Job: Senior Audit Associate for Frazier & Deeter LLC
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Maggie, a former YoPro I interviewed, connected me with Chloe, and the two of us met up – virtually – for an interview during the pandemic. We unpacked a lot in our conversation! From deciding between marketing and accounting, finding purpose (and what to do if it changes mid-career), to the difference that women can make in their fields, we covered it all. Enjoy the last YoPro blog post of 2020 here!
Is your position your first job out of undergrad?
Yes, this is my first job, I will have been with Frazier & Deeter for three years in September.
It’s pretty unusual for young professionals to stay at their first job for 3+ years. What is it about the company that has made you want to stay?
A big part of why I have stayed with the company is the people. You can do accounting anywhere, but it’s the people and the culture that really changes your experience at a lot of places. Also, being at a midsize firm, they invest in me not just professionally but also personally. When you come into the industry they ask, “What do you want to do next?” or “Are you going to be a partner?”. When I started I thought I wanted to be a partner but then changed my mind. When I told the firm they said, “What do you want to do? We want to put you on track to get to your next step because we know this isn’t a final destination for everyone.” It excites me to be around a group of young professionals, because most people at the firm are very young. They usually take my ideas into account and try to invest in me in any way that they can.
What is the dynamic like in the office?
I would say maybe 80% of the people are in between their 20s and early 40s. Most people start when they are really young, probably about 23 or 24. The environment of having people so close to your age allows you to be able to connect better at work. Even the people who were more advanced as partners can still connect with us because they like to have just as much fun as we do. We participate in a lot of sports leagues and things of that nature, and that just creates a really fun fast-paced environment.
Did you know this was what you wanted to do?
I went through phases. I knew I wanted to do business when I went to college, which is why I double majored in marketing and accounting. My personality definitely fits marketing, but I love accounting and knew I’d have to decide between the two. Accounting was a field that I knew provided job security because everyone needs an accountant. I knew that I would have a good salary and was offered the job before my senior year of college so I thought I could mix my personality with my love of numbers in auditing. That’s why ultimately I chose this job.
What is a hardship that you’ve experienced in the last three years and what did you learn from that?
I can definitely say I am a person that is used to things being fast-paced. However, in this field, you have to learn that you’re not going to know everything, and that’s okay, but that’s something I was not used to. It’s been difficult to learn because when you feel like you don’t know something, you also feel like you’re not performing well, but that’s not the case at all. You have to humble yourself and realize that there are people who came before you that can help you out.
What advice you would share with somebody who is looking into this field?
I would say you should always stick to your true passions. I know there’s a stereotype about accountants and some people think it’s boring. With accounting, we dedicate a lot of time to our job which sometimes causes us to forget about the passions we had before. So, you definitely have to find time to invest in yourself and what you’re interested in other than your job.
What do you like about being a young professional?
I like being able to change lives. I work with recruiting at my firm as well and I love seeing younger people, regardless of whether they’re in my field or not, have a professional to look up to. I may not specifically be in the field that they want to be in, but I like the fact that I can give them advice that will help them in the long-term. Being a mentor and having them successfully transition into being a great young professional by telling them things that I wish I would have known before I entered the professional world is the biggest benefit for me.
Where do you like to get your news from?
I get my financial news from The Little Robin Hood emails that come out each morning and the Skimm. The Skimm is a great snapshot of everything and I like that I can click on a link and go to the full story if I want to. A lot of times I get phone alerts from CNN, an article on LinkedIn, or some other form of social media.
What is it like being a woman in your field?
In my field, you’re going to have a busy season and that takes a lot of time from you and your family, which is where I see a lot of women either going part-time or they’re struggling to find a balance. When I was in college I took a class called "Women Lead In Business" and it was phenomenal. That sparked my interest in creating a nonprofit that focuses on the professional advancement of women, not just in corporate America, but in all professional fields. I feel like I’m able to make big changes in a male-dominated industry because my voice is heard. Women bring a lot of characteristics to any company that sets them apart; they do have the leadership capabilities, but they’re also empathetic and compassionate and make sure everyone is included. I think that combination of skills creates an amazing leader.
What drives you?
Everyone that is going to come after me is what motivates me. If they don’t have anyone to look up to in a field or don’t have a role model a lot of younger girls become discouraged. However, I think there are a lot of jobs that are more female-dominated and sometimes we get pushed towards those. Being in the positions I've had and advancing in them inspires others that come after me to know that they can do anything that they want to do.
Any last-minute words of advice you’d like to share?
Realize that your purpose isn’t always something that stays the same throughout your career. It can actively change and that’s okay. You may not know what that purpose is at a certain stage of your career, but eventually, you’ll find those things that make you happy and lift your mood and create value in other people’s lives. Don’t be discouraged if you feel like the purpose that you had a year ago isn’t the same as it is now.
YoPro Know's Takeaways:
– Find a job that wants to help you achieve your professional goals
– When deciding your career path, combine your passions and skills to find a job field that best suits your needs
– Successful women in business and other industries must become mentors to the younger women who will come after them