I’m Andrea Benz and I’m living proof that wherever life takes you, working for PwC can be the start of an incredible journey.
I’d say it was more of a coincidence that brought me to PwC. I’d finished my BA degree in multilingual communication and didn’t know exactly what direction I wanted to go in, so I applied for various trainee programmes. I was super happy to be accepted by PwC.
I started as a trainee in marketing, which lasted for a year. After that I joined the event management team on a permanent, full-time basis. I really enjoyed the work, but my big passion in life wouldn’t leave me alone. And what is my passion? Here’s your first clue: after a couple of years in event management, I reduced to part-time to start a bachelor’s programme in music. If I’m honest, I fancied being on stage rather than behind the scenes.
When I finally decided to change direction completely and work full-time in the music industry, my coach understood and fully supported me.
When I finally decided to change direction completely and work full-time in the music industry, my coach understood and fully supported me. I guess they always knew that music was my real passion, so they weren’t surprised.
I had a fantastic time at PwC, and have many great and funny memories. One of the highlights for me was the chance to work at the Montreux Jazz Festival during PwC’s VIP client events. I was invited up to Claude Nobs’s chalet and even got to play Freddy Mercury’s piano. That’s something I’ll never forget.
My next career move brought me one step closer to my dream of working in the music industry: After I left PwC, I worked part-time as a member of the Swiss Music Academy’s office and teaching staff, while I was finishing my music degree. At the weekends I played guitar for various bands, mainly in Germany and Austria. During this time I also came back to PwC twice for a few months as a part-time contractor.
This year I’ve also finally released some of my own original music, and I won another award at the International Texas Country Music Awards.
The big break came at the end of 2019. I took the leap across the pond, and am now living in Nashville, Tennessee. I’m living my dream of being a full-time musician, playing the honky-tonk bars on Broadway during the week, as well as touring with the band Farewell Angelina pretty much all over the US. Even though a lot of shows were cancelled due to the pandemic in 2020, we still managed to play quite a few drive-in shows, and a lot of concerts have now been rescheduled for next year. This year I’ve also finally released some of my own original music, and I won another award at the International Texas Country Music Awards.
Obviously my life is very different now. But there are things I miss about PwC. I wouldn’t want to go back to sitting in an office in front of the computer all day, but unlike many musicians I’m actually a very organised person, and I sometimes miss the structured work I did at PwC.
PwC have kept in touch with me via email and LinkedIn, and I’ve also stayed in touch with former colleagues and friends through social media and WhatsApp. It makes me really happy that some of my former colleagues love my music and follow my journey.
So, what would be my message to the alumni community? As cheesy as it sounds, follow your dreams and don’t give up when things don’t work out right away.
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