After a Gap Year, Mira Berenbaum ’23 Found Her Way to an Accounting Career
Mira Berenbaum '23
- Undergraduate Dual
I couldn’t be happier with all that I’ve accomplished during my four years at Syracuse University and am honored to be a Whitman Scholar. Choosing accounting as one of my majors was the right decision for me, and I’m excited to see where it might lead,” she says, noting that she has already passed the first section of her CPA and is prioritizing preparing for the remainder.
When Mira Berenbaum ’23 (WSM/NEW) was first accepted at Syracuse University, she was unsure what she wanted to study. The Los Angeles native knew she was interested in math and writing, but her choice of a major was not yet clear. So, she made the decision to take a gap year. Her combination of patience and perseverance paid off, as she eventually chose a dual major: accounting at the Whitman School of Management and public relations at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. Four years later, she’s preparing to relocate to New York City to join Deloitte as an international tax consultant.
Her gap year allowed Berenbaum, who is fluent in Hebrew, to join other young Jewish people from the U.S. and Canada in the Nativ College Leadership Program, which took her to Israel. There, she took classes at Hebrew University of Jerusalem, while also volunteering as a first aid responder and assisting with a community garden.
“This experience helped me begin college at Syracuse University as a more independent person, as I had already lived on my own and knew how to take care of myself,” she explains, adding that she was able to start her first year with 27 credits thanks to her AP courses from high school and those she earned in Israel.
She arrived at Syracuse University as a Whitman Leadership Scholar. Berenbaum was still unsure of what major to choose but knew it was going to involve some aspect of business. At Whitman, she reluctantly took Introduction to Financial Accounting with Professor MaryAnn Monforte, and to her surprise found she had a talent for the subject. In fact, Monforte told her, “If you don’t decide to be an accounting major, I did my job wrong.” Her choice was made.
While Berenbaum took her time selecting a major, she did not hesitate to join a number of extracurricular activities across campus. Her lengthy list includes being a development intern for the University’s Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF); a Whitman peer mentor and student ambassador; the finance vice president for her sorority, Kappa Alpha Theta; a member of Beta Alpha Psi, a professional business and accounting fraternity; a Remembrance Scholar and a writer and editor for The Daily Orange student newspaper. She recently used her accounting know-how to do pro bono tax returns for low-income families in the Syracuse area—and she’s proud to say she completed her own tax returns for the first time in 2023. In addition, she has been very involved in Syracuse Hillel, as having a connection to a Jewish community is of great importance to her.
Her first opportunity at Deloitte came when she was hired as a summer intern after her junior year working in the international tax division. Berenbaum enjoyed the experience of “a small group within a big company” and appreciated all she learned. She also attended the prestigious Deloitte University in Texas, where she received outstanding professional development and mentorship to prepare her for a place with the company. By the start of her senior year, she had a job offer to join Deloitte after graduation.
As Berenbaum gets ready to close out her four years at Syracuse University, she does so as a 2023 Whitman Scholar, one of only 12 individuals chosen from Whitman’s senior class for demonstrating strong academics, engagement and leadership at the School and throughout the University.
“I couldn’t be happier with all that I’ve accomplished during my four years at Syracuse University and am honored to be a Whitman Scholar. Choosing accounting as one of my majors was the right decision for me, and I’m excited to see where it might lead,” she says, noting that she has already passed the first section of her CPA and is prioritizing preparing for the remainder. “In October, I’m headed to New York with great possibilities at Deloitte. I’ve always been interested in international business and hope to have the ability to travel and learn as much as I can. And down the road? Who knows what the future will bring?”