Blog Archive

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

A career in public accounting goes beyond just numbers

by B.J. Snelling
National Talent Acquisition Manager
Denver, CO

I recently was able to visit our Boston office location for the first time and had a chance to meet and speak with some McGladrey team members I’ve not met before. My day consisted of interviewing seven different employees from Senior Associates to the Partner level on their idea of mentoring and learning from a career advisor advisee relationship. As I listened to each person talk, I learned that building a career in public accounting goes beyond working with the numbers and working with the details of each client engagement, but it’s about the people you work with – the people you connect with. 

McGladrey Boston Office
Consistently, I was told that it’s the people at McGladrey that truly make each day rewarding for them and make them want to get up each morning and learn something new. It’s the people at McGladrey that make our culture unique. It’s the way that they can grow and learn from formal career advisor relationships and more informal mentor/mentee relationships as well. Each person I sat with echoed a heart-felt sentiment that they are there for each other and committed to developing each other as well-rounded employees and members of the greater community.

If you are setting your sites on a career in public accounting, whether that is here at McGladrey or somewhere else, be sure to find a place where you can truly connect with the people and where the commitment to your development will be recognized. It’s those people you surround yourself with that will help you rise and elevate to your fullest potential. 
Boston office art gallery

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Kim and Brittany get more than a haircut at the salon

By Elise Braase
Communications Manager
Baltimore, MD

There’s nothing like a day of at the salon to lift your spirits after busy season. For Baltimore Tax Professionals Brittany Sullivan and Kim Griffin, their latest trips to the salon for long overdue haircuts took on new meaning. Both Brittany and Kim recently donated their long tresses to Pantene Beautiful Lengths, a partnership between Pantene and the American Cancer Society, where Pantene provides the funds to turn donated hair into free, real-hair wigs for women with cancer. So far, Pantene has donated 24,000 free real-hair wigs to the American Cancer Society’s wig banks, which distribute wigs to cancer patients across the country. Since starting the program in July 2006, over 400,000 ponytails have been donated, according to the program’s website.

Kim and Brittany - pre-haircut
This is the second hair donation for both Brittany and Kim. Even though they didn’t plan or execute their donations together, their stories are somewhat intertwined. Kim’s first donation was in January 2010. She and Brittany, whom she met as a summer intern at McGladrey, were having lunch when Kim mentioned she was off to meet her mother at the salon for a haircut before going back to school. She had 14 inches of hair cut and donated to Pantene Beautiful Lengths. “It was scary that first time. They put my hair in a pony tail and cut it off. I remember taking of picture with my ponytail and sending it to Brittany. But, this second time, everyone in the salon knew I was donating my hair and they were very excited to watch me get my hair cut,” said Kim.

Several months later in 2010, Brittany donated 12 inches of her hair to Locks of Love, a public non-profit organization that provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children in the United States and Canada under the age of 21 who are suffering from long-term medical hair loss from any diagnosis. This year, she donated 10 inches of hair to Pantene Beautiful Lengths. “I purposely let me hair grow long during busy season so I would have enough length to donate it,” said Brittany. The minimum length required is eight inches, according to Brittany.

Both Brittany and Kim know women with cancer who’ve had to wear wigs when chemotherapy caused them to lose their own hair. Kim’s aunt has been battling breast cancer for several years and has worn a wig during periods throughout her treatment. Brittany says a friend’s mother, also suffering with cancer, told her that having a human hair wig makes a big difference.


Even though Brittany and Kim are happy with their new haircuts, both say they’ll donate again. “It takes about 8-10 donated ponytails to make one human-hair wig. Fortunately, my hair grows very fast,” said Brittany.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Do Your Dreams Need a Reality Check?

By Ken Bansemer
National Talent Acquisition & Talent Management Leader
Charlotte, NC

When speaking before student groups about Success, one message I hope they take away is that in order to pursue a dream, they have to own the actions. Simple really. Have a goal/dream – share it with others, make a plan to get there, commit to action, take action, and then learn as the journey unfolds and adjust if necessary. As I’ve heard often, a goal not written down, isn’t a goal, it is merely a thought that doesn’t drive personal accountability. So to assist with dream documentation, I have participants write down “something they have always wanted to do in life” (a bucket list type item) and seal it in an envelope, which they self-address to themselves. These envelopes sit in stacks on my office shelf, to be delivered to each participant approximately two years later.

Ken speaking at the 2011 intern conference
Fast forward two years. These envelopes are placed inside a larger envelope, which also contains a letter from me. I am sure the first thought of the recipient is, “why am I receiving a letter from McGladrey?” That may pass quickly when they read my letter reminding them of our time together, and inviting them to revisit their dream (likely long-forgotten for most) by unsealing their original envelope. I remind them that as they have embarked on their professional career, to focus on their personal pursuits and keep the dream alive. Really, nobody is holding them accountable to the few written words on the paper. But that reminder may just spark a passion that was sitting dormant. I am always certain to update the recipient on the pursuit of my long-term dreams, which I openly share in my presentation to create a connection and personal accountability (for me). And I let them know that I would be grateful to hear from them on their pursuits.

The reality is when speaking to a large group, your message is only likely to resonate with only a few of the participants. And even then, a smaller number of those will be proactive enough to take some immediate or short-term actions to pursue their goals. For the rest, it is only an exercise at the moment. I understand and accept that, as I have often been in that position as an audience member with other speakers. So it was a pleasure to receive a message in March from a past participant – Drew Mohoric. He didn’t necessarily update me on his goal, but instead took my message a step further in his own blog, and posed a series of REALITY CHECK questions to his readers. I invite you to consider these as you think about your life priorities.  

Does this resonate with you? Are you one of those that ends up on the continued path of “no action”? Are you in need of a reality check? Listen to your heart – it may take you on an incredible journey.