It’s easy to see why Sandy Pfeffer, BBA ’96, calls herself a “super connector.”
Her energy and enthusiasm for bringing people together—whether it’s a group of friends at a South Jersey beach or a gathering of business professionals in a Center City boardroom—is contagious.
“I truly enjoy collaborating with others and meeting new people,” the Fox School of Business alumna says. “Every relationship is valuable. I appreciate that.”
Pfeffer will continue her passion for making connections in her newest role as Greater Philadelphia marketplace leader for Deloitte LLP, her employer since she joined the organization in 1996.
“I’m so proud to be part of a large organization, one that has worked closely and successfully with so many others to do great things in Philadelphia,” she says. “My goal is to build on Deloitte’s strong legacy of providing high-quality client services, investing in a world-class talent experience for our people and positively impacting society.”
The Greater Philadelphia practice includes approximately 1,900 professionals delivering services in audit and assurance, consulting, tax, and risk and financial advisory services. Pfeffer will be responsible for strategy, business development, corporate citizenship and other strategic initiatives in the region.
“During our 120-year history serving the Greater Philadelphia marketplace, our approach to client services has been to provide perspectives that can allow our clients to identify new or different opportunities,” she says. “Of course, this benefits from Deloitte’s global view and 175-year history.”
Pfeffer has achieved much success since graduating with an accounting degree from the Fox School and launching her professional career with Deloitte.
“I've had the opportunity to be in the audit practice as well as do a technical rotation in our national office,” she says. “I've been in our risk and financial advisory practice had some talent roles, some operations roles and client leadership roles.
“But every couple of years, you wonder what's next?”
She recalls thinking about her career aspirations at Deloitte and pursuing specific conversations about how to achieve her goal to become the Greater Philadelphia marketplace leader.
“My new role is much more of an evolution than it is trading one path for another,” she says. “The Deloitte brand means something special to me and I’m eager to put my voice and energy into this work and share my passion with others and see it reflected back.”
Her desire to connect with people and the community around her started back during her time at the Fox School.
“I was an accounting honors student, so I enjoyed that work and found my niche with classmates as we prepared for our future careers,” she says. “The life I led there was a microcosm of all the things you do as an adult; all of it becomes a network that grows with you.”
While at the Fox School, Pfeffer also joined her first professional network, Beta Alpha Psi, the honors organization for financial information students and professionals.
“I got to know classmates and as we engaged in projects for school or for nonprofit work,” she says. “We became a community that felt like home. It was a very nurturing place to be.”
In addition to her role at Deloitte, Pfeffer also serves as the chair for Women United of the United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey and is an active sponsor and champion of Girls Inc. of Greater Philadelphia & Southern New Jersey.
“A lot of my passion for doing that work is about women and girls and giving them opportunities to be their best self,” she says.
She encourages students to get involved as much as possible in things that interest them, both personally and professionally, and to identify their goals.
“If you want to achieve that goal, you're going to want to figure out how to get there,” she says. “Building relationships and connections now is the best thing you can do for your long-term career success.
“I credit where I am today to Temple University. It was one of the best decisions I’ve made.”
Q&A with Deloitte Greater Philadelphia marketplace leader Sandy Pfeffer
Fox alumna Sandy Pfeffer, BBA ’96, came to Temple University after transferring from Penn State early in her college career. After graduating from the Fox School of Business in 1996 with a bachelor’s degree in accounting, she was hired by Deloitte LLP, where she has held various positions. Most recently, she has taken on the role of Greater Philadelphia marketplace leader.
“Temple University was instrumental in finding my way to a fulfilling career at Deloitte,” she says of the impact the school has made on her achievements.
Pfeffer is a certified public accountant and is licensed to practice in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accounts and the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Pfeffer and her husband are passionate Philadelphia sports fans and live in Glenside, Montgomery County, with their 3-year-old Golden Doodle Henry.
You’ve been described as having a highly creative, collaborative and entrepreneurial spirit. Why are those characteristics important in business? Where do you see business trending in 2023?
I’m a firm believer that no one achieves anything alone. Diversity of thought allows for so many more creative ideas to be put into play to maintain stability and to achieve new heights of success.
No one has a crystal ball on the economy, but we may experience headwinds that result in not being able to continue doing things in the same way. In those challenging times, teams can rally together and unleash the creative freedom to explore different ways to do things. In my opinion, that is what makes Deloitte a bit unique as an organization: we can look across the landscape of Philadelphia and the nation and understand new and innovative ways to address problems, then bring those insights to our clients and the larger community.
How would you describe Deloitte’s role in the Philadelphia business community?
Philadelphia has such a rich history and sense of place due to contributions to our state, our nation and internationally. Combined with our cultural and sporting events and restaurants, this city is a vibrant hometown for work and play.
Those elements unite our community and draw in students, researchers, businesses and investments from around the world to make it a modern and thriving center for education and industry. This means that Deloitte can attract and retain incredibly talented people and participate in work that has meaning and impact.
Deloitte’s role in Philadelphia is to engage with enthusiasm; that is a role that I champion wholeheartedly. We are proud of our history here in Philadelphia over the past 120 years and our collaboration with others in business and in the larger community. This collaboration refers to our work, but also to engaging through investment, volunteer and pro bono efforts that make an impact, particularly on helping create equity within society regarding education and workforce development, financial inclusion and health equity. Our purpose is to make an impact that matters by creating trust and confidence in a more equitable society.
Let’s talk about your time at the Fox School and how the field of accounting has changed since you were a student.
Temple was instrumental in finding my way to a fulfilling career at Deloitte. I started out at a different university but found that I missed the city, my family and friends. Philadelphia is so vibrant and engaging, with so much to see and do, that I was drawn back to the city. Earlier in my career, I went back and spoke to students as I was eager to provide the perspective that I enjoyed as an undergrad.
My experience as a student involved textbooks with classic problems and auditing was somewhat manual and paper-based. But technology has changed this substantially. Students are now exposed to new techniques in data analytics and trends that support organizational modernization and transformation. Accounting is a backbone and foundation, but there is a new skill set related to technology and data.