When I stepped inside the PwC Houston office 22 years ago as an intern, it solidified that public accounting was for me. Unknown to me at the time, a high school accounting class would set me on a path toward public accounting. I enjoyed it and I was good at it—even competing at the state level in accounting contests.
Eventually, fate would draw me to PwC because they were willing to take a chance on me as a young intern. During that internship, something just clicked; I was drawn to the people, culture, and work, and I also felt like I was truly a part of a team. But something also struck me as a potential setback: I was one of just two Black people on the floor.
Nearly 17 years later, I became the first Black male promoted to partner in our Houston office. The day I made partner was life changing. To realize that, with that title and the resources afforded to that role, I could make significant and impactful decisions not only for myself and my family but for other people, their loved ones, and communities, was nothing short of amazing.
Becoming a partner wasn’t something I initially envisioned for myself, and once I got on that path it certainly wasn’t without its challenges. My parents raised me to work hard, get the job done, and move on to the next task, and I had to put myself out there more—raise my hand, build my network, and remain confident that I had what it took, which was difficult in part because there were very few leaders who looked like me. Fortunately, I had advocates who were invested in my success. In addition to my own hard work and performance, I credit those mentors with helping me to get to the partner track and thrive there.