Jeffrey Zeisler ’12

1. What was your major/minor and when did you graduate?

    • Major – Business Administration
    • Concentration – Accounting
    • Graduation Year – 2012

2. What is your current position (title, company, location)?  Can you describe a typical day?

  • Current Position:
      • Title –> Manager – Capital Markets Accounting Advisory Services
      • Company -> PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC)
  • Location -> Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Typical day:
    • This is one of the hardest questions I get when talking to students and recruits. My work is client focused and project based, and no two clients or projects are ever the same. It’s hard to describe a typical day in my role, but at the core, it usually includes touch points with my client and my team, as well as working towards providing specific deliverables by their due date. During the early stages of my career, I spent most of my time in an executional role, fulfilling tasks and taking direction. Now, in a managerial position, my focus has shifted more towards overseeing the day-to-day assignments for my team with the client and other stakeholders.

3. How did your major prepare you for your current job?

General business knowledge will help in any job you pursue. My accounting classes were able to give me a strong foundation in the technical accounting aspect of my job, but other classes like business communication and my business seminar allowed me to improve my communication and problem solving skills, which are applicable to any job someone takes after graduation.

4. How did you become interested in your field?

I became interested in accounting after taking my first Accounting 101 class at Mary Washington, which was actually taught by an adjunct professor who was still working in the corporate world and taught on Thursday evenings. It also helped to have other amazing accounting/finance professors (Machande, Strassheim, and Frackelton) that are really invested in their students and want to push them to be prepared for the corporate world

5. What’s the best career advice you ever received?

Fail early and fail often. No one gets better by always succeeding and never being faced with adversity. Also, don’t take yourself too seriously. Those are two things that are, obviously, easier said than done, but they’re good reminders to not be short-sighted and to understand that you have a long career ahead, so it’s important to always find ways to have fun and enjoy yourself.

6. Was there a professor, advisor, or fellow student who made an impression on you or helped you when you were at UMW?

I am lucky because this is actually a tough question to answer because I had so many. Professors Strassheim, Machande, and Frackelton were all great teachers, but also advisors to me as I navigated through my journey to graduation and beyond Mary Washington as I started my career. All three had very different backgrounds and stories, but their diverse knowledge and willingness to help allowed me to evaluate my options and decisions to make the best choices for me and my future. I was also very lucky to have a close group of classmates (specifically Ahmed Malik and Tad Dickman) who have been a major part of my life journey during and since our graduation from Mary Washington.

7. What’s your fondest memory of UMW?

    • Academic -> Getting the only perfect score of 100 (that I believe is still true to this day) in Strassheim’s finance class on the semester-long business case study project! (Rob can confirm or deny)
    • Personal -> I met and made many of my lifelong best friends from Mary Washington. The opportunity to spend this part of our lives together, growing and learning is really what I cherish the most about my time in Fredericksburg.

8. Are there any special accomplishments you’ve achieved after college that you’d like to share?

After graduation from Mary Washington, I did my Masters in Accounting (MAcc) at the University of Virginia. I am also a New York State Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and I am currently doing an international secondment (tour) in our Amsterdam PwC office.

9. How would your family or friends describe you in seven words or less?

    • Loyal, adventurous, positive, dedicated and passionate.

10. In one sentence, what advice would you give current business students? 

Take control of your future and make it a priority because no one will care about your dreams and aspirations if you don’t explicitly make them known.