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INCPAS Scholars: Where Are They Now?

May 13, 2024

Jose Herrera

Financial Due Diligence Associate – KPMG
INCPAS Scholar Indianapolis 2016–17
Attended Purdue University, majored in accounting, minored in finance

Photo of Jose Herrera

We have shared several stories about our INCPAS Scholars throughout the years. Since many of them have now graduated college, are beginning to pass the CPA Exam, enter the profession and earn their license, we thought it would be fun to follow up with them and see how they are doing.

Jose participated in the 2016–17 INCPAS Scholars program and started working full-time at KPMG as a financial due diligence associate in January. He updated us on his experiences at Purdue University and how completing five internships paved the way for his current job. Plus, he’s so close to passing all four sections of the CPA Exam! 

INCPAS: What was the biggest takeaway you learned during your time in the INCPAS Scholars program?

Jose: It was an incredible journey for me, offering valuable connections and a solid foundation in the CPA profession. Participating in this program truly kickstarted my career path, and I’m immensely grateful for the opportunities it provided.

INCPAS: You were part of the Business Opportunities Program (BOP) at Purdue. How did the program help you determine your career path?

Jose: Through the Scholars program, I was introduced to the BOP program and its director, Darren Henry. Tailored for underrepresented students like me, BOP not only prepared me for the professional world but also opened doors to unexpected opportunities. It broadened my perspective of the accounting profession beyond just tax and audit, guiding me through the challenges of being a first-generation college student and aspiring professional. The support I received through BOP was invaluable and instrumental in shaping my journey.

Photo of Jose’s supportive family at his graduation Photo of Jose visiting the Grand Canyon

Jose’s supportive family at his graduation


Visiting the Grand Canyon

INCPAS: You’ve had several internships at a variety of firms and organizations. How did those experiences prepare you for your first job after graduation?

Jose: I’ve been fortunate to seize numerous opportunities during my undergraduate years, completing five internships that enriched my skill set and paved the way for my career. From KPMG to Goldman Sachs, each experience provided unique insights into public accounting, finance and corporate accounting. This diverse exposure equipped me with the knowledge and confidence to excel in my current role at KPMG.

"My advice is to be fearless. Embrace challenges and step out of your comfort zone, as it’s often where the most growth occurs."

INCPAS: What is your favorite part of your job at KPMG?

Jose: My role at KPMG offers the perfect blend of finance and accounting, fulfilling my career aspirations. Engaging in M&A activities adds another layer of excitement to my professional journey which I truly enjoy!

INCPAS: In an article in the Spring 2020 issue of CPA IN Perspective, we asked what you were most looking forward to when you enter the profession. You said you were looking forward to the endless possibilities for your career. Now that you’re working at KPMG, what kinds of opportunities do you have?

Jose: Reflecting on my journey, I realize that every opportunity I’ve had so far has been just the beginning. KPMG’s support and willingness to accommodate my interests have been instrumental in propelling my career forward. From traveling and connecting with professionals all over the world, to being exposed to numerous industries, my short time at KPMG has already been filled with countless experiences. I’m eager to embrace the future and its myriad opportunities.

"I aspire to one day establish my own consulting firm focused on empowering Latino-owned businesses to thrive and succeed."

INCPAS: What are your plans for taking the CPA Exam? 

Jose: I’m thrilled to share that I’ve already passed three sections of the CPA Exam and have the fourth scheduled soon. With luck, I’ll be licensed later this year!

INCPAS: Do you have any advice for high school students who are interested in becoming CPAs?

Jose: To any high school student considering a career in accounting or any profession, my advice is to be fearless. Embrace challenges and step out of your comfort zone, as it’s often where the most growth occurs. Trust in your abilities and pursue opportunities that push you to excel.

INCPAS: What are your long-term professional goals?

Jose: Continuous learning and personal growth. Ultimately, I aspire to one day establish my own consulting firm focused on empowering Latino-owned businesses to thrive and succeed.

INCPAS Scholars is an award-winning, free program that encourages high school students to consider becoming a CPA. The only program of its kind, INCPAS Scholars introduces students to the profession by pairing them with practicing CPAs, touring CPA firms and businesses that employ CPAs, and participating in events to immerse them in the profession. You can support the program at

Want to get involved as an INCPAS Scholars mentor? 
Contact Ali Tonini, CAE, INCPAS VP – Pipeline & Outreach, for more information.

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