Life at DHG Podcast Series

Episode 51: New Opportunities and Career Mobility

Hayden Boles, an associate in DHG’s Tampa office, truly embodies DHG’s mission of building valuable careers with our people and helping our clients achieve their goals. He recently transitioned into a new service area and actually moved physical locations from the Triad to Tampa. Listen as Hayden shares his story on career mobility and charting his career path.

Episode 51 Transcript:

AGH: Hello everyone and welcome back to another episode of our DHG podcast series. I’m Alice Grey Harrison, your host, and I love this venue because we get to hear about the things that matter the most to us – flexibility, careers and of course, our people.

Joining me today is Hayden Boles, an associate in our Tampa office. Hayden has a great story about how he landed in our Tampa office, which I would say is a pretty good location. He truly exemplifies our mission of building valuable careers with our people. We love to live that mission every day and helping our clients achieve their goals; the second half of our mission, which is equally important.

Without further ado, welcome to the podcast Hayden.

HB: Hey, Alice Grey. Thank you. Thank you for having me. I appreciate it.

AGH: You are very welcome. Okay, so tell us about what you do for DHG.

HB: Broadly, I’m in our audit practice here at DHG, and then more specifically, I’m in our private equity service practice. What that practice really is built around is providing services to lower and middle-market companies with private equity ownerships. We do audits and we do some transaction advisory work for the smaller companies who have private equity ownership.

AGH: Very cool. What do you do specifically?

HB: Yeah. Just a little bit about private equity in general. I mean, I guess as basic as I can make it, it’s a group of rich people that’s pulling money together to buy and sell companies with the intent of having it for three or five years and then selling it for a profit. However, they get the money and do the same thing over and over again. That’s a little bit about private equity in general.

AGH: Very cool. I would imagine that’s pretty intense work.

HB: It can be. Yeah.

AGH: You didn’t begin your career in private equity. How did you end up in this practice area?

HB: I guess, it pretty much all started about sophomore year of college when I first learned about private equity. Yeah, I remember I was in a finance class and the topic came up and it was always interesting to me, because first off, business ownership was interesting to me, and then I find out that you could be a business owner that buys and sells other businesses, I just thought that was so cool.

I originally thought about going into finance, but it really just seemed like accounting was a better route for me. I took the accounting route and started in our own practice, just doing general audit, mostly banks and insurance companies, that type of thing. About six months in I would say I found out that we had a private equity service practice. Once I heard of that, it came back to me, the initial idea in college where I was really fascinated by it and it came back. I was like, “I’ve got to figure out how to get into that.” I tried to figure out how to get into that practice.

AGH: That is really great. Along the way, DHG has supported you in making this transition, not only in the service area, but you actually moved physical locations. Tell us about that.

HB: That’s right. Yeah. Well first off, the firm has been great. I mean, giving me the opportunity to even do something like this. Once I first had heard about private equity services practice, I knew I had that drive and initiative and I wanted to figure out how to get into it, I started thinking who in the firm do I know who has ties to that. A few people came to mind, and so I just kind of sent some feelers out and said, “Hey, can we meet up for lunch? I’d like to just kind of pick your brain about this, that and the other.” I’d ask them about the private equity stuff and tell them that I’m –

AGH: Wait, so Hayden were these partners that you were reaching out to?

HB: Yes. Yes. I’ve reached out to a partner and a manager and –

AGH: That’s really cool that DHG, as an associate, you could just pick up the phone and call a partner and learn more. That’s great.

HB: That’s right. That’s right. My only interactions with the partner I met with the first time to get the ball rolling was somebody had that I had met as an intern. Yeah, the fact that they remembered me and were willing to meet with me, you know, six months into my career, is pretty awesome.

AGH: Yeah. Okay, sorry. I interrupted you. Go ahead.

HB: No, no, you’re fine. I started meeting with people. It led to several lunch meetings and one thing led to another. You know, I really wanted to see if this was going to be a good fit. You go in and you meet with these people and it comes out that it turned out it was a good fit and that it’s something they were interested in pursuing and I was interested in pursuing. And so, after many talks, and I’m sure some long e-mails and phone calls by partners, they kind of established that I would be transferring from, I was in the Triad location in North Carolina, to transfer to the Charlotte location, which is where that group was at, the private equity services group, which I was just blown away with, because like I said, I was six months into my career and had kind of made it known that it was an interest of mine. The next thing I know, I’m moving to Charlotte.

AGH: Wow.

HB: Yeah, that’s just something about DHG that’s very special I think. It makes DHG unique among other firms, is that as an associate, you can make your interest known and it becomes a priority for even partners to make that happen. I think that’s really incredible and special about DHG.

AGH: Your story is really great. It also is credit to you, because you saw something that you were interested in and you had the courage to reach out to somebody who you met as an intern. While DHG is great, you’re pretty great too to take that step. Honestly, if you don’t make things like that known, then how is it going to happen?

HB: That’s right. That’s right. I think it comes back to me just feeling comfortable here with the people that you work with. I mean, it’s family atmosphere. As you know, Alice Grey, there is more to the story. Where it kind of left off was that I would be moving to Tampa to join this group in about four or five months after I had the conversations with the partners about transferring.

About a month after that, I got a call from one of the guys I had met with in Charlotte. He was in the private equity services group. Got a phone call and I was actually out at a client, so I stepped out of the room and he says – he’s just checking in. He wanted to get a status update on the transfer and that type of thing. I filled him in and he actually said, “Well, there’s something else I want to talk to you about.” I said, “Okay, what is it?”

Well, the firm has an initiative that they’re fully backing and they’re wanting to start growing our Tampa office. He said, “I’m actually going to be relocating down there and was wondering if that’s an opportunity you would be interested in.” I was like blown away at first. I was like, this guy is calling and asking me to move to Tampa. I’ve never even been to Tampa, but long story short, there was a lot of personal things and career opportunity things that lined up at one point in time to where I couldn’t just say no. Yeah, I took advantage of it. Moved to Tampa last Fall and I really just loved every minute of it.

AGH: That is amazing. I love your story. I loved it the first time I heard it, second time I heard it, and I loved it today. It’s really a great testament to DHG and to you in terms of building valuable careers, because we are – actually, our mission statement originally said they’re building valuable careers for our people. When Effin Logue started as our Chief People Officer she goes, “We don’t build them for our people. We build them with our people and help them succeed along the way.” It’s a two-way street.

Anyway, what advice do you have for a college student, or somebody just getting out of college who might be trying to figure out what their career path is?

HB: Yeah. I think in college it’s probably a little harder to know exactly what service industry you want to go into. Whether it’s private equity or healthcare or whatever it may be, you want to start with your general audit or tax and then go ahead and start thinking about what interests me outside of tax returns and audits?

What has my interest outside of work and school? Is it possible that I can pursue an accounting career in one of those fields, or just to confirm that would give me an opportunity to work in one of these fields? On top of picking a firm where you like the people, I think that’s number one. I think second, I think you need to pick a firm that has the opportunity to let you grow.

I think DHG is a great place for that, obviously, I mean, I think as a six-month associate, I get to go and do something like what I’ve done and definitely it’s doable here at DHG. I think that’s something really important.

AGH: That’s great. For somebody here at DHG who might be listening and they might be interested in, they learned about a different service, or a different industry and to think they might like to know more, I’d like to get involved, what advice would you have for them?

HB: In that case, I think it all starts with expressing your interest. Think about what you really enjoy doing and figure out how to get into that. It’s something the firm offers us all, but I think you got to start, you have to just express your interest, because people here at DHG they want you to be happy, because if you’re happy it makes the whole firm just work better and people stay longer and are just more fruitful in their careers.

Make your interest known to somebody. Then I think after that I think it’s how do you set yourself up to really be a person that makes the transition easy from office to office and service line to service line, whatever the case may be. I think it’s first and most important to have a vision. Really know what that – what you want, what your interests are, what you want to do and be concrete in that. That helps the firm to just say, “Hey, this person is serious about wanting to get into whatever the case is.”

Really number two, it also goes with that is being enthusiastic about it. You don’t just say, “Well, I think I would be interested in trying this.” I know it requires me to move states, but I think it might be something – go in there and decide, “This is what I’m interested in. I would love to be a part of this firm.” Just be enthusiastic about it. I think if you do those two things, it really sets you up nicely.

The third and most important thing is to be a person that leaves a profit everywhere you go. Whether that be a smile on your co-workers faces, or on the client’s faces, or even in engagement budget. Your partners would be really happy with that. Just be somebody that is easy to be around, is fun to be around, that any team and the firm would love to have you. I think those are the three most important things.

AGH: That’s awesome. Well, I can tell you I’ve had fun doing this podcast with you, Hayden.

HB: Yeah, it’s been a blast. Thanks for having me on.

AGH: Absolutely. Thank you all for listening to Life at DHG, our premier podcast series. If you like what you just heard, we hope you’ll tell your friends and colleagues. Be sure to check out our DHG blog for more great stories about our Life Beyond Numbers.

Join us next time for another edition of Life at DHG.