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Finding Passion in Public Accounting

News Story

For public accounting student Shahzaib Khan, making his mark at Pace as a student, research assistant, and intern is more than a goal—it’s motivation to be the best and strive toward his dream of becoming a CEO of an accounting firm.

“I noticed that at Pace University, I have been setting higher goals. When I graduate, I don’t want just a job, I want the best of the best.” Shahzaib Khan ’17 is a firm believer that good things come to those who work hard and push themselves. At Pace, the public accounting major has secured prestigious internships at AXA Advisors, Deutsche Bank, Deloitte, and Nasdaq; gained leadership experience through Beta Alpha Psi; participated and placed in a variety of accounting-related competitions; and developed the skills needed to succeed in his industry.

“I wanted a program that helped with the fundamentals of accounting but at the same time offered you real work experience. [Pace] does that,” says Khan. “When I graduate, not only will I have the knowledge in accounting, but also the first-hand work experience that will make me stand out from other candidates.”

As a candidate in the Lubin School of Business’ five-year combined BBA/MBA in Public Accounting program, Khan says Pace is placing him a step ahead in reaching his goal of becoming a CEO of a major accounting firm in Dubai.

“The professors are really helpful both inside and outside the classroom,” Khan says. “They want you to succeed and shine, and they advise you about upcoming opportunities and help you become a stronger candidate for jobs.”

Since his freshman year, Khan has tapped into several resources available at Pace including Career Services and academic business honor society Beta Alpha Psi, which have provided him with unmatched networking opportunities, internships, and opportunities to build his resume.

In Beta Alpha Psi, Khan has been on the committee of competitions and was a chair of alumni relations, participated in community service events, and presented at the Best Practice Regional Competition where he won third place after collectively allocating more than 400 hours to create a sense of community and exchange ideas to add value to the chapter.

Through Career Services, Khan secured his tax internship at Nasdaq and had the opportunity to work with and learn from executives and tax professionals in various departments.

“I learned that to be successful and to grow professionally, hard work and having a passion for your work are extremely important,” he says. “If you plan on doing something you love and you have a desire for it, you will accomplish more goals and be happy at the end of the day.”

Khan is passionate about being as well-rounded as possible, having participated in many competitions such as PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) xACT Case Competition, KPMG Gold Challenge Competition, EY Forensic Case Competition, and Beta Alphs Psi’s Good vs. Bad Business Ethics Competition.

This winter, he will spend 10 days in Singapore and India as part of a travel finance course that focuses on venture capital and private equity markets in South Asia, as well as financial innovation.

“We live in a time where you can have a 4.0 GPA with two degrees and still be jobless after college. Why? Because recruiters and firms want to see your resume and want you see what have you been up to and your experience,” says Khan. “They want a person who is well-rounded—someone who has been interning, has extracurricular activities, strong leadership skills, and is confident. This in fact is all possible for you because of Lubin, Career Services, and Beta Alpha Psi.”

Hear more about Khan's experiences in this Lubin success story video.

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