Meet AJ Williams
IT Production Support Director, Star Member
I joined RSM in 2012, right out of college, in a seasonal service desk role. As a finance major with a minor in Spanish, I had international finance aspirations, and thought this role could be my first step in that direction. But when the firm offered me a full-time role two months later, I never imagined the trajectory my career would take. I quickly transitioned to a full-time service desk team member, to team lead, and finally, to analyst.
Along the way, I was encouraged to stay true to myself and my personal passions, which led me to create a Star Wars-inspired 90-day plan to improve the service desk’s efficiency and add more value to the firm. This plan ultimately helped me pave the path to service desk manager, and eventually, to my current, tailor-made role as IT production support director. I never imagined I’d spend my career in technology, given my initial aspirations; but I love it—and with the support and encouragement of RSM Chief Information Officer Troy Cardinal, we created a role that takes a holistic look at the service desk—from people, tools and processes to how we collaborate with RSM business and leverage technology-based tools to serve our clients.
Now as a technology leader armed with facts and a track record of results, I focus on understanding the user experience and client needs, and continue to identify new areas for the firm to evolve, while encouraging my RSM colleagues to chart their dream careers, too.
Meet Nelly Montoya
Financial Services Senior Analyst and audit Senior Manager, ¡HoLA! regional leader, and aace, GENERATIONS, InspirAsian, MULTICULTURAL, PRIDE AND STAR MEMBER
When I was looking to make a career change, business associates who are now colleagues suggested I explore RSM. Initially, I planned to be with the firm for a couple of years to obtain my CPA license and a bit of accounting experience. Nine years later, I can delightfully confirm that staying with RSM was the best decision of my career! I’ve had fantastic opportunities with RSM—I’ve transferred offices (from Chicago to London to San Francisco), worked abroad and recently joined the industry eminence program as a financial services analyst.
Each role I’ve been in has helped me grow personally and professionally, and throughout my career with RSM, I’ve made incredible friends—many of whom I now consider family. RSM took a chance on me. When I was interviewing, I was moving from private industry to public accounting, I wasn’t yet a CPA and still had to complete a few credit hours to even sit for the CPA exam. I thought this would be an immediate deal-breaker, but it wasn’t. RSM was committed to helping me obtain my CPA license and invested in me as an individual from the beginning.
Meet Samantha Boyle
National Alumni Program Manager
After leaving RSM, my family moved to the U.K., but when it came time to relocate back to the U.S., I immediately called RSM. I did not want to return to consulting, but my colleagues and leaders at RSM advocated for me to help make new connections in the market. I ended up applying for and taking a national role. From this experience, I’ve learned that flexibility is crucial as a working parent. I knew that I could walk in the door at RSM and have options available to me. What I didn’t realize was that in the three years since leaving RSM, the firm had made great investments and strides in its support of working parents. The benefit of that has been keenly felt in 2020. My relationships with my RSM colleagues and peers were critical. Even while I was working elsewhere, I could still call my former peers and mentors to brainstorm and problem solve. The relationships with those people were the primary reason RSM came to mind first when it was time to change jobs again.
Meet Ayana Martinez
Senior Manager International Tax, Washington National Tax, ABILITIES NATIONAL LEADER, AACE, MULTICULTURAL, PRIDE AND STAR MEMBER
I joined RSM because the entrepreneurial culture of the firm matched my aspirations and personality, and because Larry LeBlanc, who recruited me, was supportive and provided a safe space to grow and learn. I was given ownership of my engagements from the onset and was motivated to excel because of the trust this partner and others gave me. The values and culture of the firm continued to align with me personally and professionally.
However, I wanted an expansion of my role and responsibilities, and I outgrew my position. While I was considering making a change, I was approached by several firms offering opportunities that would allow me to grow professionally, but I ultimately stayed because RSM leaders live powerful values each day. My mentors and sponsors valued my contributions to the firm and asked me to consider another role that afforded me an opportunity to hone additional skills.
The requirements and responsibilities of the new role far exceeded my role at that time, and my mentors believed I would be successful based on my past record of accomplishments. It showed me that RSM is what you make of it for yourself and for the team you lead. The values we share are pillars of our success both personally and professionally. These values are what keep our clients returning year after year. As my wise mentor always says, “Rising tides raise all ships.”
Meet Jason Alexander
CONSULTING PRINCIPAL, INDUSTRIALS SENIOR ANALYST, MEMBER OF ALL ENGS
When I wanted to relocate to South Florida from Chicago, I planned to go back to one of the Big Four accounting firms where I began my career. I began interviewing with these firms, as well as with RSM. I hit it off with two of RSM’s leaders, and the rest is history.
After 13 years with RSM, one specific opportunity has had an especially positive impact on my advancement at RSM — when the firm decided to step up our culture, diversity and inclusion (CDI) activities and approached me to lead this work in RSM’s Southeast region. I was a director at the time, with intentions of becoming a partner, and this role presented me with a platform to play a significant role in establishing our CDI activities and forming a culture of inclusion across the firm, while working directly with the firm’s leaders. My time in this role has been extremely rewarding. I have learned a great deal about firm operations, played a key role in the continued progress we’ve made related to CDI, and ultimately was honored to be appointed regional partner sponsor of the AACE (African American and Canadian Excellence) employee network group (ENG).
Through my involvement in CDI, I was also recognized as a leader and encouraged to participate in the first class of RSM’s Industry Eminence Program, designed to build the data-driven industry leaders of tomorrow. I am a firm believer that diversity makes RSM stronger and will continue to foster an environment where all of our people feel comfortable being their authentic selves each and every day.