RMU Alum Truly “Likes” His Job
Mike Welsh ’06 has an obsession with Facebook. In fact, his friends joke that he always knows what’s going on in everyone else’s life.
“They go to tell me something,” he says, “not realizing I’ve already read about it on Facebook. Then they say, ‘Well, of course you already knew about that.’”
Now the Bridgeville native and graduate of RMU’s integrated accounting program works for the social networking giant’s risk operations team at its headquarters in Palo Alto, Calif.
“There’s tremendous professional opportunity here for a young fellow like myself,” he says. “I feel like I am being paid to live in a business school case study. You tend to work a little harder on things that you’re passionate about, and there’s a lot of opportunity here.”
Last spring, Mike was watching an MTV documentary called “The Diary of Facebook”, which provided an inside look at the social networking company. On a whim, he decided to apply for a job the next day. Two days later Mike received an email from an internal recruiter at Facebook who wanted to set up a phone interview. The following week they flew him out for a day-long interview, and in June they offered him a job. “It was so surreal,” he says. “I never thought I’d get the job. For someone like me, who’s never lived outside of the Pittsburgh region, it was definitely a life-changing experience.”
As an undergrad at RMU, Mike stayed active as president of the Association of Future Accountants, vice president of the Student Government Association, and a freshman mentor. He also took advantage of RMU’s many work-study offerings, completing five internships during his time here.
Mike’s first internship was in 2003 with Robert M. Connolly ’77, CPA, who at the time was vice president of the Alumni Association. The two met during RMU’s commencement ceremony. “Afterward, Bob hands me a business card and tells me to give him a call,” says Mike. “It’s the power of connecting, and it attests to how the RMU family gives back to each other.”
Mike went on to complete internships with the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office, Financial Crimes Unit; PricewaterhouseCoopers, Deloitte, and Carnegie Mellon’s financial systems team.
After graduating, he worked at PricewaterhouseCoopers in Pittsburgh as auditor for three years auditing financial statements. In June of 2007 he became a CPA and eventually joined McCrory and McDowell as consultant. While there he became certified fraud examiner and a certified valuation analyst.
In 2010, Mike and some friends from Pricewaterhouse Coopers went with the Pittsburgh Against Malaria organization to Africa to distribute mosquito nets to fight the disease. “We went to Malowi and visited some really remote villages to hand out and hang nets,” he says. “People didn’t have shoes or running water. It gave you an entirely new perspective on things.”
Some of the perks working for Facebook include free breakfast, lunch, and dinner; free on-site laundry services; free on-site gym; and even free shuttle service from San Francisco to the Facebook offices in Menlo Park. And for someone like Mike, who loves to run and bike, the San Francisco area also provides limitless options. Living just several blocks south of The Presidio National Park, he regularly runs across the Golden Gate Bridge and hikes within the redwood forest of Muir Woods National Monument. “I love hiking up Mt. Tam and viewing the Bay Area from the peak, or running on the trails that cut through the redwood forests. And there’s a great craft beer scene here, too.”
Of course, whenever he’s feeling a little homesick, Mike can always head over to Giordano Bros., a Primanti Bros. lookalike restaurant, owned by former Mt. Lebanon residents. “Every Sunday it’s packed with Pittsburghers cheering on the Steelers. People here call themselves fans of the 49ers, but they’re not nearly as passionate about their football. It doesn’t begin to compare.”
Written by Valentine J. Brkich
Robert Morris University prides itself in providing engaged learning opportunities like the internships that Mike Welsh ’06 completed. Please help RMU to continue to provide life-changing experiences to its students by donating to the President’s Fund for Engaged Learning.