At first, pursuing careers simultaneously in music and accounting might not seem like a logical combination, but for David Pestrak, the harmony is sweet. He can be creative and flexible in one because of the stability of the other. And, both involve analysis and decision making (pairing notes and lyrics in music and pairing users’ needs and solutions in accounting).
The aspiring country music artist started playing the guitar when he was young, and has been performing professionally since he was fourteen, when he joined an established wedding band. Eventually, he started writing his own songs, which according to David, is when things “started to take off”.
The Module 3 student started working in the Winnipeg office of Deloitte in 2008 as a co-op student while completing his accounting degree at the University of Manitoba’s I.H. Asper School of Business. He started at the firm full time in September 2011 after spending the summer in Nashville recording, writing, and performing.
David is returning to Nashville this summer to continue building the music industry relationships that he’s established there. “This business doesn’t move very quickly and there really aren’t any overnight successes. Garth Brooks was refused 18 times before he got a record deal. The process is about relationships, hard work, and the luck of being in the right place at the right time.”
Earning a CA designation also requires hard work, but it relies less on luck. David’s father and brother are CAs, so following that path made sense to David. “Growing up, I was always interested in what my father did. Accounting is a challenging and highly-respected profession.”
“When I’m in Nashville, people ask what I do for a living because they know that, for now, music doesn’t pay enough. They’re always a little surprised with my answer, but with something as unpredictable as the music business, you need to offset it with something stable like the accounting profession.”
David’s colleagues at Deloitte support his music ambitions, “I think as long as I don’t ask for a month off during busy season, they’re okay with it. When I started with the firm, I was upfront about also pursuing music, and the flexibility to do that is part of the work-life balance.”
Studying in the CASB program, working full-time at Deloitte, and nurturing his music career doesn’t leave David much free time, “but I’m having lots of fun, staying grounded, and keeping out of trouble. CASB is a challenging program, and I do like challenges. You are held accountable for your work so you have to be disciplined.”
Ultimately, David may have to choose between his two careers, but for now he is planning to write the UFE in September 2013, and he will release his first studio album in November 2012 via his website and iTunes. A preview is available at www.davidpestrak.com and facebook.com/davidpestrakmusic.