Blog Archive

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Summer Intern Conference - Day 1

Written by Karolina Bulaj and Mimi Roukoz
Assurance Interns
San Diego, CA

Our day began bright and early, or should we say dark and early as it was 3:30AM when we woke up for our 6:25AM flight out of San Diego. After a little parking construction detour, some pretty big crowds at the airport, and a much needed Starbucks stop, we finally made it on to the plane, and were able to catch some much needed zzz’s before our arrival at O’Hare in Chicago.

The drive to the Q Center was really beautiful and very green, much greener landscapes then what we are used to in California! Upon our arrival, we had some extra time to explore, and enjoy some yummy food at the café. We also reunited with some fellow interns from the Irvine and Los Angeles offices that we had met earlier during orientation and training. It was nice to see everyone and catch up about our first few weeks at McGladrey!

We began our formal activities with an enticing introduction from Kim McKaughlin who gave us an overview of our next few days, as well as introduced the team who put together the wonderful conference. Kim also emphasized that the next few days were really about our self-development in terms of our professional careers and lives. Something we both took away from Kim’s speech was a fortune cookie that she shared with us: “Success will not attack you, you must attack success.” This really resonated with both of us, as it really emphasized that who we will become as professionals and as people is determined by our actions and the decisions we make.

Our next speaker, Ken Bansemer, brought us both tears and joy with his moving, and hilarious stories from personal experience. His stories illustrated six key pieces of advice on “How Not to Fail.”  Two that really stood out to us were “embracing change” and “believing in yourself.” As interns, we are beginning to enter careers, and growing from college students into professionals. This transformation is a huge change in our lives, and embracing this change is key to our success. Also, as interns we are exposed to new information and challenges every day. We often don’t know the answers and must ask questions, however, we should not lose confidence but rather view it as a learning opportunity. With that being said, believing in ourselves, and our capabilities allows us to keep a positive outlook and embrace the changes and growth we are undergoing.

Following a delicious dinner, we commenced our last activity with an act of community service. This act entailed making blankets that will be donated to Salvation Army. It was really nice seeing that McGladrey is involved with their community, and that we had the opportunity to be a part of it during our time at the Q-Center.

It’s only been the first day of the conference and we are already taking away with us lifelong lessons as well as new friendships rooted in the common bond of being McGladrey Interns.

Your San Diego Assurance Interns,
Karolina and Mimi

Monday, June 27, 2011

A New Associate’s First Busy Season at McGladrey

Written by Emmy Gjurgjiali
Assurance Associate
Chicago, IL

Starting as a new hire in Audit at the beginning of busy season was a little intimidating since not only were the hours lengthy but there was so much to learn. Would I be able to learn and understand things quickly? Were the clients nice? Would my team have the time or patience to sit down and teach me about the Financial Services industry? Those were the questions running through my mind during the first few days of orientation.

As I progressed through busy season, the hours got longer and the work load became heavier. I noticed the more work I was assigned the more questions I would ask. Thankfully, my team was very easy to work with since they were more than happy to take time out of their busy schedules to sit down and walk me through certain audit procedures. Knowing that I was free to ask any of my superiors questions made my first busy season experience that much easier.

Despite all the hard work, we always managed to find some time for fun. Take March for example. This month is one of the busiest months of busy season in Financial Services as we try to wrap up each engagement by the March 31st deadline. Due to the unpredictability of last minute issues that may arise, stress can be at an all time high. So in order to relieve a little bit of stress, the girls from the Private Equity Group spontaneously decided to take 20 minutes out of the day to get cupcakes and eat them outside, allowing us to enjoy the rare warm weather and each other’s company.  Sitting outside and eating a simple cupcake made a world of a difference for the rest of the day. We were able to work just as hard as we did any other day but with something funny to talk about to spice up the day.

As busy season came to an end, not only had I learned so many new skills but I also kept thinking to myself “It wasn’t that bad.” Even though the hours are long and the work can be a little tougher in the beginning, working with a great team can make a world of a difference. It reminds me that I’ve made a great choice by choosing to work at McGladrey.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Networking - it works if you let it!

Written by Dan Gradel
Sr. Recruiter
Dallas, TX

We live in a world that is fast paced, complex and demanding and with these constraints we are ever evolving to find ways to make every facet of life more productive, more convenient and easier. Whether to allow for a couple minutes of peace and quiet or to catch up with people that we can’t find time for in the course of days, weeks and years we have devised websites like Facebook for our friends and family, to find love, and LinkedIn to facilitate our growing business contacts.

In my career I have become very familiar to a concept that was as much a function of my job as it was a part of my personality - networking. I will admit that at the very mention of this word most people will look away in horror as though a tragic accident has just been referenced. Why? Well, I’ve found that people in general just do not like to do this activity and in some cases loathe it because it is personal, time consuming and often unproductive.   

The purpose of effective networking should be to build a community of people who genuinely want to perpetuate the good of the group, in other words they are there to: inform you of things you previously didn’t know about, teach you new skills, listen and share things that they think you would be interested in.  After all, you would be networking with people that ultimately bring value to your personal or professional life and have like minded interests, right? I think that we all start off with good intentions and do a great job of amassing a following only to fall flat on the part of helping others. In today’s electronic world it is so easy to forward a message to others to say “hey, this looked like something that would be of interest to you”, but we don’t. Why?  Why don’t we send our like minded network information that is of mutual interest?   

The information that I frequently send is for job postings/hiring needs and the answer that I routinely receive is that “I don’t know of anyone looking right now.” Well, not to be blunt but have you recently polled your entire network to see what their current level of happiness is with their current position and if the one I am presenting is a better fit or possibly the next step that they have been looking for? Do you know: who is getting laid off in a month? Which company is moving or going out of business?  Who has been searching for so long they have lost hope? Of course not, this would take a very long time and is the exact reason we devised these electronic means of networking, it is an easy way to share information with a lot of people.

We network to provide a security blanket for unseen future events, to gather information and to gain relevant industry skills, but none of this works if we don’t do our part to maintain relationships and be an active advocate for each other. The old adage, “It’s not what you know, but who you know” hasn’t survived without bearing a good deal of truth. So who can you help today? Hopefully in the end it will be you!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Q&A with our Baltimore Office Managing Partner - Marty Brunk

Written by Sheree Lasher Ball
Sr. Recruiter
Baltimore, MD

McGladrey is the largest accounting firm in Baltimore (source: Baltimore Business Journal).  Leading our efforts is Marty Brunk, Office Managing Partner.  Marty has been with the Baltimore office since September of 2005.  A graduate of Mount Saint Mary’s University, Marty brings 25+ years of public accounting experience to the table.  He balances his time between serving clients, managing the Baltimore office and growing the practice. In addition to providing a holistic approach to client service, his expertise includes working with companies in private equity (both funds and portfolio companies) and closely held businesses.

Marty is a leader in the community.  He made a commitment to be actively involved in the business community as well as to various charities. Marty sits on the boards of the Maryland Food Bank (immediate past chairman), Catholic Charities of Baltimore (slated for January 2012), the Greater Baltimore Committee and the Downtown Partnership.  He is also very involved with several local University Business School advisory boards.  Marty received the MACPA public service award in 2007.

When he’s not working, you’re likely to find Marty with his wife Mary, at their beach house, on the golf course or traveling to some international destination.

I had a chance to sit down and ask Marty some questions about his thoughts on McGladrey.

Q.  How long have you been working with McGladrey?
A.  I joined McGladrey as a part of an acquisition in 2005, after spending sixteen years as a Partner for a firm in the Baltimore area. 

Q.  What do you enjoy most about working for McGladrey?
A.  I love the people and the clients.  McGladrey is a firm full of talented people with a great client service culture.  Our clients are diverse and successful. We are well positioned in the marketplace.

Q.  What advice would you give a professional who’s considering making a move to McGladrey?
A.  Consider the people you will be working with, the types of clients you will be serving and the education you will be receiving.  McGladrey’s people and clients are world class. McGladrey has an excellent training and development program and many opportunities for personal and professional growth.  If you are with McGladrey for two years or twenty-two years, the relationships you build (both with clients and staff) and the education you receive on the job and in the classroom are invaluable.  

Q.  What’s hot right now in Baltimore (besides the temperature!)? 
A.  We recently moved our offices to a state of the art facility on the water at Baltimore’s harbor east. Harbor East has a combination of commercial, retail and residential life style. It is also closely located near numerous other hotspots. Being located in this dynamic area has given us tremendous visibility and reach into the community.  

Q.  What are the biggest growth opportunities in Baltimore?
A.  We are positioned to attract emerging middle market companies that are doing business throughout the country and many have an international presence. These companies need access to a wide range of subject matter experts including but not limited to state and local tax and international tax consulting and compliance.

Q.  What is your involvement with the McGladrey Classic PGA Tour?
A.  The McGladrey Classic is a great venue. It gives us an opportunity to thank our clients and to build relationships. It is another example of how we are differentiating ourselves.