Hellen Nunez-Arenas, B.S.’13

A Fresh New Face

By Carol Olechowski

Courtesy PwC

Meet Hellen Nunez-Arenas, the face of PricewaterhouseCoopers’ efforts to recruit students to participate in a case competition. 

The 20-year-old accounting major from Amityville, N.Y., was a member of the team that won xTreme games, now known as Challenge, for UAlbany in Fall 2012. Members of the recruiting team reached out to Nunez-Arenas to be part of the promotional campaign for the competition. She is featured throughout the United States on posters that “highlight my experience in the program and are meant to encourage students to participate” in 2014.  

“I am thankful for this opportunity; I feel really honored to be able to represent such an amazing firm,” added the Cali, Colombia, native, who immigrated to the U.S. at age 9. “Being featured on this poster has been a very interesting and humbling experience. My professors, family and friends were very excited and proud of me. They have all asked me to sign copies for them; that was pretty cool.”

In 2012, at PwC’s Albany office, Nunez-Arenas completed a Summer of Discovery Internship that “allowed me to learn about the firm through its Internal Firm Services and develop my personal brand.” Last summer, in New York City, “I did Start Masters, a pilot program for interns selected to come back to PwC a second time. This internship allowed me to learn about the tax practice and made me realize I would like to continue working in the tax practice at PwC. I plan to return to PwC in January to complete a final internship during busy season, in Investment Management in Tax,” Nunez-Arenas said last fall.

Nunez-Arenas' team participated in Challenge last year and won! Watch highlights and learn more about the competition.

The December 2013 graduate’s many UAlbany supporters included her   advisor, Jason Cotugno, and Assistant Dean for Alumni Relations & Development and Career Services John Levato. “My most influential supporter and mentor has been my peer and friend, Smiley Rojas-Nunez,” she added. “I met him when I was a freshman, and we have been friends ever since. He encouraged me to join student groups and become more involved. I joined ALPFA [Association of Latino Professionals for Finance and Accounting], the business-student group he founded, and served as vice president. Smiley has always believed in me; he encouraged me to work up to my potential and apply for internships and scholarships. In fact, he encouraged me to meet the recruiter for PwC, and the rest is history.”