Following an internship with Protiviti, Mindy Baer joined Protiviti Ft. Lauderdale in 2009. She worked as a Manager until 2015 when she joined Sabadell United Bank as their BSA/AML Officer. Connect with Mindy on LinkedIn.
When I joined Protiviti, we were just starting a compliance practice in the South Florida market and it really only had two people who worked full-time. My boss identified me as a good candidate to join the team because I was very detail-oriented. I worked in that space for six years developing my skills and eventually, I recognized that AML was an area that I really enjoyed and wanted to pursue. It’s interesting how there’s constantly new ways for criminals to launder money. And the more conferences and trainings I attended, I realized I wanted to pursue that full-time.
On working in a growing office:
We only had a dozen or so people when I first started and now, six years later, there’s over 50 people in the office. It was a neat thing to experience because you see firsthand how much the company is growing. In big offices, you may not notice if new people start since it’s hard to know everyone when people are deployed to different client sites. But our office was really small and social, so everyone knows everybody. And we were directly involved with the recruiting and interviewing process to grow the office, especially when the economy started to turn around. I was also involved with teaching at Challenge Schools, so I got to see some of the same interns coming back as employees after graduation.
On the highlights of Challenge Schools:
I went to a Challenge School almost every year that I worked for Protiviti and every time was so much fun. Whether you’re teaching or attending, it’s an invaluable experience. As a teacher, you build a network and get to see the next generation coming right from college. It grounds you because you can see how far you’ve come – you were once in their shoes. It’s also cool to meet people from all over the world, from different backgrounds, with different degrees and even speaking different languages. It’s a great reminder of how large and diverse Protiviti is, even if you’re part of one of the smallest offices in the country.
On key skills learned at Protiviti:
Rolling with the punches and being flexible. Because of the nature of the work we do, high priority things pop up quite often. You have to be ready to table what you’re doing and switch gears quickly.
Interacting with upper management. In my current role, I’m a Sr. VP at a bank and that means I frequently interact with heads of every department. Leading client meetings gave me crucial experience in speaking to people of high importance, so I feel a lot less nervous talking to these people and sharing my ideas.
On the best way to learn:
You can’t learn consulting in college. It’s on-the-job training. I learned a lot from the MD in my office. I watched the way he answered questions and dealt with difficult clients. And sometimes difficult projects teach you the most. I was on a really difficult project for 11 months – very stressful, a lot of hours. But every time I encounter a challenge in my current role, I’m using something I learned from that project. It was tough to get through, but I’m glad I did it. I’m very grateful for all of the opportunities Protiviti has given me, and will definitely keep in touch with the amazing people I met along the way!
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