Blog Archive

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Giving Back Feels Good – The Welcome Project

by Chrissy Alves
Resource Manager

Baltimore, MD

One of the many great perks working at McGladrey is the corporate culture of giving back to our local communities.  The Firm allots hours each year for employees to take advantage of various opportunities to help Non-Profit Organizations.  On January 11th the Baltimore office hosted the first event of 2013 with participation in The Welcome Project for Ronald McDonald House.  The Welcome Project is an initiative by Ronald McDonald House to provide a fresh new blanket for each child upon arrival to their temporary home at their facility. 

The Baltimore office collected money through casual days and bake sales to purchase fabrics to be turned into an original blanket for each special child.  The foggy Friday started a little slow with only six blankets done within the first couple of hours, but then midday – the rush.  Suddenly we were inundated with employees looking for directions on how to make their blanket.  Two conference rooms were reserved for the day, which then turned into four conference rooms flooded with teams of two diligently making blankets.  By the end of the day we had 43 blankets made, quite an accomplishment, it was great to see everyone working together for a great cause.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Community Outreach in LA: Shoes that Fit

by LoriAnn Boyer
Los Angeles, CA
Sr Talent Acquisition Specialist

This past November, McGladrey Los Angeles partnered with the outreach organization Shoes That Fit. Shoes That Fit helps children in need throughout thousands of schools across America. Hundreds of thousands of new shoes and other items have been provided to needy school children, and that number is growing rapidly.  Shoes That fit accepts no government funding whatsoever, and with 100% of community donations going directly to school children, through an impressive network of volunteer-run local grassroots chapters, Shoes That Fit is uniquely efficient and effective in its life-changing operations.

In November, McGladrey, partnered with the Gratts Learning Academy; and through the donations and support of the Los Angeles office we were able to donate close to 70 pairs of shoes and socks to children in desperate need of them.  We were surprised to know that thousands of children go to school wearing shoes that do not fit, with shoes they have to duck tape together or shoes they have to cut the front open because their feet have grown and their parents can’t afford a new pair.  There wasn’t one person in the Los Angeles office who wasn’t moved to want to make a difference.  With shoes, socks and monetary donations in hand, our team headed out to Gratts Learning Academy to deliver our bundle of love to the children.  What struck our team the most was the absolute gratitude from each of the children. They, in kind, wrote some of the most precious thank you notes.  One such note said:

“Thank you for my clean shoes. They are blue and green. I wear them every day. The shoes make me happy and I can play in the gym again. Thank you for the gift and for thinking of me. Love, Denisse.”

This outreach effort was so successful and touched so many of us that we’re looking forward to launching another campaign shortly, as well as implementing the same program in some of our other offices.  Shoes That Fit is helping kids improve their self-esteem and fit in at school by eliminating one of poverty’s most visible and debilitating marks. If you’d like to help, please contact our Los Angeles office for more information.  It is a truly meaningful act of kindness, and you will be “changing lives one pair of shoes at a time.”

If you’d like to work alongside amazing audit, tax and consulting professionals who are also champions for their communities, check our current job openings at

Monday, January 14, 2013

Happy New Year! And top posts of 2012

Happy New Year! Thanks for visiting the McGladrey Careers Blog during 2012. It was a great full year for us as a reunited firm with many company milestones (We
reunited in December 2011). We are excited about our plans for the blog in 2013 and will be aiming to share more of the in-depth stories you’re looking for. If there is anything specific that you would like to see on the blog, let us know!

Below are our top posts per category from 2012. We hope you’ll continue to stop by in 2013!

Internships: Planting my Roots
Resume/Interview Advice: McGladrey Interview Diaries
Client Experience: McGladrey Madness

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Tips for Successful Flexibility from McGladrey Working Mom

Victoria Umphress
Las Vegas Director Victoria Umphress has worked a flexible work schedule for years to sustain her personal and professional priorities. In the process she’s become a role model to those now seeking success both at work and at home.

At home, Vicki is a wife and mom of two. Over the years, their family has relocated for her husband’s career, and she was able to smoothly transition to different McGladrey locations before coming full-circle back to Las Vegas, where she started.

When her children were younger, Vicki worked a reduced work schedule four days a week, which allowed her to spend full days off with them. As they got older, she shifted her hours to five shorter days a week. “Now I’m able to pick up my kids from school, help with their homework, and put in work time after they go to bed,” she says. “Being able to change my flexible schedule as my needs have changed has been key.” 

lexibility has been a two-way street for Vicki. While taking advantage of two of McGladrey’s flexible work options, Flex Time and Telecommuting, she remains flexible, too. “I ramp it up during busy season, and cut back during less busy times.” 

Michelle Huang, a manager in Los Angeles, has worked with Vicki in varying roles since 2008. “Somehow Vicki makes it work,” Michelle says. “She manages to maintain an excellent professional reputation, while still being able to be at home when necessary. As a new mom, I look to her as my shining example of what I should be as a working mother.” 

or those who may be struggling to balance their personal and professional priorities, Michelle offers this advice: “Find people who you trust and can talk to, because if you’re going through it, others have already gone through something similar.” 

Vicki’s message, especially to younger women, is, “You can have a successful career and home life. It doesn’t have to be one way or the other.”

She offers these tips for flexibility and success:
  • Staying organized is key. Map out personal and professional commitments, and prioritize
  • Integrate your personal and professional calendars to coordinate travel, appointments, etc.
  • As challenging as it is, sometimes you have to let the small stuff go
  • Communicate—with your spouse, family, coworkers and leaders
Vicki credits the support of her husband, colleagues, leaders, and McGladrey’s policies on flexibility for her success. “It’s made all the difference. Without their support, I couldn’t pull this off!”

Monday, January 7, 2013


By Robyn Brooks

Campus Recruiter
New York, NY

Merriam Webster defines 'transition' as the following:
a: passage from one state, stage, subject, or place to another
b: a movement, development, or evolution from one form, stage, or style to another 

Often in life we go through transitions, and some are more notable than others. In October, and again in January, our new associates began their transition from school into the working world. In truth, this is a significant part of their lives. Our associates have literally traveled through a passage from a place of summer vacations, no classes on Fridays, and their routines, into a place of busy seasons, training and cubicles.

“Transitioning into a new position at McGladrey gave me a heightened sense of excitement and joy,” says Patrick O’Leary, Assurance Associate. “However, I also couldn’t help but feel slightly overwhelmed and stressed.” The beginning stages of a transition from school to work may seem both exciting and intimidating. Working with your teams, relying on your new peers, discovering your relationship with your Career Advisor are all in place to help through this time. 
Melissa Rutkowski, Consulting Associate has recently made a physical move from living in Pennsylvania to New York City. “Moving into a big city without a core group of NYC friends has also been harder than I had originally anticipated. It takes time to cultivate new and true friends even in a city with over a million people.”

I think the most important aspect of the transition is explained in definition “B”. This point in our associate’s lives is a period of development and evolution. This is the very moment where one can take all the knowledge obtained from five years of schooling, and apply it. This is the moment where potential can begin to fulfill and where connections become relationships. It is not as easy as it seems.

“You constantly face challenges in regards to daily responsibilities, familiarity with firm software, and meeting expectations.  I have begun to tackle these issues just as I have at any other new job or situation,” Patrick relates.  “At the risk of sounding cliché, you must take it one step at a time, and learn in small doses.  Taking on a huge task is too daunting, and can make learning seem impossible. Once you begin to conquer small obstacles, your confidence rises, and new tasks seem much more manageable.”

Keep in mind that everyone wants to see you succeed. If one person does well, then so does everyone around them- in the office and out in the field.  “McGladrey has been able to ease my transition into the corporate world, by surrounding me with a team of employees who have been more than willing to help me navigate the client sites and tasks at hands,” Melissa explains. “Moreover, by taking my manager's advice, to take advantage of travel assignments by visiting tourist attractions and enjoying the local cuisine during off-time, has helped ease my transition into a position which demands occasional out of state traveling.”

Azka Abid, former tax intern recently started as a full time associate. “The transition was a lot easier for me since I started out at McGladrey through the extern pathways program,” she said, “and then continued as a part-time year round intern. This gave me the opportunity to see my day to day work environment, and meet people who were actually working in the positions that I wanted to work in. Thankfully, having a little bit of direction about where I was going to be placed within the company made me feel like I was already ahead of the game.”

So what can you do to ease your transition and ensure it is a time of positive development?  “I listen actively,” Patrick suggests, “ask relevant questions, take good notes, and learn from my mistakes. When a certain task isn’t going according to plan; I fend off frustration, understand what I am currently doing incorrectly, and then retain the information necessary to prevent such ineffective behavior in the future. Regardless of expertise level, starting employment at a new firm is guaranteed to result in some hardships.”

“Reflecting on my transition from a college grad to a new hire, I wish I had known earlier that it's okay to make mistakes,” Melissa recalls, “as part of the learning process and not be afraid to ask questions. As I have been told by my coworkers, it is better to make mistakes proving that you are taking ownership of tasks as opposed to having a spot free record and being completely reliant on others to complete a task.”

Although she was an intern prior to being an associate, Azka notes a different type of transition. “It was important to make sure that I was transitioning forward in my career and not sending the same image I did as an intern. I wanted people to know that I had learned from my experiences and was capable of looking things up on my own, and asking for help when it was actually needed. Transitioning into a full time job can impact your life in many ways, and after finishing my first forty hour work-week I knew the internship era was over, and I had to balance my life and use my weekends wisely.”

Sometimes an easier transition means flexibility of your every day schedule. “One item I am still trying to figure out is matching my work schedule with an exercise schedule,” Melissa noted.  “I have been hesitant to join a gym while not yet fully knowing what my week to week travel schedule will be.  One thing I do when traveling, is to take my gym apparel along so that I can take advantage of any work-out equipment that may be in the hotel.”

If you have a transition to make soon, know that it may be difficult, but this is the time to develop as an individual and evolve as a professional.