Alumnus at Deloitte attributes success to School of Business, international student services office

August 10, 2023

Olaundre Ffriend smirking in his cap and gown

At an early age, Olaundre Ffriend ’22, MS ’23, was introduced to the field of accounting and numbers by his father.

“When I was about 15, my father was teaching an accounting class in Jamaica and I was part of that class, learning basic concepts of the accounting world,” said Ffriend. “I think from there, my desire to embrace this career path began to grow and I thought the best pairing with an accounting degree would be a finance degree.”

Being from Jamaica and studying at Quinnipiac, Ffriend found that being able to interact with different cultures, hearing various perspectives and increasing his open-mindedness had a huge impact on his educational experience, he said.

During his college journey, Ffriend acquired optional practical training (OPT), documentation granting him the opportunity to develop his skills and build relationships with potential employers through temporary employment in the States.

With an OPT, and with patience and determination, Ffriend was able to secure an internship and, now, employment at Deloitte, a leading global provider of audit and assurance consulting, financial advisory, risk advisor, tax and related services.

Ffriend urges other international students to utilize the option of having an OPT as it offers recent graduates time to establish their professional roots in the U.S., he said.

“There are doors of opportunities waiting to be opened up to you,” said Ffriend. “My experience is not a lucky one but one that has been achievable through the resources at my disposal, such as the OPT. I also cannot stress how important it is to communicate with the international student services office at Quinnipiac, they helped me every step of the way.”

During Ffriend’s internship at Deloitte, he helped with revenue and materiality testing, assisted in filing audit-related documents, attended meetings where he carried out action plans for businesses that were being audited and checked the accuracy of financial statement calculations.

He said his internship gave him a taste of what was to come.

“Working at Deloitte during my internship made me realize that it was not just about how well you were able to work but it was also about your human side, how well you can communicate with others and how you can utilize your friendliness in the workplace,” he said.

The teaching concepts and sense of professionalism taught in the School of Business have additionally helped Ffriend in his current role at Deloitte, he said.

“I believe I am heading into Deloitte with a good sense of starting knowledge to become a success and that is because of my time at Quinnipiac,” said Ffriend.

He recalls a specific, cherished memory with one of his professors during his time at Quinnipiac that made an impact on his professional journey.

“I remember having an interaction with one of my professors, Professor Matthew Maron, where he called me into his office and he wrote on a blank card my name and 'CPA’ (Certified Public Accountant) beside it and he gave me the card,” said Ffriend. “He told me to keep that card and that he will be waiting on my actual professional business card with my name and that same certification beside it. With such a small gesture came a deep motivation to achieve that certification and I know I will. These are the types of interactions that have left a lasting impact on me from the School of Business at Quinnipiac.”

Ffriend urges current students to stay determined like he did as they carve out their path toward success.

“College is full of good days, but there are also some bad days,” he said. “However, in those bad days, it is most important that you stay determined. One bad grade does not ruin everything. Practice time management so that you can have fun and still accomplish everything you need to. Make connections, talk to people and build life-long relationships. You can do anything you put your mind to. Never fail to remind yourself that you are capable, and that you will be a success. Life is yours for the taking, make it what you want it to be.”

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