Tania Ibarra, Summit Credit Union
IB’s Professional of the Week is the premier way to meet Dane County’s professionals. This week features Tania Ibarra, CPA, internal audit and compliance manager, Summit Credit Union.
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1. What are the most challenging and rewarding aspects of your job and why?
The most challenging aspect of my job is weighing compliance against cost of implementing regulations. In my role I often find myself having discussions as to how regulations sometimes don’t take into consideration the impact on business processes. The most rewarding is learning about all the aspects of the business. I have had the opportunity to learn about all the different areas and processes and how those processes come together. I can also identify areas where we can improve our effectiveness and efficiency due to the comprehensive perspective I have.
2. Who do you look up to or admire in business and why?
I don’t really have one person I look up to. I am fortunate to be surrounded by many great people and I love being able to look up to different people for different reasons. For example, I look up to Lisa Peyton-Caire for her ability to inspire others and building community. I also look to Kim Sponem for inspiration to aspire. She is the first women who I have heard mention that when she was eight she wrote about how she knew she wanted to become a CEO. This has allowed me to reconnect to my aspirations related to leadership. I knew I wanted to be a CEO or run my own company before I graduated from high school. In fact, I selected my majors — finance and accounting — because I read an article that over 50% of CEOs of Fortune 500 companies had either an accounting or finance background.
3. What has been the high point of your career so far?
My last year at PricewaterhouseCoopers. I was selected to be part of the quality review for the firm and to participate in leadership development. This has really validated my ability to accomplish anything that I set my mind to. It was a reminder to keep aspiring to be more.
4. Thinking back on your career, what advice would you give your 21-year-old self?
Don’t let go of your aspirations. It’s easy to get too busy at work and life that you forget about the reasons behind why you want work in the first place. I would set up a system to pause and reflect more to validate that what I am doing is ultimately moving me toward my end goals.