Eric Scaringe. The man you’ll catch showing up at the Albany-Rensselaer Amtrak station five minutes before his train is to depart to NYC on Wednesday nights or in his garage boxing and watching his toddler bench press a foam bar. In August, he spends his time at the Saratoga Race Track, hopefully winning some money. He’s gone above and beyond what most people have in their 30’s, from graduating college while taking care of a daughter, all the way to being a proud dad of four, working for one of the Big Four accounting firms. And he’s a pretty cool guy, or he at least likes to think so.
He sat down with Her Campus Siena to talk about his job and his favorite kid (not that he would reveal much on that one!), while also dishing out his wisdom about going after your career and NYC. A go-getter himself, he advises young people to move to New York City, if that’s what they want to do, and try it out. “You can always go back if it doesn’t work out,” he says, “But I think it says a lot about people who have both experiences.” In his 30’s, he’s just now getting the NYC experience two days a week and he enjoys being surrounded by like-minded people. One of his coworkers, he said, best described it as “Once you’ve tasted it, it’s tough to go back.”
He’s a proud Siena alumnus and so kindly sat down to answer my questions.
Her Campus Siena: You were the class of 2005, right?
Eric Scaringe: Class of 2005, ended in December 2004, 3.5 years. So, I ended classes in December, but I had to wait to graduate in May with the rest of the class.
HCS: Why did you choose Siena?
ES: I transferred to Siena as a junior, and I knew I wanted to stay locally and I knew I wanted to major in business. And when I went to Siena administration office and we talked about what major [I was going to be], the counselor – was really good actually – helped me decided between marketing, communication, accounting or finance and in that conversation, they helped me understand that I wanted to stay locally and do accounting and that Siena would be a good place, because when you enter into a work environment there was a lot of Siena alumni.
Did you ever hear the story about my graduation?
HCS: I’ve heard bits and pieces. Basically, that it was moved inside and your parents couldn’t get in.
ES: I will never forget waiting in line to go in to and when we were walking through, they said there was going to be police there and lots of chaos. And I will never forget that the person in front of me turned around and said, “Oh my god, there’s a lady with a sign that says, “I need tickets” and that lady was my mom [laughter].
HCS: Alright, to be honest, I know you’re a CPA, but what do you actually do?
ES: I work for KPMG in New York City on the Global Mobility Services (GMS) team. What my job is…well, companies have employees that work all over the world, so my job is when you want to send someone, for example, from the U.S. to Hong Kong, etc., my job is to consult on the personal income tax implications of their business travel. I work with a big team of people of New York City and we help businesses with tax compliance related to their employees’ international and domestic business travel.
HCS: You used to work for GE, what did you do there?
ES: I had three jobs. First, I was a Global Internal Auditor. Once a quarter, we would travel to another country and do an internal audit of compensation and benefits. That’s kind of neat. I’ve been to some really interesting countries.
HCS: Which countries, can you name them?
ES: China, Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Australia, Canada, Mexico, Hungary, Holland. That’s it, I think.
And for my second job, I was in the Corporate Tax Department. I had responsibility for the completeness and accuracy for compensation and benefits reporting and income tax withholding for the company. And something interesting about that is that most of the U.S. payroll and benefits operations are done in here in Schenectady.
After that job, [this job was] sort of similar, they called us the Short-Term Business Traveler Team. We were responsible for the personal income tax obligations of employees traveling internationally for GE. We covered a little over 80 countries. I got to work closely with people from over 80 countries.
One important take-away, was you learn a lot of tax rules but you also get the opportunity to learn different cultures too.
HCS: Now, let’s talk about that glass trophy sitting in your home office…please enlighten the readers with how you obtain that GE award and do you still have it?
ES: [Silence and hesitation] Our team was given that award for outstanding compliance.
ES: It was!
HCS: You were an international CPA, where was your favorite business travel and why?
ES: Hands down, Sydney, Australia. A toss-up between two things. One thing is the people, and two, the beaches.
HCS: Alright, the next ones are just random questions.
ES: Alright, the easy ones!
HCS: Favorite flavor of ice cream?
ES: Chocolate chip cookie dough
HCS: Who’s your favorite kid? Be honest.
ES: Each one of my children has a special place in my heart.
HCS: Dream vacation?
ES: The one place that I’ve never been to that I’ve heard a lot of good things about is Prague.
HCS: If you were to move, where would you live?
ES: Las Vegas
ES: Same reason as Australia. The weather and the people.
HCS: If you weren’t doing what you were doing, what would you do?
ES: Does this have to a realistic goal?
HCS: It can be anything you want.
ES: Professional golfer, that’s would be my dream job, but it’s not gonna happen. I’m a terrible golfer.
HCS: Workout tips?
ES: Gotta get into a workout regimen.
Cardio in the morning.
Don’t overdo it.
HCS: One weird fact about yourself?
ES: I’ve got two. I have half a spleen as a result of a ski accident. And I’m allergic to bees.
HCS: How old were you when you had to lose half your spleen!?
ES: December 23, 2010. So, I was 27.