I had a few years of experience when I joined Grant Thornton, so I knew what I was looking for. I was hired as a senior associate in Audit and became a senior manager. I really feel that the opportunities are here to continue moving up the ladder, and the rest is up to me.
I’d come from a smaller firm and was looking to advance my career. I didn’t know much about Grant Thornton, but I was recommended through a friend and had some great telephone interviews, then came in for a full day with the regional Audit partner and all the regional senior managers. So one of the things that brought me here was the intensity and energy the firm brought from that very first day. They took action and demonstrated how they do business. It was impressive.
From those initial discussions I started to get a feel for how the group worked together, what their roles were and where I might be able to fit in. I heard how long people had been here, about their roles on the team and how closely they worked together. That was a big selling point. I was able to start building relationships during that first interview day, and I consider the people I met as friends, guides and mentors today.
Since I joined the team, I’ve worked hard to show that I have what it takes to keep moving forward with my career. I really think talent and drive are the keys to success, and Grant Thornton clearly values, recognizes and rewards for performance. The firm is really great about identifying people who are working toward their goals and giving them the opportunity to move up or move over in whatever direction they’re looking to go. I think that’s one of the biggest pluses here. You’re not going to be stagnant and stuck — you have the opportunity to grow as long as you can show you can do it.
The opportunities can also evolve as I evolve. I don’t feel like I’m going to be pigeonholed into one industry or one specific type of job. On a day-to-day basis I can be working on a manufacturing client in the morning and a health care or higher education client in the afternoon. It’s always different industries, different types of jobs, different hats, different thought processes. That’s one of the things that I enjoy so much about the public accounting industry.
We also have a lot of fun. I would say the biggest plus about our group is that we’re not just simply colleagues, we’re friends. We spend a lot of time on the road together, so we get to know each other professionally but also personally. That’s important because friends are going to be there to help you succeed on projects and in your career. Discussions and dialogue between us don’t end when the workday ends. We also get together frequently when we’re in the office after work on Fridays, plus we all get together for an outing two or three times a year. And it’s not just about my own Audit group — I’m also involved with the Alumni Ambassador Program, which we’re building as a way to connect with current and former colleagues.
All in all, I think the possibilities to grow my whole self are endless here. The firm is just the right size — it’s not so large that you’re going to feel like just another number or a cog in the machine, plus there is a real focus on building an environment where you feel you can grow.
Another really good thing has been working with my brother, Chris. I talked to him about Grant Thornton when he was in college, and he ended up doing an internship. When he was graduating, it was just a natural fit for him to join the firm in an IT consulting role. Having a family member around is a valuable way to integrate work and life, and keep it all in perspective.
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