Colin Talks Leadership, Organization and Launching His Career with Protiviti

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After graduating from the University of California, Berkeley in 2011, Colin Smith joined Protiviti San Francisco as a Consultant. In 2014, he left Protiviti as a Sr. Consultant to join, where he is currently a Sr. Financial Analyst. Connect with Colin on LinkedIn. 

Colin SmithOn starting a career at Protiviti:

I had a general business administration degree, but didn’t know what I wanted to do coming out of college. So I wanted to start my career somewhere where I could get exposure to a lot of different industries. 

On the opportunity to manage:

Something cool about Protiviti is that they give you the chance to manage early on. I was looking after interns and then, as a Sr. Consultant, I had a couple consultants I was directing. Leading projects and managing people two years out of college isn’t something you get to do at a lot of places.

On the importance of staying organized:

It all comes down to organization and planning. When managing my team, I learned how important it was to stay organized and really define what I needed from them on projects. Being clear on objectives and staying organized keeps projects on track. If you’re not on top of it, someone could be just sitting there because you haven’t delegated properly.

On transitioning to finance:

I wanted to do more forward-looking forecasting and budgeting. I spoke with someone else who had transitioned from accounting and audit to finance and that person helped me move over. Now, my day-to-day is more focused on longer-term projects in one line of business.

On Salesforce customers:

We sell this online product and it’s not super exciting or sexy, but I’ve had some people come up to me and tell me how much they love using it. It’s pretty impressive to be at a company where your customers really care about you.

On the 1/1/1 model:

We have a 1/1/1 model where we donate 1% of our profit, 1% of product and 1% of employee time to the community. That translates to millions of dollars and millions of hours donated and 27,00 nonprofits using Salesforce for free or with a deep discount. And it’s rapidly growing, which is exciting.

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