Interesting & Challenging Work

Finding the right fit

Written by Faith Bartell

5 Min Read

One of Siegfried’s 5 Promises to our employees is interesting and challenging work, which we know can mean different things to all of us. The unmatched exposure we provide to new projects, companies, environments, and industries is just one aspect of what we offer our Professionals, and we believe it’s an extremely powerful opportunity for our employees to elevate or even redefine what interesting and challenging work means to them on a very personal level. In this series, we’ll take a look at how the promise of interesting and challenging work comes alive for our Professionals.

There’s something special about when your personal interests and work align. At Siegfried, our professionals are encouraged to explore the projects that feel uniquely appealing to them, and we support them in building a career that serves their long-term happiness and growth.

Andy Quintana, a Senior Manager and Team Leader in Siegfried’s Florida market, came to the Firm at a pivotal point in his career. After six years of experience in audit, he was craving something new, and the path forward was far from clear.

“I reached a plateau when it came to audit work, and I was looking for better work-life synergy,” explained Andy. “I had some colleagues go to Siegfried who were able to do interesting work at a firm that genuinely cares about improving their lives. That was really appealing to me because I didn’t yet know exactly what I wanted to do long-term – I just knew I didn’t want to do audit anymore. I liked Siegfried because it would allow me to keep exploring new areas, spending six months to a year getting ingrained into a new company and working with them. It was sort of a no-brainer.”

Making the switch

Andy’s first Siegfried project was on the valuations team of a leading global private equity investment firm with $50B in assets under management. Specifically, Andy managed the leveraged buyouts (LBO) team, and with his client in a state of growth, they needed someone to quickly step in, assist the senior manager, and oversee the team.

“It took me a quarter or two to learn the ropes, know the jargon, and generally understand how things worked and the teams that were involved,” said Andy. “But after that, I was able to predict what needed to get done before the senior manager even asked. A lot of times, I was like her right-hand man.”

With a portfolio of about 200 investments among the client’s US and European teams and funds, the work of valuing the investments and reporting their performance to investors and auditors every quarter was a massive undertaking.

“On the valuations team, we worked on the guidelines and policies that the deal teams needed to follow when considering how to do these valuations – sort of the mechanics behind it,” Andy described. “It was a lot of project management in dealing with 200 different teams on a quarterly basis and making sure that they were doing things in a way that adheres to the company’s policy.”

Delving into something new

Despite Andy’s background in accounting and lack of previous finance experience, this role and client didn’t come from completely out of the blue. “I listen to a lot of podcasts, especially ones about investing, finance, and what’s going on in the markets. So, this role was a way for me to apply some of that knowledge and get day-to-day work experience in areas that were interesting to me in my personal time. It was one of the first times in my professional career where my interests and work aligned.”

Andy’s first-hand exposure to these areas was unmatched by anything he listened to or read, and a whole new avenue of potential career routes to explore was placed at his fingertips. “I started in November 2021, with things still very up and down as the world economy recovered from COVID,” said Andy. “It was interesting to see how everything on the news about interest rate hikes, unemployment levels, and how the world’s economies handle this translates directly into what the teams at my client think about in terms of how they’re going to value the company’s investments.”

While stepping into the finance sphere energized Andy to delve into different areas, knowledge from his audit background was still put to good use. The LBO team was required to interact with several of the funds’ auditors on a regular basis, and Andy became the go-to guy for facilitating these interactions.

“You’re dealing with multiple audits going on with their own timelines and requirements,” Andy explained. “Sometimes, when you’re not familiar with or haven’t done auditing work before, the requests can seem really overwhelming, or you may not be sure what exactly should be provided and when. I helped decipher that for our senior manager and for the team, ensuring transparency between both parties.”

Communication is key

Andy’s initial apprehension about how he would do in this role, or on any Siegfried project without substantial background and knowledge, was minimized when he realized the tangible value he could add. And for Andy, the key to becoming successful in an uncertain and challenging situation was open communication. This included communication with leadership to manage expectations and collaboration with other Siegfried professionals deployed at the client.

“No matter the subject or request, there’s nothing you can’t either leverage your relationships or the available information to educate yourself and add value to the role,” offered Andy. “I haven’t found an individual at a company or client who isn’t willing to help you if you just communicate. Laying it all out, rather than just not talking about it and hoping for the best, is usually what leads to success.”

A genuine promise

Through interesting and challenging work, Siegfried professionals can take charge of their careers and explore projects that are appealing to them. This is especially helpful for professionals like Andy, who are eager to connect their personal interests with their professional pursuits and figure out what they want to do in the long term.

“Companies can say that they’re going to deliver X, Y, or Z to you, but whether they come through on that promise is a different story. Sometimes, these promises could just be something attractive to get potential candidates through the door. But I don’t feel like that’s the case at Siegfried. It’s not just a slogan that sounds good – I’ve got several people frequently checking in, who are invested in me and getting me the opportunities that I find interesting, which is pretty unique.”

And since transitioning off this private equity client, Andy has continued to dive into the range of opportunities that Siegfried has to offer, truly seeing the promise of interesting and challenging work come to life. At Andy’s second client with Siegfried, he jumped into a project management role in a data-driven and technology-focused environment – another area that he had no prior background in.

“Again, it’s a complete 180. This client is a very large, international company that has been doing things the same way for decades and is trying to figure out how they can revamp their technology to make their processes more efficient,” explained Andy. “I’m super pleased with my experiences at Siegfried because I wanted to not do work that I had done before. I wanted to explore new areas and try something totally different. And now, my day-to-day is that much more interesting.”

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