Blog Archive

Monday, July 24, 2017

RSM's externship helps participant "reach for the stars"

Michael Babick, a junior at Texas Tech University, recently attended RSM’s technology and management consulting-focused Pathways externship program in Minneapolis and shared his thoughts on his experience:

The past two and a half days have been a whirlwind in the Twin Cities, but I couldn't be happier! RSM flew me up to Minneapolis for their 2017 Technology and Management Consulting Pathways [externship] program. My trip started Monday when I left DFW, on my birthday, to fly up to MSP. After a quick and easy flight, I took the light rail into Downtown Minneapolis and checked into my hotel, The Marquette, where RSM had booked us rooms. The plan was to explore Downtown Minneapolis, but by the time I got settled in I decided I'd rather kick back, get some work done, and call it a night early ... after all, I had a lot to look forward to the next day.

Day one kicked off with a quick breakfast and a welcome from Pat Vance, technology and management consulting principal at RSM. The day was filled with technical trainings detailing service offerings, Q&A with consultants, lunch with the partners and principals, a client sharing their experiences with RSM, team building (it turns out tech consultants aren't the most talented artists), a presentation on what stewardship means at RSM, and finally the food tour. Oh my gosh. The food tour ... so good, five words: chipotle maple glazed chicken wings.

Day two was really a chance for us to challenge ourselves and step outside of our comfort zone. RSM's Bottom Line Simulation showed attendees what it's like to be responsible for business development at a firm. From defining your values and other key characteristics, which potential clients consider, to determining a break even and sending the proposal to the client. While the team I was matched with didn't win, it was still a blast and showed not only just how intense the consulting world can be when competing for business, but also the challenges and huge weight that come with that responsibility.

All in all, this was an amazing opportunity to see what technology consulting is like in an accelerated timeframe. Looking back as I write on the plane home, I'm so happy I applied for the program back in April. I got the opportunity to meet some incredible students and peers, RSM employees, and learned more than I would have ever expected. The program was put together incredibly well, it seemed as though the RSM employee to participant ratio was 1:1 at times, the energy in the room was contagious thanks to the program leaders and I wouldn't doubt that every student who attended left the office feeling as though they could reach for the stars, and the stars would be within reach.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Interview with Ayesha Ali, IT Risk Associate in Chicago

Introduce yourself and share three fun facts about yourself. 

Hi! I’m Ayesha Ali! And I…
  • am the first one in my family to graduate college
  • go to a concert at least once a month
  • love donuts 
What is your favorite part of working for RSM?

I love how RSM truly values its employees and is committed to providing work life balance. I expected a lot of late nights at the client and coming to the office on the weekends to keep up with the workload. I was pleasantly mistaken. While I do have a long night once in a while at RSM, most days I’m home before 7 p.m. with no work to do at night. I’m able to come home, rest and come back into the office the next day relaxed and ready to go.

Also, the people here are truly one of a kind. The members of my department are all incredibly friendly, intelligent and hard working. Working alongside these individuals has made my experience here even more delightful.

You were hired as an experienced associate, how did you integrate yourself within the team so quickly?

Because I had experience, the team had a lot of faith in me and immediately assigned me onto an engagement. There’s no better way to learn a company’s methodology than going through an audit right from the get go. Everyone was very patient with me while I adjusted to RSM’s culture. Also, my in-charges really took me under their wings as mentors to me, and that helped me feel welcomed into the firm.

What has it been like working with you team members thus far? Any fun stories?

Working in teams on engagements, as opposed to working by myself in my past jobs, makes it easier to develop great relationships with my coworkers. I truly felt like I was part of a team, where my coworkers had my back. It’s always hard to learn a new methodology and many of my in-charges were extremely patient in my transition.

Furthermore, I dislocated my knee in January and was on crutches for two months. During that time, my managers were so understanding and allowed me to work from home when getting to a client site was difficult. The days I could actually make it to the client, my team members really helped me out by buying me lunch, filling up my water bottle and making sure I got home safe.

I think the unique situation I was put in caused my coworkers to feel empathic for me and because of their help in the transition and injury, I developed strong relationships with each of them where we work hard together to finish an audit, but we’re also great friends.

How would you describe the team and culture here at RSM compared to other firms you have worked for?

In a word, world class (okay, two words). RSM gives its employees enough work on their plate so that they are busy and challenged. I’m never bored at RSM and I see so many opportunities to do incredible things here that will help the company but also help me to grow as an individual.

Working at other firms, I used to always feel like my head was just above water in terms of my workload. At RSM, that feeling is a rarity. With the audit structured the way it is, I have a better handle on my work and don’t feel like I’m about to drown every day.

Lastly, I can’t stress this enough, the people here are what makes you fall in love with this place. RSM only hires the best individuals and it shows in the great teamwork, the high quality of service we provide, and the professional and friendly attitude to serve with it.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Summer Internship Advice

For college students, summer is a time to enjoy the warm weather, reunite with old friends, go on vacation, and also…intern! RSM welcomed 475 summer interns across the country. Some walked through our doors feeling as confident as ever, others walked through a little nervous and unsure of what to expect.

What advice would former interns (now current associates or incoming associates) give this year’s summer intern class? Here is what a few had to say about being a successful intern at RSM:

“Do not be afraid to ask questions … but then be a sponge and learn from the questions you have asked. Also, build relationships with your in-charges, managers and partners.” – Kim K.

“Practice using Excel! And, hang out with the interns outside the office at happy hour or lunch.” – Austin L.

“Go outside of your comfort zone and try to accomplish work outside of the typical intern responsibilities. Network as much as possible. There will be some downtime so having people you can reach out to for extra work comes in handy.” – Garrett L.

“Take advantage of the good coffee in the office.” – Natalie N.

“Go out of your way to meet people! The work environment at RSM is fantastic and meeting as many people as possible is the best way to see how well you would fit in. Save the money you make and do something you will really enjoy with it. A few of your last paychecks could help pay for a trip to Europe!” – Henry H.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Culture: Putting Employees First

By Vineet Anand, PCS Tax Senior Associate, Houston

“Culture is simply a shared way of doing something with a passion.” -Brian Chesky, CEO, Airbnb

Today’s working environment, to put it simply, can be a thrilling ride of working through challenging engagements while trying to achieve the peaks of accomplishment and self-worth. A key driving force pointing to one’s place on this ride is the culture put into action in the workplace.

I have had the pleasure of working in the Houston office of RSM since August 2016. Prior to joining the firm, I took an introspective look into my true professional needs. All signs pointed to culture at the workplace as the key to longevity and I’m happy to report that my tenure here has exceeded all expectations.

The humble roots of the Houston office can be traced back to Margolis, Phipps and Wright, P.C., a local tax firm focused on private client services. Acquired by McGladrey, now RSM, in 2013, the Houston office mixes the best of both cultures as evidenced every day at the office. Always cognizant of the end goal, the firm recognizes the prevalence of different work styles and promotes flexibility whenever possible. The commitment that management has put forth into putting employees first is a testament to the firm’s values and one of the many reasons I’m proud to be a part of the team.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Congratulations to RSM’s 2016 Elijah Watt Sells award winners!

Congratulations to 2016's Elijah Watt Sells award winners! Pictured from left to right: Tony Depiano, Kat Koehl, Dena Konneker, Rosemary Mantle, and Olivia Spooner. 

Five RSM associates were recently awarded the 2016 Elijah Watt Sells Award by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) for outstanding performance on the Uniform CPA Examination.

These associates are part of a select group who passed all four sections of the exam on the first try within the same year and with a cumulative average score above 95.5 on all four sections. More than 102,000 candidates sat for the exam in 2016 and only 58 were honored with the award.

Join us in congratulating:

Tony DePiano, Boston

Tony graduated from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2015 with a degree in accounting. Before joining RSM full-time in Oct. 2015, he completed a 2013 externship and a 2014 internship with RSM.

Tony's advice for others taking the CPA exam: “just crush it.” He also believes that the secret of getting ahead is getting started.

Kat Koehl, Chicago

Kat joined RSM in September 2016 after making a career change from marketing and going back to the Ohio State University to get her master's in accounting.

Kat was naturally excited and surprised when she found out she won the award. "I wasn't aware of the award at first, I just knew I wanted to get the exams out of the way while the knowledge was still fresh in my head," she explained. "I worked hard and took the studying very seriously and it worked out."

Dena Konneker, Raleigh

Dena graduated from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill with a Master of Science in accounting in 2016. She joined RSM as an associate in November 2016 and finished the last section of the exam in December 2016.

Dena recommends studying at the pace you're most comfortable when studying for the exam since everyone learns differently and has different goals.

Rosemary Mantle, Atlanta

Rosemary completed her undergraduate degree in accounting at the University of Central Florida and earned her Masters of Accountancy in May 2016 at the University of Georgia. She interned with RSM in the summer of 2015, before joining us full-time in November 2016.

Rosemary's advice to future test takers: know your own study habits and strengths, make a study plan that works for you and stick to it. "The CPA exam was one of the hardest experiences I've undertaken but the rewards have already made it worth the effort," she said.

Olivia Spooner, Boston

Olivia graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Vermont with bachelor's degrees in accounting, finance and economics and a master's degree in accountancy. Olivia interned for RSM in summer 2015 and joined the firm as an associate full-time in October 2016.

Olivia recommends taking the CPA exam as early in your career as possible.

The Elijah Watt Sells Award program was established in 1923 by the AICPA to recognize outstanding performance on the CPA Examination. Elijah Watt Sells, who passed away in 1924, was one of the country's first CPAs, was active in establishing the AICPA and was a leader in advancing professional education within the profession.