Relationships, Career Growth and Fun
When I interviewed with Dixon Hughes in 2007 for an internship, I had no idea where I would be in 2016. Number 1 on my list was probably not a Manager at DHG in a relatively new, but high growth area called Risk Advisory Services (RAS). Coming out of school with my Masters of Accountancy I knew there were 2 primary tracks (Audit and Tax) and that people typically stayed in public accounting for a few years. Now, here I am with the same firm and industry, but with the knowledge that despite the big items remaining the same, much of my reality in 2007 has changed. New firm name, 600+ additional employees, and new service line offerings.
While attending undergrad, I was one of approximately 1600 students at my school. I valued the experience of being more than just a number and enjoyed developing close relationships with my professors. I knew that I wanted something similar out of my employer and DHG seemed like a natural fit. Opportunities and experiences comparable to those offered by the Big 4, but the feel and culture of a smaller firm. It was a relief to know that what I’d experienced during my internship still held true once I joined the firm full time.
DHG has always treated me as a unique individual and encouraged me to take on new responsibilities and find my potential. Throughout the years, I’ve worked with a variety of managers, all of whom have contributed to building my career. They were available to answer technical questions, provide guidance based on their experiences, and act as a sounding board when I needed to talk. I was encouraged to pursue professional certifications based on my interests (CPA, PMP, CFE) to help me grow my knowledge, career, and marketability. One of the biggest gifts my managers gave me was their trust. They gave me increasing responsibilities and opportunities to prove myself, without trying to micro-manage me during the process. They were always there in the background to provide support when needed, which was reassuring and allowed me to take risks.
I think what has helped me to flourish here is my desire to be involved and help make the firm a better place to work. Client service and delivery are key and should always be a priority; however, the firm also encourages going beyond the client facing work. Contributing to knowledge share opportunities, giving back to the community, and serving on an office or firm-wide committee are just a few ways to get more involved. By expressing a desire to contribute to DHG, I’ve had the opportunity to sit on the Professional’s council, the RAS People Committee, and the Philanthropic committees. I’ve found that the most important thing is to not just show up or volunteer initially; but rather to actively participate and engage. That is where change and growth occur.
We Have Fun
During recruiting events and interviews I’m often asked what has kept me here over the years. My answer is always the people and the opportunities. Since day one, I’ve always had the support of my Seniors, Managers and Partners. The teams I’ve worked with over the years have always felt more like family rather than people I’m forced to see for 8 hours a day. From Managers checking in on me and encouraging me to take time off when needed, to a partner declaring it “Milkshake Friday” (Gary Greer) or providing a coffee fund and quoting Talladega Nights during a tight deadline (Karen Furstenberg) and even the current CEO (Matt Snow- who was then my Market Managing Partner) calling me to make sure I was comfortable being loaned out to another office for two weeks during busy season. As if I’d turn down two weeks in Florida during the winter! My teammates and I have celebrated kickball victories, chili cook-offs, paddle-boarding and volunteering together. And when things are less cheerful we rally around each other. When a co-worker lost his father after a long illness, 15 of us attended the funeral to support him and let him know we were thinking of the family. It is examples like these that have helped to shape my experiences at DHG and make it such a great place to work showcasing the Life Beyond Numbers is more than a catching tagline- it’s the way we live at DHG.
I Decide Where I Want My Career to Go
I certainly did not start out my career with DHG with the intention of getting to where I am now. However, I would not trade in my DHG experiences for anything. This firm has helped to shape who I am professionally and personally, and allowed me to decide where I wanted my career to go.
Rebecca Haynes is a Risk Advisory Manager based in DHG’s Charlotte Uptown office. She and her husband, Will, enjoying hiking and running with their dogs, Zoe and Yoda. In her free time she also loves to bake and cheer on the Davidson Wildcats!