Renee Morrison is about her business. At 24, the Bronx native already has her Masters and is a Certified Public Account for one of the top "Big Four" accounting firms in the world. She is the epitome of millennial excellence. Now us normal people can't help but wonder--how does she handle intense stress so calmly? "It's temporary," she says to herself and books her bi-weekly mani. Find out more about Miss Morrison below.
D.I.D. Nail Paint: Square, almond, ballerina, coffin shape, oval shovel… which shape do you wear your nails?
Renee Morrison: Unfortunately, since I do so much typing I stick to square & short. But, back in my high school days – I was the girl with the long square shaped tips with the multi-color designs.
What is your favorite nail trend right now?
I really love the coffin shape! I’ve done this once for my birthday, it just makes me feel fierce!
What are your favorite nail polish colors to wear? Bright, bold colors? Soft pastels? Dark earth tones? Nude? Pure white?
I think my favorite colors definitely go with the seasons. For example, in the Fall I love burgundy, in the spring I love the soft pastels. For the summer, you cannot do an island vacation without your pure white nail polish! My summer is not a summer if I don't choose a pure white! I definitely steer clear of bright colors, those were for my glorious high school days!
What’s your fave beauty product and why?
Share a nail salon nightmare you’ve experienced or witnessed
I think my biggest nail salon nightmare was a time I got tips but the pointer and middle fingers were not straight!! It really bothered me that those two nails were leaning to one side!
For those of us who fell asleep during Accounting 102, please explain the role of a CPA.
Contrary to popular belief, Certified Public Accounts have various roles. These rules include (but are not limited to), preparing tax returns/other filing obligations, bookkeeping, auditing financial statements or being advisors.
What types of clients do you handle at Ernst and Young?
Most of my clients are in the financial area – Hedge Funds, Private Equity Fund as well as Corporations.
What attracted you to this career path?
Honestly, I never thought I would be a Tax Accountant. It was definitely not my plan! In my college the popular business majors were finance, marketing, and accounting. I took on an internship in college which helped me to realize Finance was not for me. I loved marketing but I also felt I was not super creative. I did really well in my accounting courses and I noticed the accounting majors always had internships and job opportunities. Essentially, the job security and major opportunities really attracted me to this career path.
What tax advice would you give to 20somethings that are just starting out?
My advice would be to not be afraid to do your taxes yourself! When you are young your tax return is really simple. Usually you may have one or two sources of income. You do not have many other things going on such as owning a home or other such scenarios. You can save money by doing your tax return yourself and it is really not as complex as one may think. Why pay someone else, when you can just do it yourself?
What advice would you give your 16 year old self?
I would tell my 16 year old self to think about what your purpose is in life. What do you love doing, even if you were not to get paid? I never started thinking about this until after I was almost done with college. I would remind myself that what I study in college should not just be about the money but also about what I have a passion for.
Tell me about a time in your career or during school where you felt discouraged, or when you wanted to give up? How did you overcome this feeling?
There were plenty of times during school (and during my career) in which I have felt discouraged and felt like giving up. Honestly, I just try to think of the bigger picture. I know the kind of life I want to live and I know I have to accomplish certain things to get there! I refuse to settle in any area of life. I think about how my parents pretty much came from nothing and how they’ve worked endlessly to provide a better life for my sister and I. I really can’t let them down! If they can keep going day after day, so can I. When you are feeling discouraged, you have to encourage yourself. Think about why you're doing what you're doing. Lastly, I keep a post it on my desk that says "It's Temporary." These are just two words but they're powerful. If I'm feeling discouraged - It's temporary and if I am working super late hours - it's temporary.
Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
More than likely I will be living in another city and not be doing the same kind of tax accounting I am doing now. Who knows? Maybe I won’t be doing accounting at all! Within the next five years I do hope to have the chance to explore other opportunities as a CPA. Whatever I am doing – I hope I am living in my purpose and making a difference in people’s lives daily. I just want to be genuinely happy and living comfortably (aka spoiling myself).