The power of relationships in my career journey

Danielle Buccola, RSM alum

RSM alumni Diversity, equity, inclusion

Growing up in the Bronx before beginning my career journey in Connecticut, I initially considered various career paths, including a career in psychology. However, upon realizing that I (surprisingly) enjoyed working with numbers and piecing things together analytically, I chose to pursue a degree in accounting at St. John's University.

As a student, I juggled various jobs, but my experience at a yacht club in Larchmont, New York, ultimately led me to RSM. Beginning with front-of-house responsibilities, I gradually transitioned into event management and back-office tasks, primarily focusing on event billing. This hands-on journey developed my skills and enabled me to forge meaningful connections with the organization's leadership. Interestingly, during a conversation with the general manager about my career aspirations, he suggested that I consider interning at RSM based on RSM’s strong reputation. While the prevailing advice in school often leans towards "going Big 4," my interview experience at RSM convinced me that this was where I wanted to lay the groundwork for my career. In 2008, I embarked on my internship journey at RSM, instantly drawn to the people and the collaborative work environment. Following my internship, I was thrilled to accept a full-time role, as my positive experience solidified my commitment to the firm.

After six years at RSM, I encountered a pivotal moment, realizing that completing my CPA exam was essential for my path to a managerial promotion. With two parts of the exam completed and busy season upon us, I decided to leave RSM to focus on exam preparation. Shortly after my departure, I was presented with an exciting opportunity: a new private equity firm in Greenwich, Connecticut, that was searching for a finance professional. Despite initial reservations about working at a startup firm, I embraced the opportunity and began the interview process. Eight years later, I am immensely grateful for the leap of faith that ultimately led me to a fulfilling career path at Kline Hill Partners (KHP), where I serve as the chief financial officer. 

One thing I'm most proud of at KHP is our culture and the support of women in leadership. Today, I mentor junior women on our team, sharing my career journey to inspire them and demonstrate that they can achieve their goals in finance as well. It's crucial to me that women feel empowered, especially in our field. When I engage with young individuals, I always advocate that they consider RSM, highlighting its ability to offer a solid technical skill set and a strong emphasis on interpersonal dynamics.

I always say that my journey with RSM gave me a robust foundation for a significant career leap and unexpected connections within my network. There are countless individuals in my professional and personal lives with ties to RSM, including a fellow intern who eventually became my brother-in-law and most importantly my spouse. Now, with a three-year-old son, RSM has been an integral part of my life's tapestry from the very beginning and continues to be as I am now a client of RSM.

Life at RSM

There’s no one like you and that’s why there’s nowhere like RSM.

Our people are empowered to make an impact, to own their career, and to achieve their personal and professional aspirations.  We celebrate the differences among our talented employees.

When we bring those unique talents and perspectives together, it strengthens our teams and enhances the unique insights we provide our clients.