Women Uplifting Women: A Story of Friendship and Mentorship

In honor of International Women’s Day, we sat down with two rising stars at our firm, April and Joyce. We asked them about their journey in the accounting profession, their friendship that blossomed at work, and the mentorship they received to uplift their careers. International Women’s Day celebrates the achievements of women globally, so we found it fitting to showcase the culture of women uplifting each other at our firm.

April and Joyce’s path into public accounting came in different ways. April felt some pressure from her mother to pursue the profession as a high-paying career with abundant job opportunities. Joyce was drawn to accounting to utilize her strong math skills. In the early stages of their careers, neither necessarily had a female mentor to guide them, but that changed when they started working at JLK Rosenberger.

Joyce and April were “discovered” and recruited by Kristel Espinosa, a Partner at JLK Rosenberger. “Kristel found our resumes on LinkedIn, reached out, and interviewed us. I had all but given up on a job in public accounting. I feel so thankful and lucky she found me,” expressed Joyce. Kristel saw their potential and talent and brought them onto the team.

Having a close friend has made putting in long hours and passing the challenging CPA exam more bearable. Joyce says, “When you have a friend, not just a coworker, you stay more positive when working. You have a safe place to ask questions and added motivation to succeed.” Their friendship has uplifted them professionally as they’ve tackled challenges like studying for the rigorous CPA exam.

They decided to register for all four exam parts together to save on registration fees, meaning they had to complete the full exam in one year. April and Joyce studied together, encouraged each other daily, and even sat for each section on the same day at the exact testing location. Their friendship and support culminated in receiving their hard-earned CPA licenses on the same day, with license numbers only two digits apart!

Their attitude of mutual appreciation and support permeates their work at JLK Rosenberger. When asked if they feel competition with each other at the office, April firmly states, “We don’t compete. We encourage and motivate. On my first day, I realized there were no limits to being promoted. You’ll be promoted if you have the skills and put in the work. We are a team, and we help each other grow.” Joyce echoes this sentiment: “When others improve, it makes things better for everyone.”

This culture of uplifting others extends beyond Joyce and April’s friendship. Kristel, the partner who brought them to JLK Rosenberger, has become an inspiration and role model. According to April and Joyce, Kristel is a glowing example as a young female partner and mother. Even when swamped with her work, Kristel selflessly invests patience and time into mentoring them. April has paid this forward by becoming more patient with those she now mentors. Joyce summarizes, “I don’t know how Kristel balances all she does, but she’s one of the main reasons I’ve stayed with JLK Rosenberger.”

With Kristel encouraging some well-deserved PTO, Joyce and April plan to visit each other’s hometowns in China after tax season wraps up. Here at JLK Rosenberger, we could not be more proud of these rising stars. Their journey gives us hope for the future as women encourage, uplift, and mentor one another. Cheers to these exceptional women and to empowering cultures where women can thrive!