Jeremy Huval's story

Jeremy HuvalI joined Grant Thornton LLP after going through the LSU campus recruiting process, and I didn’t know a whole lot about the firm at the time. What I’ve learned since then is that this is a great place to learn at a high level and grow.

One of the first things I noticed was the amount of interaction my team has, including partners. I sit right down the hall from the national managing partner of the work that I do, IT Audit Support, and it’s an open-door policy if I have a question about strategy or if I just need project advice. I think we’re unique in that respect among large accounting firms, where you might not expect to actually work with the partners. I really like having thought leaders directly accessible and working with us. As I move from engagement to engagement or my colleagues and mentors go on to other roles or even other firms, I feel like I am building a solid network of people that I can count on, which is an important part of growing my whole self and my whole career.

Building this sort of collaborative environment is one of the things I think sets Grant Thornton apart. The more you jump in and collaborate on a project, the more you grow as a practitioner and thought leader of what you do. This is an apprenticeship-based profession, and I think we take that seriously here. We are really good about hiring from campus and teaching people the IT skills they need in order to execute an IT audit, and I think a lot of firms take the easier route and just make experienced hires. We’ve got a blend here, but there are really good opportunities for students right out of college.

Another thing I really like is that we give our employees a lot of space and a lot of room to grow. We are given space in managing our time, plus we also have a lot of choices about where we want to grow intellectually and what’s the next big question that we want to tackle to make our skill sets sharper or to become better at what we do. The options are laid out, and it’s up to us to take the ball and run with it. I feel like that shows a lot of respect for employees.

Jeremy HuvalI’ve seen people explore other departments within the firm and even go on secondments to other countries. I was able to do a six-month secondment in London, and it gave me a new perspective on my place in the larger firm and even a new perspective on living in Dallas, which has a lot more sunshine than London! It really benefited my network, too — I’ve got a lot of contacts in our European offices now, and I wouldn’t have that if I hadn’t taken the leap and gone there.

I also think Grant Thornton really excels at providing opportunities to make an impact in the work that we do. For example, as a senior (and now still as a manager) I’ve been involved in the development of tools that are used internationally for certain service offerings. Earlier in my career there weren’t any tools to automate some of the repetitive tasks associated with performing certain kinds of audits. So with a little do-it-yourself attitude I was able to build something in collaboration with a couple other people, and we walked away with a tool that is now a national and international standard for documenting that work. I got to grow a lot through that opportunity, and I met a lot of interesting people. I don’t think those types of opportunities always exist at other firms, but they exist at Grant Thornton for people willing to do the work, willing to learn something extra and willing to take on responsibilities not specifically outlined in a job description. It’s been a huge growth experience.