“Success comes from taking your technical skills and applying them entrepreneurially.”
Home: Murphy, Texas
UT Dallas Degree: MS - Political Economy, PhD - Political Economy
Profession: Principal, KPMG
Shortly after graduating from UT Dallas in 1988 with my doctorate degree, I began working for the Internal Revenue Service. Then, in 1994, I joined Price Waterhouse. In 2008, I moved to KPMG.
As a principal in the firm, I manage the Southwest region of our transfer pricing practice. In this area, we value any transaction that takes place between or among various facets of multi-national enterprise, including tangible and intangible property, services, leases, loans, royalties and more. This is significant for both taxing authorities and taxpayers because such valuations determine, in large part, resulting income and expenses subject to taxation laws. Many would say that this is the top international tax issue in business today.
The Value of My Degree
I have absolutely no doubt that my degrees from UT Dallas have been of benefit to me in my career. When I was part of the political economy program, it was a multi-disciplinary degree, training me to consider multiple views when searching for a solution. In my current position, I work with auditors, tax accountants, lawyers and economists - a potent and volatile group - each of whom likely has a very different opinion from the others. Because of my multi-disciplinary education, I'm able to develop solutions that bring the best from each opinion to bear. This flexibility has proven to be a tremendous asset in the business world.
My EPPS Success
When I began taking classes at UT Dallas, I had a very diverse set of interests. Because of my degree plans, I was able to take courses in a variety of topics, which really fit who I was, keeping my interest and contributing to my academic success.
Advice for EPPS Students
Focus as much on developing your soft skills - written and verbal communication, relationship building, collaboration, and so on - as you do on developing your technical skills. After graduating, if you pursue a non-academic career path, most employers will take your technical skills as a given. Success comes from taking your technical skills and applying them entrepreneurially. A lot of students think, "I'm a genius, I'll get paid a lot," but just because you're smart doesn't mean that you'll be successful. You have to be able to translate your intelligence into benefits for your organization to truly succeed.
I am involved with Boy Scouts as an assistant leader of my son's group. I also like to go hunting, fishing and golf.
Posted August 2011