Six Months Later, Alumni Experience Tim Ryan’s Ethos Firsthand at PwC 

Tim Ryan holding up a graduation cap with a heart on it while on stage

Your college graduation is the metaphorical end of a chapter, though you don’t usually turn the page and start your first job while in your cap and gown. That is, unless the Commencement speaker is a leader at your new company.  

Then, the next chapter starts immediately.  

That’s what happened for the members of Babson College’s Class of 2023 who now work at PwC. Tim Ryan ’88, H’23, U.S. chair and senior partner at PwC and the 2023 undergraduate Commencement speaker, addressed the students and their loved ones about the importance of “leading with love” and fostering trust in the workplace. The speech left a mark on the entire Babson community, though the students going on to PwC got a little extra; they got a sneak peak of the professional environment they worked so hard to join. 

“As I sat under the Commencement tent, I expected to hear messages about working hard to build a company and achieve revenue growth,” Christopher Hill ’23, an audit associate at PwC, says. “I found this Commencement speech even more impactful that Tim advocated for the importance of making everyone feel valued. This speech is significant as we embark on our career journey and hope to lead with the principles highlighted by Tim.” 

Six months after graduation, those Babson students are now full-time PwC employees. As they study for the CPA exam, move to their first apartments, and navigate their early careers, they get to witness how “leading with love” and compassion can bolster their professional journeys.  

Hill and his classmates-turned-colleagues, who all interned at PwC before their senior years, reflect on what it all means. 

Caroline Huynh ’23  

Huynh and Ryan before the 2023 undergraduate Commencement ceremony

Huynh, a former financial accounting tutor and vice president of Women Who Lift at Babson, is an audit associate at PwC in the Health Industries sector. “I was touched by how down to earth and endearing Tim’s Commencement speech was,” Huynh says. “He breaks down the idea of how good leadership isn’t based on your external achievements, but, rather, how you motivate others to become the best version of themselves.” 

How has PwC shaped your view of leadership? 

“(At our first-week training,) we talked a lot about building your personal brand and how you should lead with authenticity. It brought a personal aspect to leadership that allowed me to view leadership in a new light. You can use what you value in life to leverage your leadership. I realized I could be a leader by simply just being me. There are more than plenty of avenues to express yourself and lead that aren’t just solely based in the work you’re doing or being a manager.” 

Christopher Hill ’23 

Hill during a workday at the PwC Boston office

During his time at Babson, Hill held leadership positions such as co-president of the Accounting Club, resident assistant, and Peer Career Ambassador (PCAs) with the Hoffman Family Undergraduate Center for Career Development. He is an audit associate at PwC. 

What makes PwC a great place to start your career? 

“The collaborative environment fostered by PwC allowed me to feel empowered to ask questions and seek help when needed. (While interning,) senior associates, managers, and even partners gave me invaluable advice and resources to support the beginning of my career, and this welcoming network was the main contributing factor for accepting my full-time offer. 

“Even in my role now, I can easily just message one of my seniors and ask for help. They are happy to hop on a call and answer your questions. It’s a collaborative environment.” 

Alexa Tanzer ’23 

Tanzer before the 2023 undergraduate Commencement ceremony

Alexa Tanzer ’23, an international tax consulting associate at PwC, was a student consultant for the Boston Red Sox as a part of the Management Consulting Field Experience class. “Tim Ryan’s speech made me proud to be working for someone who understands the true needs of his employees and could take the time to make such a passionate speech about those needs,” Tanzer says. “It’s one thing when people just say it, but it’s another thing when you believe what they’re saying, and I believed him.” 

How do you see people leading with love at PwC? 

“My team understands that we all have other responsibilities outside of work and they consistently act in the best interest of us, while still pushing us to be the best employees that we can be. I’m Jewish, and during Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, I contemplated whether to take the holidays off. During school, I wouldn’t take those days off because I knew I would miss too much or fall behind. It always bothered me that I couldn’t take my most important holidays off. But, this year, I took days off for the Jewish holidays and my team was incredibly understanding. With the nature of the work we do, even if you take the day off, sometimes there’s stuff you need to log in for. But, everyone was very understanding and respectful, specifically those two days. (In terms of) what Tim’s talking about in his speech, I’ve experienced it.”

Posted in Entrepreneurial Leadership, Outcomes

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