Utah State University
BS Business Administration and Marketing
I discovered Equity Methods through an information session that one of my college professors referred me to. At the session, I got to talk to some of the people who would become my coworkers. I really liked the picture of the firm that I was getting, so I applied for an externship and my application was accepted.
At Equity Methods, an externship is a two to three-day experience that exposes you to some of the things they do every day, including processes and tools like the coding language the firm uses. The externship also gives you and the firm a chance to learn more about each other. I liked the Equity Methods team and culture a lot, and when they offered me a job I decided to join.
An entry-level associate here gets a lot of responsibility right off the bat. You can take on deadlines, deliverables, complex topics, and client communications pretty quickly. But there’s a strong team of supportive, down-to-earth people to help you grow. When a challenging topic comes up, or I run into a new situation, there’s always someone I can go to for some perspective on how to tackle it.
Mentorship is a predominant theme here. There’s a structured mentoring program, and a lot of mentoring happens informally as well. You can look to more senior people for help with the business as well as developing good work habits.
We also have a lot of dedicated training sessions. Some are for learning about specific accounting guidance or the financial reports we work on. Others zero in on ways to manage client relationships or how to train new associates as they’re coming on board.
And we learn a lot about growing into the consultant and senior consultant roles. For associates, the focus is on process building and automation. Now that I’m a consultant, I’m spending more time on project and people management while also serving clients as their primary contact at the firm.
We put a lot of emphasis on support and flexibility for our clients. Clients often bring a challenge to us because they don’t have the time or resources to figure it out on their own. Or they just don’t know where to start. Either way, we’re a partner to them. We don’t just provide an automated solution, we really try to make clients’ lives easier. If there’s something we can do efficiently that would save them a lot of time, we’ll do it. We always go the extra mile.
What makes someone successful in the type of work you do?
Analytical thinking is key. You need to be able to understand complex questions not only theoretically but in terms of how they translate into action. It’s important to give yourself time to read up on different topics and think them through. We do a lot of research during our downtime so that when clients come to us with questions or requests, we can respond quickly because we already have a foundation in whatever they may be asking for.
What’s your general career advice?
Be inquisitive. If something comes up in a meeting that you don’t understand, go ahead and ask about it. Or make a note of it and research it later.
I also suggest keeping a six-month plan. What you’re doing today most likely won’t be the same as what you’ll be doing half a year down the road. A plan can help you take some control of your future by laying out what you can do to prepare, such as trying your hand at a new skill now while there’s less pressure on you.
Are there any projects that stand out?
One of our clients had a giant Excel workbook filled with very complex calculations. The workbook was a nightmare to maintain. There was very little connectivity, and formulas would need to be manually updated every quarter, cell by cell.
Ordinarily, we would program a SAS solution for this type of situation, but this client was hoping we could build out some of the same functionalities on a small scale in Excel. So, just for them, we built a brand-new Excel template where the client could input their data in one spot and the report did all the rest of the work. As a result, we were able to save them seven to eight hours of tedious labor every quarter
What do you like to do outside of the office?
Hiking and mountain biking are big around here, and I like those activities as well. But I also enjoy playing billiards and cornhole. Oh, and I raise chickens at home. We always have chickens milling around the backyard.
If you had a special guest, what meal would you prepare for them?
I would probably make crepes. Sweet or savory, breakfast or dinner, it doesn’t matter. Crepes are good any way, anytime.
What’s your favorite book?
Bluebeard by Kurt Vonnegut.