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David Pagliarulo '10 - CPA, Deloitte
David Pagliarulo '10 - CPA, Deloitte

Fearless Career Changer


Prior to attending PSU, David worked as a head-hunter for accounting talent. Wanting to make a career switch and become a CPA, he enrolled in the Post-Baccalaureate Accounting Certificate program in 2010. After graduation, he earned the highest score on the Oregon CPA exam and landed a role at the Big Four firm Deloitte.

1. What initially attracted you to the PSU School of Business accounting program? Why did you make the decision to attend?

Before I enrolled in PSU’s Post-Bacc program, I was a head-hunter for accounting and finance talent. Through my experiences in that role, I knew the PSU School of Business was well respected in the minds of hiring managers. As I investigated various collegiate options, I learned the PSU Post-Bacc program was a convenient and practical way to obtain my CPA, and that it was also an excellent value comparatively.

2. How did your experience at PSU help you score the top CPA score in the state? 

The focused nature of the curriculum of the Post-Bacc Accounting Program was the prefect preparation for the CPA exam. I will also never forget the excellent mix of Professors (both phds and adjunct faculty) who possessed extensive academic knowledge, but could also convey information using real-world examples, which helped me to better digest and retain the complex accounting concepts. This without a doubt played a significant role in my CPA scores.

3. How did your experience at PSU School of Business prepare you for a career with the Big Four?

Many of the professors had Big Four experience and were therefore able to give me practical advice as I made application choices and ultimately as I started my career. There were also various networking organizations associated with PSU (primarily Beta Alpha Psi), which held panels and events, so I could get a first had glimpse of what life in the Big Four was like. That said, the high quality of the education itself was paramount as preparation for Big Four.

4. When interviewing with Deloitte, how did your education at PSU play a factor in the hiring decision? 

First off all, Deloitte takes part in many PSU networking events and sets-up interviews onsite at PSU’s campus, so I might not have even gotten an interview with Deloitte had I not gone to PSU. Through the above noted networking events I already established multiple connections with Deloitte employees, which were invaluable as I went through the recruiting process. Also, Deloitte has actively recruited at PSU for many years so there were many PSU alums who had a proven track record of success at Deloitte, which again were invaluable connections as I interviewed. Finally, put simply, Deloitte respects the merits of the PSU accounting program and its reputation preceded my interview.

5. How has the PSU School of Business community benefited you post graduation? 

I get great confidence from the fact that I have a built in network of PSU alums both at Deloitte and in the regional business community. Ongoing networking events which include alums, professors, other affiliates of PSU, and business leaders, helps me keep the pulse of the status of the local and regional business community. I am sure I will reap the benefits of the PSU network for the entirety of my career.