Maria Jimenez has spent much of her working life traveling between countries and continents; but her drive to help others connects her varied experiences into a singular, powerful career.
Originally from Peru, Maria’s earliest aspirations were marked by a love of numbers and words and a desire to make an impact. As she grew, it became clear that she could combine her passions in the accounting and finance industry. Maria worked primarily as a Financial Analyst following university before pursuing her MBA at EGADE Business School in Mexico.
As she grew professionally, her interest in development grew in tandem. This interest and her inherent altruistic nature led her to SNV (Netherlands Development Organisation)—an international not-for-profit development organization that focuses on long-term agricultural, energy, and water sanitation solutions for impoverished areas. Maria remained with the organization for almost seven years, starting in Peru, then moving to Honduras, and finally, the United States.
“Working overseas and learning the development sector—I fell in love with that. I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, we can do so many good things for my country and other countries.’ But then, funding was reduced in Latin America, so I decided to take a chance and fly to the U.S. with a dream of further learning opportunities in the international nonprofit sector,” Maria recalled of the decision to move a decade ago, this past March.
She remained at SNV’s Washington D.C. headquarters for three years before accepting a Director of International Accounting position at ACDI/VOCA (Agricultural Cooperative Development International/Volunteers in Overseas Cooperative Assistance), another nonprofit development organization based in D.C. When describing this period in her life, Maria said, “My work was expanding, and it was amazing to know that my financial background was helping all of these people around the world.”
While she hadn’t necessarily planned to remain in the United States long-term, Maria met her now-husband shortly after her arrival and that event changed her course. She decided to stay in the U.S., and as a result, her career trajectory began to evolve.
“I decided after spending all this time growing and learning, I wanted more balance in my life. International development is very exciting, but it’s very demanding. I was managing accounting in 32 countries and working every day. I wanted to change the world but realized that I needed to take care of myself to do that,” Maria stated.
This epiphany catalyzed her decision to work directly with her community at the Latino Economic Development Center as a Small Business Coach. Here, Maria embraced the change within her life while still utilizing her financial skills and background to make a difference.
Taking the grassroots approach fulfilled Maria in many ways; however, she still struggled with a demanding schedule that limited her ability to enjoy life outside of work. It was then that she decided to apply to a company she had been keeping an eye on due to its emphasis on flexibility and building stronger nonprofits—Your Part-Time Controller, LLC.
In October 2018, Maria accepted a part-time Associate role in YPTC’s Washington D.C. market. In this role, Maria continues to help several D.C. metro area clients better achieve their missions while still having enough time and support to pursue other internal and external interests.
Since its inception in 2020, Maria has been a critical member of YPTC’s Equity Committee. This internal coalition amplifies the causes of YPTC clients, supports YPTC’s Culture of Equity where differences are valued, and ensures equitable practices within the company. As co-chair, Maria has collaborated with peers on many projects to build a more equitable future at YPTC. One highlight was her participation in multiple Block Training sessions. Last year, she co-led a panelist discussion on equitable initiatives with YPTC clients. This year, she joined other committee members to speak candidly about her experiences as an immigrant in the workforce during a training session on cultural competence and active listening.
Additionally, Maria started the group ‘Latinas at YPTC’ in July 2020, so that the Latino women in the company could meet each other and connect on a personal level. So far, the group has members in Washington D.C., Arizona, Philadelphia, Houston, Central New Jersey, and New York, and continues to grow.
Outside of the office, Maria is a driving force in her community. Her level of expertise and inherent ability to form connections have culminated with the co-founding of a future nonprofit of her own, on which she works pro bono. Maria and the co-founders took the time to evaluate the needs of immigrant women in her community and found gaps in the funding and skills needed to start their businesses. Maria knew she wanted to make an impact, and her finance and business acumen made this endeavor a natural next step. Officially, the organization’s mission is to empower women so that they can thrive as leaders in their businesses and communities.
Maria explained, “It was painful to assess (the needs of the women in) my community firsthand, and I wasn’t the same person after that. So, four other women and I created a network for Latino women who have immigrated to this country to start a business since it’s sometimes easier to make a living that way in the US. Many of them are Latino professional women that struggle to find a job in the U.S., so they decide to start a business and make a living. These women are often the primary source of income for their families—representing 70-80% of the income. So, when you invest in these women, you are helping the whole family and community.”
Maria has realized an incredible number of dreams thus far, and she’s not even close to being finished in her career. Through the freedom and flexibility that a career with YPTC offers, there’s more room than ever to make an impact in her community and the world. In terms of what she can do from this point on, the sky is the limit—and that’s the most exciting part of all.
Your Part-Time Controller, LLC is currently hiring nationwide. If you are an accounting professional looking to use your skills for good, contact us today or apply now. We can’t wait to meet you!