2018 Best & Brighest: Oscar J. Gomez, Lehigh University

Oscar J. Gomez

Lehigh University

Don’t believe me, just watch.” – Bruno Mars

Fun fact about yourself: I taught myself how to play the drums, the piano, the guitar and the bass guitar at a very young age. Because of my skill set, I was able to become a musical director at a church for four years before going off to Lehigh.

Hometown: Orange, New Jersey

High School: Gill St. Bernard’s School

Major: Accounting

Minor: Music, Spanish

Favorite Business Course: My favorite business course was Negotiations and Conflict Management. In this course, we learned different negotiation tactics to use when negotiating salaries, contracts, car payments, and many other scenarios. This course was really helpful for me because it made me think of outcomes as more than zero-sum games. Therefore, business is a collaborative environment where both parties can be happy if my party takes into account the viewpoint of the other party.

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:

  • Building Supervisor/Manager at the University Center      September 2014 – current
  • Tauck Scholar                                                                     Summer 2017
  • Treasurer of Phi Sigma Kappa                                            April 2016-April 2017
  • President of A Whole Step Up (a capella)                          April 2016 – April 2017
  • Orientation Leader                                                             February 2015 – October 2016

Where have you interned during your college career?

KPMG, Short Hills, NJ

Summer 2017

Audit Intern – Financial Services

Global Internship Participant – Liverpool, UK

As an audit & global intern, I assessed the numerical accuracy of financial data as well as drafted letters to attorneys.

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), New York, NY                                                                 

Summer 2016

Start Intern – Internal Firm Services: Flexibility Talent Network

As a Start Intern within PwC’s Flexibility Talent Network, I reconciled daily reports, I was a context reviewer for the PwC Mexico-US merger, and I also created fiscal year-end presentations.

Where will you be working after graduation? After I graduate, I will be working at KPMG in New York as a first-year audit associate.

Who is your favorite professor? My favorite professor would have to be Professor Manzo. Professor Manzo is, what I believe to be, an exemplary professor who cares about how his students understand the course material. Professor Manzo was the reason that I decided to declare accounting as my major.

What did you enjoy most about your business school? What I loved about my business school was the fact that the student population was small enough that professors would actually be able to devote personalized one-on-one time with students based on how they’re doing in the class.

What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business? The biggest lesson I gained was to always work well with others, regardless of how you may feel about a person, because working well with others leads to a happier work environment and better results.

What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? Business is not all about crunching numbers or looking at graphs, it’s about learning how to work well with others. When looking into a business-related field, know that you will have to work in teams and this can be a growth opportunity for you to learn how to become a better business person and leader.

“If I didn’t major in business, I would be majoring in or studying…Music because it has been one of my greatest passions since I was about 5 years old. I started playing the drums at that age and kept developing musically ever since.”

What has surprised you most about majoring in business? What has surprised me the most about majoring in business is the constant interaction I had with people. When I told my parents that I wanted to go into business, they told me about how lonely it would be sitting in a cubicle behind a computer screen. While that may be true to a certain extent, after four years of a business education and two internships, I know that business doesn’t have to be staring at a computer screen from 9-5.

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? When I visited Lehigh for the first time, I heard Professor Sinclair, an accounting professor, speak about the business school and the accounting program. He seemed so enthusiastic about what he was talking about that it convinced me to pursue business in college.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? I am most proud of being a Tauck Scholar because the program granted me the opportunity, through a scholarship, to work with KPMG abroad for a month following my junior year at Lehigh. This scholarship allowed me to travel across the UK and I was able to learn a lot about a culture that I was not very familiar with apart from what I saw in movies.

If you were a dean for a day, what one thing would you change about the business school? One thing that I would change about the business school is how our business core requirement is structured. I would like to introduce core business courses earlier within each student’s academic career in order to better balance electives and requirements and encourage early exploration of the majors.

Which classmate do you most admire? The classmate that I most admire is my friend, Tristan. Tristan has been my friend since freshman year and I’ve learned a lot about work ethic and dedication from her. Because of her amazing work ethic and dedication, I consistently pushed myself to match her or reach above her in all of our educational endeavors. She always took her time to help me with my challenges when I asked her for assistance or advice. She has helped me grow into a stronger student and person and I hope she will continuously help me moving forward in our careers when we both start at KPMG this upcoming fall.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? I’d like to thank my parents because they’ve spent a lot of time and effort in order for me to receive a private education where I would be continuously challenged.

What would your theme song be? “Uptown Funk” would be my theme song because it’s my favorite song.

What are the top two items on your bucket list? The top two items on my bucket list are to go skydiving and to visit every Six Flags across America.

Favorite book: The House of the Scorpion

Favorite movie: Man of Steel

Favorite vacation spot: Cape May, New Jersey

What are your hobbies? I like to play the drums and the piano, listen to music, and eat at Buffalo Wild Wings.

What made Oscar such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2018?

I am impressed with Oscar’s leadership skills and academic achievements, and value his humble and outgoing personality. While many of our accounting students apply for internships during their junior year, Oscar was able to secure an internship with a Big 4 firm by the end of his sophomore year. During the most challenging two years in the life of Lehigh accounting majors, Oscar successfully held four different leadership positions and still attained the Dean’s List all four semesters. He earned the prestigious and selective Tauck scholarship, which provides exceptionally promising students with an international internship and cultural experience. Oscar has shared with me his appreciation for the opportunity to work in a diverse environment in Liverpool, England, and to gain self-reliance through this experience. In my view, Oscar is already one of the best and brightest young leaders in our academic and professional communities.”

Marietta Peytcheva, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Accounting
and Class of ’61 Professor
College of Business and Economics
Lehigh University


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