The EM Questionnaire: Amanda Tan

Amanda Tan

The University of Texas at Austin
Masters in Professional Accounting

I found Equity Methods through the student career resource center. The firm had a brochure in the waiting room. It seemed interesting, and the career advisor recommended I look into it.

I really liked the people who interviewed with me. The combination of coding, accounting, and finance interested me as well. I realized that Equity Methods is not your typical financial firm.

A lot of different projects are going on at any given time. It’s fun because you’re not in just one realm all the time. If you’re interested in other areas, you can venture out and help with different projects. It makes you use different parts of your brain. For instance, I recently started working on thought leadership, which requires you to think in a completely different way.

I’ve also been looking at charitable projects. It’s just something we came up with—a one-off to help the community since we’re so fortunate to be employed and able to work from home through the pandemic. Right now, we have four people brainstorming on ways to give back.

There were 20 in my cohort of new hires from 2019, all of us recent graduates around the same age. I’m close to them all. Even beyond my cohort, everyone loves to talk with one another. It’s a friendly environment, but when you get right down to it, we all work hard to do our jobs and deliver the reports to the client. It’s a delicate balance that, in my opinion, Equity Methods pulls off well.

I also like the location. I hadn’t realized Equity Methods had such proximity to Sedona and Flagstaff. If you want to escape the heat, just drive a couple of hours north and you’ll be fine.

A large part of my job is streamlining reporting processes for our clients. Something that would take the client days to do, we can do in a few hours. We also provide clients with insights and answers to their equity compensation questions. I do a lot of coding as well. I’ve built a process from scratch for multiple clients, all the way to delivering a report that the client could digest easily.

Communications is key to succeeding in a role like mine because I work with various teams, clients, and deadlines. If you’re struggling, you have to ask for help because if you don’t understand something in your first year, it’ll just get harder over time. I’ve definitely asked my share of questions, and my teams have been very patient and understanding with me.

Curiosity and an affinity for problem-solving are also necessary. You need to be able to find ways to address clients’ questions and find creative solutions for them. Don’t dread the idea of something not going your way—just make a good faith effort and get help when you need it.

My general career advice is to consider all the paths that are available, not just the obvious ones. Widening your horizons when looking for a job can give you more opportunities.

I’m happy with my decision to join Equity Methods because I’ve learned so much more here than I would have at a large organization. It’s also been a lot easier to connect with my peers, seniors, managers, and even our CEO. To those who are just starting out, don’t worry too much about landing what you think is the perfect job. It will all work out in the end.

Do any stories from your time at Equity Methods stick out?

Yes. There are so many! Recently a coworker and I went hiking in Sedona. I was in charge of navigation, but what neither of us knew is that I have zero sense of direction. I got us hopelessly lost, but it ended up being a really fun bonding trip anyway.

What did you do during your last vacation?

Skiing in Salt Lake City.

What is the character trait you admire most in people?

Sincerity.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?

Chivalry.

What’s your greatest extravagance?

I have two: traveling and food.

What’s your idea of perfect happiness?

Being surrounded by the people I love, and who care for me.