Holger Briones

Member of Sigma Alpha Delta since:                     Fall 2008
Baruch College Graduation Date:                           Spring 2011
Country of Origin:                                                      USA
Date of Bio:                                                                Fall 2011

“You don’t have to run, if you hit a home run”

Holger Briones is a first generation American student, being born and raised in the Bronx, New York. His family migrated from Guayaquil, Ecuador to America looking for a better opportunity. If it wasn’t for his family and their hardship, Holger says he probably would not have achieved what he has today. He states, “My family is not rich and had limited means. Watching them put in the hard work to allow us to be stable and have an opportunity to pursue our dreams, was very motivating. I am fortunate and proud to say that when I start my job at PwC, I will be making more than both my parents make combined. My mother is a great inspiration in my life. When she came to the U.S., she was pregnant with me and had to begin working as soon as possible. Coming from Ecuador, she had a degree in Chemistry. Unfortunately, the degree could not be used unless she went back to school to attain another that met the U.S. standards of an adequate education in Chemistry. She could not do so pregnant and gave up her opportunity to become a pharmacist, in order to take care of her family. For twenty years, she has worked as a maid and has supported me in everything. She sacrificed a lot and is my inspiration to become something great.”

            Holger Briones is the epitome of the saying, “Hard work, Pays off.” He is currently progressing in achieving his license as a Certified Public Accountant and is currently working for PricewaterhouseCoopers as an auditor, specifically working in the banking and capital markets team. In PwC, he will be verifying financial statements to assure information is adequate and appropriate, which will be an aid for investor decision-making. As a freshman, Holger was a full time student and would study hard to assure himself that he was well prepared for his courses. Later, Holger decided that it would be essential to gain some hands-on experience by applying for an internship in accountancy. He managed to obtain an internship with one of the top financial institutions, Morgan Stanley, and worked with them under the tax department until June 2011. At this time, his reputation and hard work had given him offers from the Big 4 in the accounting industry (PricewaterhouseCoopers, Deloitte, Ernst & Young, and KPMG). Holger states in an interview, “I read somewhere, that each of the Big 4 receive two million applicants a year and accept close to five thousand or so. I am fortunate to have the choice to choose from either of these well established and respectable firms.”

Holger Briones received his education in the public school system. He attended Baruch College, being that he wanted to get into business and knew that Baruch is one of the best business schools in the country. In college, he decided to major in accounting. Holger states, “I was always good with numbers, but also I appreciate the knowledge that allows you to be able to pick out a number on a balance sheet and understand how to derive it. Accounting allows you to understand the process in formulating the financial statements, plus you get a wider breath of knowledge concerning the financials.” Holger achieved his Bachelor’s degree in Accountancy, but understood in order to be a really good Accountant he would need to attain a Masters Degree. He obtained his Masters from Baruch College and is now working on receiving his CPA license.
            Holger states, “Sigma Alpha Delta is an Honor Society like no other. It is not an Honor Society that just accepts you based on your grades or after you pay the fee like others. You have to put the work into it as well and invest your time. From this, you will receive more from the society than you will ask for.” Holger Briones joined Sigma Alpha Delta after speaking with the Vice President of the society at the time, Hosni Mubarak. Hosni had spoken highly of the society and Holger had been given recommendations from others around school to join. In the fall of 2008, Holger was inducted into the society. By spring 2009, Holger Briones ran for Volunteer Chair and resulted in getting into a tie with Jennifer Cobos, which then resulted in a Co-Chair alliance with Jennifer. He states, “It turned out to be a great semester for the Volunteer Committee. Jennifer and I worked real well together and attracted great organizations for volunteering, some of which are still utilized today. We had great attendance, strong enthusiasm, and a number of individuals under our committee.” As an E-Board member, Holger got the opportunity to obtain some leadership experience. When Holger first entered Sigma Alpha Delta, he described himself as someone who was real shy and afraid to speak in public. During his time in Sigma, he describes how it opened his shell and allowed him to be more personable. The opportunity to network with students or staff members of the college and to be a leader in a committee, allowed him to gain a confidence that has aided him in his success. Holger states, “I am now able to walk up to anyone, introduce myself and have a decent conversation. I learned that in life, sometimes you have to be taken out of your comfort zone in order to develop attributes of your character. It is very important to be able to network in the business world and I am very appreciative to Sigma Alpha Delta in aiding me in that accomplishment. In Sigma Alpha Delta, you meet great people and build on yourself. That makes you stronger and a more equip person for what life has to offer.”

“It is great to have good grades and all firms appreciate someone who takes their school work seriously, but it is not just grades that they look for. They look for an individual who has a diverse set of skills. You have to have experiences and not just academic experiences, but life experiences. That is why I implore individuals to diversify their character traits. Be active in school and in your community if you can. Go out and volunteer or join a club like Sigma Alpha Delta that can help you attain these other attributes to your character that can make you better.”