By: Adrienne Collins, Audit Senior Associate

It’s one thing to have a job that pays the bills; it’s another to find work that both pays the bills and gives you fulfillment and satisfaction in your life. Sometimes out of necessity you end up doing the former for a period of time. Today I want to talk about how the path I took allowed me to achieve the latter.

I have been incredibly fortunate in my school and career journey thus far. When I was still in high school, I decided that accounting would be my college major. I attended North Carolina State for both my undergraduate and graduate degrees and was approached by Blackman & Sloop through their college recruitment program. Not everyone knows what they want to study right away; not everyone lands on the right college the first time; not everyone meets their future employer at the college career fair. By a combination of decisiveness, diligence, and good fortune, I was able to achieve all three.

From the minute I joined the Blackman & Sloop team, I knew it was a great fit. I loved that the people seemed like, for lack of better term, “real” people. As I interacted with teammates from all levels of the firm, I encountered people who had families, people who had hobbies, people who weren’t too busy to get to know a young, green accounting professional—normal people! I love that equity, diversity, and inclusion are big focuses of the partner group (and, therefore, the firm as a whole). They don’t just talk the talk; they also walk the walk. The partners make the time to educate us about people and cultures and putting the focus on what matters. They have created an environment where we treat one another and our clients with love and respect, regardless of any differences between us. Not everyone loves where they work right off the bat; not everyone feels supported by the higher-ups at their workplace. Again, I have been incredibly fortunate to find myself at Blackman & Sloop.

My favorite part about my work at Blackman & Sloop is that, as a staff accountant in the firm’s Audit Department, I get to spend time working in the firm’s large nonprofit niche. I find it incredibly fulfilling to be able to contribute to my community by working with our nonprofit clients. For example, by helping them with their audits, we aid them in securing the funding that they need. While I may just be a cog in the machine that helps them run, by doing my job, I am contributing to our clients’ ability to be the best that they can be.

Not everyone has the opportunity to work in a company and in a role that provide deep fulfillment in their lives. I am so lucky to say that I do. I guess that the advice I would give to young accounting professionals is that, in my experience, the keys to finding purpose in my work have been laying a strong educational foundation, finding a firm whose beliefs align with your own, and finding a niche that allows you to make a fulfilling difference in the lives of your clients and in the greater community.