Formula for Success: Brandon Vance Accepts Position at Withum Smith+Brown

Brandon Vance at commencement

A recruited men’s lacrosse student-athlete, Brandon Vance ’21 arrived at LVC knowing what to expect on the field. It was the classroom piece that he was unsure about until an accounting course that everything clicked into place and guided him to a major and a mentor.

Vance connected with Andrew Hildebrand, J.D., associate professor of accounting and instructional coordinator of the MBA Program, who spoke about all the possibilities in the accounting field.

“I was often told about the importance of having a mentor, but never experienced that until I met Professor Hildebrand,” said Vance, who is from Oak Ridge, N.J. “When I had no clue if accounting was for me, he reassured me that a little hard work would go a long way. He made class exciting, and I was hooked.

“I can say with full confidence that if it were not for him, I would not be in the position I am today.”

Vance, a double major in accounting and business administration, enters his senior year already having accepted a full-time job offer with the accounting firm Withum Smith+Brown, where he interned the previous two summers.

During his first summer with the firm, Vance worked in the healthcare niche completing tax returns and preparing worksheets for his supervisors.

“Toward the end of my internship, I met another person whom I consider a mentor: James Bartek, a partner of the State and Local Tax Department at Withum,” said Vance. “He asked the interns asking if anyone wanted to help him on a project, and I jumped on the opportunity. It was the smartest decision I have ever made.”

During the second summer internship with Withum, Vance’s responsibilities grew immensely, and he gained valuable experience working directly with clients and state auditors.

“The learning curve was intense, but they felt I was ready for it,” he said. “I never thought three years ago I would be talking to a client about economic nexus or speaking with a state auditor creating a binder of invoices for her to schedule. The projects I worked on taught me so much, and reinforced topics I have learned in my LVC classes.”

Vance is thankful for not only the knowledge gained through his class, but for his extracurricular activities at LVC that taught him valuable skills: leadership as a Resident Assistant, teamwork as a student-athlete, and communication as vice president of VALE, the College’s student-run record label.

After graduation, Vance plans to study for his CPA exam as he looks forward to starting his full-time journey with Withum as a Staff I Accountant.

“Your courses will by no means be easy, but if you put in the work, the reward is extraordinary,” said Vance. “There is a reason LVC is one of the top colleges for jobs in the country. Everyone here wants to see you succeed. Professors care more than you know. Many of my peers have been able to find connections for work because of their LVC professors.”


Parker Gallagher, Marketing & Communications Student Assistant

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