Accounting grad Ryan A. Schluttenhofer is a global deals consultant of Big Four accounting giant PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) in New York City. He discusses his career, inspirations and the impact of his Mihaylo College education.
When Ryan A. Schluttenhofer ’14 graduated with his bachelor’s in accounting, he wanted to work in New York City. Having held internships with PwC, one of the world’s foremost professional services firms, the young professional received a full-time job offer from his employer.
For Schluttenhofer, relocating was an essential component: “I had the job, but I wanted New York City, because I wanted to connect with the city and its people,” he says. “I asked if I could relocate and was given the position I asked for. This enabled me to experience the intersection between the firm, regulatory bodies and industry stakeholders.”
Four years later, Schluttenhofer advises high-profile clients, including Fortune 500 companies, on shaping strategy in times of exceptional change, around transformative deals. His career has led him internationally, primarily in the technology and media sectors.
“We are involved in large, complex industry-defining deals, which often extend across multiple borders. We provide strategic guidance to both disruptors and those wishing to avoid disruption,” he says. “On any given day, we work with people from all corporate levels, who come from different backgrounds and often live in different time zones. It is challenging, but the uncertainty and pace is stimulating.”
Schluttenhofer also priorities philanthropic humanitarian efforts.
From Mihaylo Student to PwC Deals Consultant
As a student, Schluttenhofer completed 30 units in a single semester, setting a college record. He also studied abroad in Germany, which the young professional sees as a pivotal moment in his development.
“While abroad, I had a strong desire to see the rest of Europe. I had to work remotely to afford this. It was ambitious but also empowering,” he says. “The adventure abroad made me appreciate the gift of life and my relationships back in Southern California. It was the experience of stepping away that multiplied the experience of returning.”
During his undergraduate education, Schluttenhofer also assisted with the initial public offering (IPO) of a health-care company and consulted for three consumer product companies in California.
Schluttenhofer views his education and career as a recipe that is continually developing, adapting and having new flavors added to it.
Inspirations that Guide Achievement
When asked to name the inspirations that have guided the way for the accounting professional, Schluttenhofer looks to his family, friends and mentors.
“It is a privilege to be loved by an amazing, supportive team of people who have been a miracle from God. My whole family, particularly my mom, and a small handful of best friends and mentors, have not only inspired me but have modeled what it looks like to pursue dreams, to care for people, and not trade a life for a career,” he says. “They haven’t just made the highs higher, they’ve prevented lows from crushing me. I am forever thankful for their lives and influence.”
In advising students and recent grads on pursuing their careers, Schluttenhofer encourages students to identify and fine-tune their goals. “I’ve tried to focus on doing one or two things really well instead of attempting to do everything,” he says. “You don’t have to be perfect, but wholeheartedly pursue excellence in all you do.”