Led by Chris MacKenzie ’84, Alumni Tout Growth, Opportunity at Audit, Tax and Consulting Firm

Sandy Richtermeyer, Chris MacKenzie, Stephanie Tate pose with alumni working at RSM Image by Ed Brennen
From left, Manning School Dean Sandra Richtermeyer, RSM's Chris MacKenzie and Assoc. Prof. of Accounting Stefanie Tate pose with UML alumni now working at RSM.

By Ed Brennen

RSM is a multinational network of audit, tax and consulting firms with more than 90 offices across the United States – including a growing Boston office with close to 800 employees. Last year, the company hired nine UMass Lowell grads (five full-time employees and four associates).

That’s not nearly enough, according to Chris MacKenzie, office managing partner for RSM, Boston and a 1984 accounting graduate of the Manning School of Business.

“We need to double or triple those numbers,” says MacKenzie, who returned to campus recently with several fellow Manning School alumni now working at RSM to drum up the company’s recruiting efforts.

“We find the students here to be a notch above some of the other schools,” says MacKenzie, who hosted information sessions for faculty and students at the Pulichino Tong Business Center a week before RSM’s visit to the Accounting Career Fair. “It’s a unique type of person that attends UMass Lowell. Students here are well-rounded and thoughtful.”

Chris MacKenzie talks to business students Image by Ed Brennen
Alum Chris MacKenzie, office managing partner for RSM, Boston, chats with business students during an information session the Pulichino Tong Business Center.

RSM works with middle-market companies in a variety of industries, from health care and education to real estate and consumer products. While the bulk of RSM’s work is in audit and tax, the company also provides a growing list of consulting services in fields such as technology, management and risk advisory.

“Everything we do aligns with what students are learning in all departments at the Manning School,” says MacKenzie, a member of the school’s advisory board who is seeking to hire for at least a dozen new positions this fall.

“Traditionally, RSM has hired a lot of our accounting students,” Manning School Dean Sandra Richtermeyer says. “But they are expanding into finance and information systems, which is a really exciting change for us.”

One student who has already benefited from that expansion is senior business administration major Shailey Doherty, who landed a full-time international tax internship at RSM last summer. Doherty conducted economic research for multinational corporations to determine the tax ramifications of their profits.

Among the alumni attending the information sessions was Paul Worthington, who graduated in 2010 with concentrations in accounting and finance. He walked right into a job as an assurance manager in RSM’s real estate and employee benefit plan groups, and he sees himself staying with the company “for a long time.”

Chris MacKenzie talks to business faculty members Image by Ed Brennen
Manning School faculty members George Joseph, left, and Amit Deokar speak with RSM's Chris MacKenzie during an info session about the company.

“I love the culture. I love going to work every day,” says Worthington, who recently began working on his MBA from the Manning School.

Andy Mendonca, a manager in RSM’s audit department, graduated in 2011 with concentrations in accounting and finance. He says he loves coming back to his alma mater to help recruit new talent. “I feel like it’s my way of giving back to the students,” says Mendonca, a Lowell native who now lives in Dracut. “And it’s incredible to see how the school is growing.”

MacKenzie agrees.

“It’s almost like being in a time machine. If you look at 1984, and then what you see here today, the change is incredible,” MacKenzie says. “And that’s because of the leadership, starting with (former Chancellor) Marty Meehan, and passing the torch to (Chancellor) Jacquie Moloney. And then with Sandy here in the Manning School – we are so lucky to have her and Jacquie Moloney as our current leaders.”