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News > Exiles > Exiles - Sharon Fitzsimmons - USA

Exiles - Sharon Fitzsimmons - USA

Our latest Exile is Sharon Fitzsimmons (Class of 1977). Sharon's career in accountancy took her from Belfast to Miami, Cinncinati and New York before she settled in Washington D.C.
5 Jan 2023
United States of America

Upon leaving Sullivan Sharon studied Economics at Queen's University Belfast, graduating in 1980. She began her career in Belfast but a move to Miami soon followed.

"I began my Chartered Accountancy career in Belfast with Stokes, Kennedy Crowley which was then part of the International KPMG accounting firm. As soon as I became a Chartered Accountant there, I was recruited by Price Waterhouse (PW) to their Miami, Florida office in the USA. This was in 1984, and back then the firm had access to 10-20 special skills visas annually (H1B Visa). The goal was to serve multi-national clients".

Sharon worked in Miami, Cincinnati and New York City between 1984-1988 and them moved to Washington D.C to join her soon-to-be husband Carl, who she married in 1989.

"The move to Washington DC allowed me to expand to vast Government and International clients, and I worked across a great many agencies, Transnational organizations, and Native American Tribal Trust Funds. In the world of business, there is no larger client than the US Government".

Sharon became a Certified Public Accountant in the US and was admitted as a Partner at PW (now PwC) in 1994. She has since retired but remains active in local and international events.

Sharon pictured in the White House Briefing Room

Through her marriage Sharon obtained permanent residency and eventually US Citizenship. She and Carl have a son and a daughter, both now young, working adults, and the family enjoy trips to Northern Ireland as often as they can. Pre pandemic Sharon returned several times a year.

Sharon's brothers both also attended Sullivan, Colin (Class of 1975) and David (Class of 1980) and she enjoys keeping in touch with school pals including Jacqueline Hill (née Scott), Elaine Johnston; John F.D. Northover; and Brian Cave.

She describes living in the US as "a new adventure every day".

"What I like about it is the fast-paced economic environment and opportunities. These come at great cost of course. My professional life was extremely stressful, and it is no secret that life in US cities can be quite dangerous. I joked with my late parents that the US never stopped being the Wild West. For those of us who find that thrilling, there is still great opportunity".

Thanks to Sharon for sharing her story.

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