didn't end up liking accounting. Then once I started taking some accounting classes, the faculty really opened my eyes to all the different types of opportunities and careers that were available with a degree in accounting, I never looked back.
Tell us how you got to Dallas, and whether or not you've thought of moving somewhere else: During the winter quarter of my senior year, I completed an audit internship with Deloitte & Touche LLP (International Accounting Firm) in Dallas. After completing the internship, I was offered a full-time position upon the completion of my master's. I really enjoyed the type of work, the people and the overall city of Dallas, so I figured where else better to start my career after completing my degree at LA Tech?: it was still close enough to my hometown and alma mater to allow for road trips. Plus, I have always been a huge Dallas Cowboys fan, so that was a bonus!
Tell us a bit about the Elijah Watt Sells Award and how difficult – or not – it was to receive it: The Elijah Watt Sells Award program was established in 1923 by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) to recognize outstanding performance on the Uniform CPA Examination. The 2011 award was presented to candidates who obtained a cumulative average score above 95.50 across all four sections of the Uniform CPA Examination, completed testing during the previous calendar year and passed all four sections of the Examination on their first attempt. More than 90,000 candidates sat for the Exam in 2011. The quarter system at Tech as well as the ‘Concurrent Program' within the College of Business allowed me the opportunity to graduate with my master's a quarter early, in February 2011. As my full-time offer with Deloitte was not set to begin until September 2011, it resulted in all the stars aligning perfectly to allow me six months to concentrate primarily on studying/preparing for the exam. During this time, I held a part-time position (15 hours a week) as a research associate in the Louisiana Tech Office of Internal Audit; I studies and prepared for the exam with the remaining 15-20 hours a week. I believe the key to my success was setting attainable goals (like completing one chapter of review materials per day) and then rewarding myself/taking a break when I met the set goals. The ultimate goal was just to have the entire exam completed and passed before starting my full-time employment with Deloitte; I knew it would only become harder to get myself into the study mindset the longer I waited to complete the exam after I graduated. I attribute my urgency and desire to complete the exam as soon as possible, as well as the success I achieved on the exam, to all of the professors/faculty/staff who taught/advised me throughout my college career at Tech.
Your best memories of Tech: I joined/participated in as many organizations as my free time would permit. I was a member of Student Recruiters for three years and the Business Student Association for two years. I was also involved in Beta Alpha Psi (Accounting Society), a few other business/honor societies, and was also a member of SAE fraternity (assistant treasurer, treasurer and president). All these organizations allowed me the opportunity to meet and interact with many people and have molded me into the person I am today. The connections I made during my college career and all of the athletic events, rounds of golf played at Ruston Country Club, intramural events and volleyball games on Friday afternoons with those people are by far my best memories of Tech.
Your advice to Tech freshmen today: Be determined, set your goals and diligently work to achieve those goals, but at the same time don't forget that change is all right. And never take yourself too seriously or you may miss some of the most rewarding experiences that Tech can offer.
What are your hobbies? I like to read, mostly historical and business-related books. I also like to play golf and volleyball, and of course cheer on the Bulldogs.
"If there's one thing I've learned, it's…": There is no replacement for hard work and dedication in everything you do.
How did Tech prepare you for your career and, in general, life after college? Louisiana Tech provided me an accounting education on par with that of any other university's in the country. My aforementioned belief was confirmed when I arrived the first day of my internship at Deloitte during my senior year. During my junior year at Tech, I interviewed and received an offer for a very competitive audit internship with Deloitte in Dallas. In the Dallas office, almost all new hires are hired directly upon completing an internship and graduating from their university, with the primary constituents from University of Texas, Texas A&M, Baylor, SMU and other top universities throughout Texas. I was the first and only Louisiana Tech student for my internship year, (and the only one from Louisiana as well). However, upon starting the internship it was clear that I had an education equal to or better than most of my peers. I attribute my ability for success directly to Louisiana Tech and its devoted professors, staff and faculty.
I also believe that the numerous organizations I was able to participate in during my time at Tech have been instrumental in my personal and professional development. I was elected president of my fraternity and served in other leadership positions during my college career. During my tenure as president, I developed my leadership, time management and motivational skills in a manner that I believe have been instrumental in my career development thus far. I also believe the aforementioned skills will continue to benefit me throughout the rest of my career.