Employees at A-LIGN take many different paths – that’s why we spent time sitting down with Senior Manager, Sue Wells, to talk about how a small-town girl from Texas conquered new heights and worked her way up to a senior management position.
Where are you from, and how did you get involved with A-LIGN?
I grew up on a farm in a small town in Texas. As the first person in my family to graduate college, I knew early on that I wanted to leave my small town of 2,000 people and pursue something bigger.
My career with A-LIGN started after a 20-minute meeting with Scott Price over coffee. I decided to join the company as a contractor. After two months, I was so busy that I was asked to join the firm as a Senior Consultant. Throughout the years, I’ve worked my way up through the organization and later took on a role as a Managing Consultant, which led me to my role today as Senior Manager.
In your current role as Senior Manager, what has made you successful at A-LIGN?
To become a Senior Manager, you must have knowledge of your client’s business. My confidence always came from learning as much as possible, so I could provide the most relevant information to my clients and answer questions from staff. What elevated my career at A-LIGN and made me successful was my focus on understanding the why behind our methodologies. Also, to be promotable in management there has to be a willingness to share your knowledge with others.
What is something most people don’t know about you?
Most of my friends at work know how much I love sports. I enjoy watching baseball and I like to play golf. I don’t think most people know that I play the acoustic guitar. I used to play a long time ago and just recently picked it back up. One of my proudest moments playing the guitar was when family members finally recognized that I was playing a Pink Floyd song.
What is the biggest barrier or obstacle you have had to overcome to be successful in your role?
Luckily, I came to A-LIGN with business and controls experience, but I know the volume of work can be daunting at times. Our fast-paced working environment can be challenging – especially for new people, but I always tell people to hang in there and in three months they will adapt to the pace and be successful.
What is the most rewarding part about your job?
I was nominated for the “be all in” employee award. It meant so much to me to be recognized by my peers for helping train, develop and mentor college students starting their careers here. It’s been fun watching them grow and become successful in our organization.
What is the best advice you could give someone like yourself trying to break into our industry?
There’s no substitute for hard work. To be successful in this industry, you must be willing to research, learn and be a self-starter. My biggest advice is if you have a question about something, take a few minutes to research it, come up with what you think is the answer and then go to your manager with a solution and ask how they would expand on or change it. That time spent reading the audit guides will lead to a greater depth of knowledge faster.
What advice would you tell your 13-year-old self?
Don’t give up – everything gets a lot better! Believe it or not, life gets better as you get older.
What is your motto/personal mantra?
Just keep moving. Remember that age is just a number. I run four half-marathons a year and I’m looking forward to running 13.1 miles with three CPA friends on a team we call, “Be Audit You Can Be” in California’s wine country next summer.
What do you wish other people knew about working at A-LIGN?
I’ve worked at a lot of places throughout my career, and the people at A-LIGN make it the best place I’ve ever worked. My best friends are here. We all like to hang out and go to games and concerts together. Some of my friends are half my age and we still have a great time.
Have questions about Sue Wells or joining the A-LIGN team? Contact us at [email protected] for more information!