Raaj Parikh is the son of Indian immigrants who came to the US to carve out a new path and lifestyle for themselves and their family.
Today, Parikh is a Corporate Accounting Manager for an $8B publicly traded company. The company recently went to IPO in 2019 and became Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) compliant within the next year. Raaj Parikh was at the center of helping that happen, overseeing the accounting for 40 entities and managing a team of five.
So, how did Parikh ascend to his successful career from his humble beginnings?
Parikh recalls growing up in Naperville, a city in the western suburbs of Chicago. His father worked as a database administrator and his mother held a variety of different positions from teacher’s assistant to retail and banking clerk.
Raaj Parikh says his parents instilled a strong work ethic within him from an early age, and shortly thereafter, Parikh would go on to make it on his own in corporate America.
Parikh started working from an early age and had his first official job at 15.
“I remember waking up at 5 a.m. to serve coffee and doughnuts at Dunkin’ Doughnuts,” says Parikh.
Throughout his youth, Parikh would continue to work and hold various positions in service and retail. Meanwhile, his parents had aspirations for him to become an engineer or doctor.
Parikh was self-aware from an early age and says that he was never great at the sciences. He was, however, great with numbers and had a fondness for the stories they tell.
“This is what led me through the path of accounting,” says Parikh, who recalls graduating around the time of the Great Recession (late 00s). At the time, accounting was a popular degree amongst college students given the job security and income a career in accounting provided.
“Accounting is a recession proof industry as Accountants are the backbone of every organization” says Parikh.
Parikh says that he realized that accounting was a lucrative career path to pursue and that it presented a plethora of trajectories. He enjoyed having those options and the opportunity to carve his own path.
“I liked the fact that I could work as an auditor at a Public Accounting Firm, or dive straight into an industry role, or use my accounting know-how in an entrepreneurial role,” says Parikh.
In undergrad, Parikh interned at a small local CPA firm and Grant Thornton before accepting his first full-time job in Chicago, Illinois where he was in the Risk Assurance Practice at PwC.
Today, Raaj Parikh works at a $8B publicly traded company that is a large player within the commercial real estate space. His company provides property management and facility management services, valuation services, brokerage services and more to large organizations.
Getting involved in this line of work and working his way up the corporate ladder was not easy for Parikh, but it was something he was able to accomplish through a tireless work ethic and a relentless effort to succeed.
One of Raaj Parikh’s greatest tips for success in Corporate America is to never be afraid to pursue what you want. Whether it is a job, a promotion, or a raise, you need to be the person driving your own career and having those conversations with the appropriate stakeholders to make it a reality
To learn more about Raaj Parikh and for more tips about navigating corporate America, you can visit his personal website.