102: Eric Mack – From Marine, to CPA, to Management at USAA!

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Eric Mack

Eric Mack, Deputy Senior Financial Officer at USAA, shared his insights and career journey with us on this episode of Life In Accounting, a podcast production of Where Accountants Go.


Eric enlisted in the service at an early age – 17 to be specific. He did two tours, for a total of seven years, and then decided it was time to move out of active duty as he was newly married at the time.  However, his service didn’t stop there.  He continued in the Reserves for the next fourteen years or so.  We discuss his transition from service in the Marines to his first commercial position with an accounting firm, and he shares some valuable insight there as well.  Specifically, it’s important to find the right organization to transition into, and also that it’s important to remember that although much of your skillset transfers well, there is always more to learn.

PwC, then USAA

Shortly after starting his accounting career, Eric was fortunate enough to get onboard with PriceWaterhouseCoopers – actually just right after the merger. This move launched him into the financial services and real estate industries.  After about 10 years with PwC, he decided to make the move into industry and joined USAA in their real estate company.  He now serves as a Deputy Senior Financial Officer.

Key advice

Some of the key pieces of advice Eric shares in this podcast are…

  • Technical skills are important, but development of communication ability is just as important
  • When looking to move into management, serve first, and then the promotion will come
  • Although it’s a temporary sacrifice, becoming a CPA greatly increases your value as an accountant

To listen in on this interview with Eric Mack, please click on the player below: