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Person of Interest: Pawel Szynalik

VP Finance & Administration, Chicago Fire Soccer Club
Sarah Herrmann ICPAS Manager of Member Outreach


In my role as Member Outreach Manager, I have the opportunity to meet so many accomplished, high-achieving young professionals. I caught five minutes with just one of them.


Pawel_player benches

Q:

How did you get the job everyone wants?

A:

"After six years at KPMG, going through busy seasons, I decided it was time for a change. I was specifically looking for a controller position, and as luck would have it, I saw a job posting for a controller at the Chicago Fire Soccer Club. After reading the job description, I realized this was my dream job. I grew up watching the Fire and followed the team since the inaugural season in 1998. My dad would take us to games at Soldier Field and we had a blast cheering o the Fire. That's when I started following soccer. It also helped that three former Polish National team players were playing for the Fire, one of them being my favorite soccer player of all time, Piotr Nowak."

Q:

Is Nowak your role model?

A:

"I'm a big fan, bur really my role models are my parents. They worked hard all their lives to make sure my siblings and I were set up to succeed. The number one goal for them was having all three of us graduate from college. They succeeded in that."

Q:

What's the biggest perk of working with the Chicago Fire?

A:

"There are too many to list, but I would say that one of them is working for a sports team that I idolized as a kid. A second one is working with very talented and motivated individuals who have a true passion for the sport and the team."

Q:

What made you decide to become a CGMA?

A:

"The CPA's role is always changing, and accountants are constantly tasked with looking at various areas of the business to make informed decisions and contribute to the company's strategic plan. The CPA is not just a number cruncher. The skills necessary to be successful and move up the ranks include business, people and leadership skills, all of which are tested as part of the CGMA exam."

Q:

What's your best advice for young pros?

A:

"Work hard, stay humble."