2020 Best & Brightest: Caitlin Colbert, Santa Clara University (Leavey)

Caitlin Colbert

Santa Clara University, Leavey School of Business

“I really thought I would be a rock star one day…but I guess accounting is just as cool.”

Fun fact about yourself:  I am a third-degree brown-belt in Shaolin Kenpo which is a combination of Karate, Kung Fu, and Jiu Jitsu. I competed for many years growing up and often won tournaments for my double wooden nunchuck routines.

Hometown: Belmont, California

High School: St. Ignatius College Prep

Major: Accounting and Information Systems

Minor: None

Favorite Business Course: Conscientious Capitalism – a course aimed to help students begin the journey of discerning one’s virtues, purpose, and passions in order to effectively lead themselves and others.

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work, and Leadership Roles During College:

Honors: Alpha Sigma Nu (Jesuit Honors Society), Beta Gamma Sigma (Business Honors Society)

Awards: Lautze & Lautze Accounting Scholarship Award, Dean’s List, Moss Adams Accounting Scholarship Award

Extracurricular Activities: President of SCU Accounting Association (SCUAA), Junior Officer of SCUAA, Accelerated Cooperative Education (ACE) Leadership Program, Kappa Kappa Gamma

Where have you interned during your college career?

Summer 2019: Deloitte (San Jose, CA) – Risk and Financial Advisory Intern: Internal Audit and Tech Assurance.

Summer 2018: Deloitte (San Jose, CA) – Discovery Intern (rotating through Audit and Risk & Financial Advisory)

Summer 2017: Santa Clara University, Leavey School of Business, Marketing and Communications Department (Santa Clara, CA) – Graphic Design Intern

Where will you be working after graduation? Deloitte, Tech Consultant in the Internal Audit, Risk and Financial Advisory Practice out of San Jose, California.

Who is your favorite professor? My favorite professor is Wendy Donohoe. Without her convincing me to attend an Accounting Information Night, I might be on an entirely different path. In addition to her bubbly and kind personality, she is a great accounting professor and has been a great advisor to me. Plus, her dog Triscuit always made attending her class even more enjoyable.

What did you enjoy most about your business school? The Leavey School of Business has been the most important community for me during my time at Santa Clara University. I found my career path because of my accounting professor; my on-campus marketing job because of my business professor; my friends because of business organizations like ACE, and my voice acting as president of the student organization SCUAA. My business school has acted as more than just a building where I take my classes but instead has been my biggest support structure in figuring out who I am and what I want to do.

What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business? I learned that business is a language that can be applied to every aspect of life, both personal and professional. Being business fluent can serve you in so many ways and open a plethora of doors. Whatever you want to be, or wherever you want to go in this life, being able to understand businesses and the people within them will serve you in more ways than one.

What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? The beauty of business is that it can open a door for you in any industry or field. With that comes so many choices you will have to make. At such a young age, it can be stressful deciding where you fit in the business world. Meet people, ask questions, be curious, and get involved. The more information you have – and the more people you know – the easier it will be to navigate the broadness of business.

What has surprised you most about majoring in business? I always expected business to be incredibly competitive. While that obviously still exists in some of business, Santa Clara has shown me how incredibly communal and team-oriented business can be. Santa Clara students help each other to succeed and approach business with morals and values, words that sometimes aren’t thought to be associated with business. I am incredibly grateful to have attended a university that places the utmost importance on ethical business.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? Acting as President of the SCU Accounting Association has been the most rewarding part of my Santa Clara experience. In my role, I’ve been able to run events that I know have a large impact on accounting students and are an integral part of helping them get full-time jobs. Before joining, the organization helped me figure out my path and I’m proud to have been given the chance to expand the program and create meaningful relationships between the university, students, and accounting firms.

Which classmate do you most admire? The classmate I admire most is my friend Kyle Lydon. He does everything with the utmost integrity and embodies the Jesuit values Santa Clara teaches in every aspect of his life. You would be hard-pressed to find a more ethical, driven, and brilliant person. I’ve had the pleasure of having at least one class with him every single quarter of college (including abroad). While our time doing group projects together is almost over, I look forward to the opportunity to work with him again someday.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? I would most like to thank my parents for my success. My mother is a superwoman that simultaneously dominated her career and made immense time to develop me into the woman I am today. Having her as a role model and mentor empowered me in ways beyond words. My dad works harder than anyone I know and taught me discipline, strength, and focus. His work ethic and the support he has given me throughout my life has been instrumental to my success.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list?

  1. Sit on the board of an impactful non-profit, specifically one that empowers women
  2. Work internationally, preferably London, England or Milan, Italy

What are your hobbies? Fishing, singing horribly, listening to music, going to the movies

What made Caitlin such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2020?

“Caitlin Colbert (’20) is a bright and ambitious A&IS student that fully embraces both the academic and social opportunities at Santa Clara University, sharing her skills and enthusiasm along the way. I met Caitlin as a junior officer with SCUAA, and have seen her grow into a responsible, accountable, and competent president. Caitlin maintains a very high academic performance while being an active member of Beta Gamma Sigma and Alpha Sigma Nu Honor societies, Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority, and the ACE leadership program. Caitlin’s strong performance during her internships with Deloitte earned her a full-time position upon graduation as a Risk and Financial Advisory consultant. Caitlin loves to travel, enjoying study abroad in Italy and planning to visit Ireland after graduating. Hopefully, she will be able to incorporate her passion for travel with international opportunities within Deloitte! Caitlin’s contributions during her four years at SCU have been recognized by her peers, faculty and through receipt of multiple awards, all of which make Caitlin an invaluable addition to the Class of 2020.”

Linda Zuccaro
Senior Administrative Assistant, Center for Accounting Research and Education (CARE)


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