Natalia Mancero '24, Accounting
June 15, 2022
It's amazing to get a real taste of what [accounting] work is like early on.
Since her first year on campus, Natalia Mancero '24's vision of what she'll do with her Bucknell education has been crystal clear: become a certified public accountant (CPA) at one of the "Big Four" accounting firms.
"What's exciting about the Freeman College of Management is how well it prepares you for the Uniform CPA Examination," says Mancero, an accounting major from Upper Saddle River, N.J. "I know I'll graduate ready for what comes next."
Mancero also knows it will take more than sparkling test scores and a self-assured attitude to land a job at one of the four largest accounting firms in the United States: Deloitte, EY, PricewaterhouseCoopers and KPMG. On top of determination and hard work, she'll need hands-on experience to gain the real-world knowledge that will set her up to excel in the industry.
So in her sophomore year at Bucknell, she went hunting for just that.
She began with a visit to Bucknell's Center for Career Advancement, where counselors helped Mancero polish her resumé and coached her through mock interviews. Advice from professors like Amber Lawson, accounting, also reinforced Mancero's confidence as she pursued a wide range of opportunities.
"I was applying for any and every internship I could find at New York City firms," Mancero says. "I applied even when I didn't have all the qualifications, and I actually got several interviews."
One of those applications went to PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), where Mancero was accepted into the company's Start Internship program for summer 2022. Working alongside high-achieving college students from across the nation, Mancero is consulting nonprofits while getting her foot in the door at her dream company.
"It's amazing to get a real taste of what the work is like this early on," Mancero says. "There's a possibility that this opportunity can lead to even more internships, which I'm so grateful for."
The People You Meet
Mancero's path to the internship wasn't a straight shot, however. While she secured several callbacks, she also received her fair share of rejections.
"I didn't hear back from PwC for a while after I applied. When I did, they actually passed on me at first," Mancero says. "I had begun sending off applications to other firms when I got a call asking if I was still interested in interviewing."
When the time to shine finally came, Mancero once again leaned on the guidance she received from her support system at Bucknell. One of her most crucial mentors was one of her sorority sisters in Alpha Delta Pi, who had completed the Start Internship just one year before.
"When I found out that she had done the exact same program, I was like, 'No way!' " Mancero says. "She told me all about her experience and the work she did, and she even helped me prep for my interview at the firm. The connections you find are some of the coolest aspects of Greek life here.”
Mancero's passion for community extends far beyond her sorority. As a Residential Adviser for McDonnell Hall, she finds fun ways to enhance the everyday living experience of first-year students through activities and events — from snack-fueled Super Bowl parties to late-night karaoke competitions.
"I love being involved across campus because there are so many opportunities to build strong relationships," Mancero says. "You never know who you'll meet or the impact they'll have on your journey."