Follow your PURPOSE Elyse Jares, 2014 & 2015 accountancy alumnus External Auditor – Financial Services, KPMG, New York, NY Hometown: Antioch, IL Quick Career Bio I graduated with NIU’s Bachelor of Science degree in accountancy in 2014 and then earned the NIU Master of Accounting Science degree in 2015. I started my job with KPMG in New York City at the end of September 2015 (approximately 3 months after graduation). KPMG is one of the Big 4 public accounting firms. I will be an external auditor in the Financial Services industry. What’s your best memory of your years as an NIU Business student? My best memory would be pledging Delta Sigma Pi, which is a co-ed international business fraternity. I was a transfer student at the time, so it wasn’t easy meeting new people. Joining DSP helped tremendously with that. Many of the best friends I made in college came from DSP. I met a diverse What is one piece of advice that has stuck with you and helped you throughout the years? After high school, I participated in a 10-month volunteer program overseas. During the first week, one of the leaders said something along the lines of “when you love your purpose, you will succeed.” We had to fundraise for the projects we wanted to do in the islands. Fundraising is not easy or fun at all, but I believed in what we wanted to do in the islands and that’s what kept me motivated every day. I started to apply that same philosophy in my life. If I was given a project at work that was mundane or that seemed to be of little importance, I would try to see the bigger purpose behind it. I constantly try to remind myself what my main purpose is. That’s truly what drives me. Tell us your “Why?” I wouldn’t be where I am today without my two mentors. They saw something in me before I saw it in myself. They believed in me and have supported me from the moment they decided to be my mentor. That was five years ago. They have invested their time, commitment, and resources to help me succeed. They are my why. I want to be in a position where I can give back and change someone’s life just like they have done for me. NIU Business…Where the Classroom Meets the Business World | 2 Northern Illinois University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action institution. Produced by authority of the State of Illinois. www.niu.edu 46116 9/15 group of people who are driven and motivated to succeed. They also liked to have a lot of fun. I would highly recommend joining some sort of organization. It’s a great way to meet people you might never have crossed paths with otherwise. It makes your college experience all that much better.