Life at Deloitte

Career Journey: Maria Zunzunegui-Navarro

Type As need type Bs. And vice versa.

Maria Zunzunegui-Navarro changed her major four times in college before landing on accounting, chiefly for its versatility. But she’s also a creative type. A visual learner and teacher. That’s why she’s always looking for places to bring a more vivid and meaningful view to her work and to her clients.

They say you are the average of your closest friends and colleagues. So what better pool to be in than a place like Deloitte?

— Maria Zunzunegui-Navarro, audit senior, Audit & Assurance, Deloitte & Touche LLP

Never just black and white

When you ask Maria about the path that brought her to work in audit & assurance, she had never really considered a career in professional services. The idea of going to work for such a prestigious organization like Deloitte, was intimidating. And that was before she took her own expectations of herself into account. A few years later, though, she’s hit her stride, auditing the financial statements of mostly clients in the real estate sector. She’s learned, and learned that the job isn’t black and white. Beyond looking at a client’s transactions and invoices, Maria and her team perform procedures related to cash flow models, valuation allocations, impairment analyses, and more. The work “takes a village,” in her words, and that village requires a variety of backgrounds and experiences, as well as close collaboration.

Looking closer

Given her artistic side—she creates portraits with pencil and charcoal in her free time—Maria has found a special interest in data visualization and innovative tools that can enhance audit delivery. She’s especially proud of the risk assessment she helped create and present to a client that had recently closed a large acquisition. Through visualization tools, she was able to demonstrate the real estate properties with higher risk attributes and, therefore, greater audit interest. That insight helped the team spend time where it would provide value and save time elsewhere.

The comforting thing about being uncomfortable

To Maria, the most challenging part of her job isn’t the technical accounting and auditing knowledge, it’s gaining a deep understanding of her clients, their industries, and their business processes. No two audits, or audit days for that matter, are alike. And that’s good, because Maria doesn’t like standing still. She much prefers that challenge of needing to learn constantly. Deloitte has become the perfect place for her to do just that, and to be her creative self along the way.

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