Sury Jimenez

Jimenez graduated from the Academy in 2012, one year after her sister Joceline, and she went on to receive her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in accounting from Northern Illinois University. She has been working as a full-time auditor for public accounting firm Grant Thornton since January, having served as an intern with the company in spring 2016. She also interned at PricewaterhouseCoopers for two summers but chose Grant Thornton over the larger firm due to the broader range of experiences she would be exposed to.

“I got to see the two different sizes and the dynamics at the different companies. With Grant Thornton, we may be exposed to more mid-size clients in different industries and complex situations earlier in our careers. With a bigger firm, you would be exposed to larger clients that would require longer assignment time. If I’d been at Pricewaterhouse, I might only work with two different clients in a year and one particular type of industry. But they’re both great companies.”

Public accounting, though, may not be Jimenez’s final career destination. She would be interested in serving on the board of a nonprofit and working in upper management for an international company.

Though she and her sister didn’t have the opportunity to travel as children, Jimenez said their Academy experience inspired new dreams. She vacationed in Spain in 2017 and hopes to return, she said, and visit every continent someday.

“In the Academy we got the opportunity to learn about the world and different cultures, and Joceline and I began to become full of wanderlust.”

Jimenez credits her Streamwood High School teachers, business-related courses, and participation in Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA) for helping to broaden her horizons.

Some teachers she especially credits are David Nickoley, who taught her business classes and was the adviser for DECA. “Mr. Nickoley was someone who helped me prepare for my current career,” she said.

Ryoko Manabe introduced her to Japanese culture and international relations. Her math teachers helped prepare her technically for her accounting career, with Robert Pascolini and Greg Anthony earning special praise for their tutoring skills when she needed extra help.

Miriam Abe taught her to be a team player but also a leader as the varsity tennis captain.

“Not only did she help me grow as a tennis player,” Jimenez said, “but she taught me that if you put in the time and effort, you can accomplish anything you set your mind to, whether in or out of the court.”