Career Paths: Work/Life Balance in the Financial Services

by Vault Careers | September 13, 2010

  • My Vault
The modern work force has faced taxing conditions in recent years, with staffing reductions and global competition largely resulting in greater workloads and longer hours. As these demanding circumstances often come at the expense of personal time, employers seeking to attract and retain top talent must now offer more than just benefits—they must guarantee a life outside the office. One firm that promotes a healthy work/life balance is professional services leader Ernst & Young, which demonstrates its commitment to accommodating personal lives with FlexSpace, an illustration of the diverse endeavors and interests its staff are able to pursue in harmony with their job.

Ernst & Young's own Nick Bueti is a prime example of successfully balancing one's professional and personal responsibilities. A senior manager for the firm, Mr. Bueti excels in a variety of roles: He leads the financial services unit in public asset management, administers employee training and manages college recruiting events in southern Connecticut and Westchester County, New York. And when he's not lighting fires at work, Bueti puts them out as a volunteer fireman for the Bedford Hills Fire Department. In an interview with Vault, Nick discussed dividing his time between the office and the firehouse, his activities as a campus recruiter, and more. Below are selections from his responses.

V: Having flexibility at work is no doubt vital to your fire and rescue duties. How accommodating has Ernst & Young been in allowing you to maintain an active schedule with the department?

NB: Ernst & Young has always been supportive of my activities with the fire department. Even during our very busy times, I have the flexibility of attending trainings, meetings and, of course, fire calls which usually occur in the evenings during the week. The partners at Ernst & Young often ask if there are any ways the firm can assist the Department by providing financial support to meet our needs. As our department is 100 percent volunteer and our activities are funded through donor contributions, this becomes critical to fund our activities.

V: In recruiting at schools, what are some key factors and qualities you look for in the students you engage? Do you encourage candidates to pursue personal interests as you have with firefighting?

NB: When I’m on campus, I’m looking for candidates who are motivated and eager to learn. I want to engage in a conversation that is rich, informative and feels natural—not just a question-and-answer session. It’s important that candidates are able to hold a meaningful conversation and feel comfortable speaking to a representative of the firm, because soon we’ll be asking them to speak with clients.

I encourage all the students that enjoy participating in personal interests to continue those activities. If you truly enjoy them and are not able to continue participating in them when you start your career, you’ll never want to stay at the firm. Working at Ernst & Young has a lot of flexibility for its employees to participate in activities outside of work. It’s all about how well you manage your time, your team commitments and your client commitment.

V: You lend your accounting expertise to the Bedford Hills Fire Department as treasurer, and as chairman of both the fundraising and death benefits committees. Conversely, are there skills you employ as a firefighter that translate to working at Ernst & Young?

NB: Teamwork is a skill that is equally valuable in my work as a firefighter and at Ernst & Young. All the activities while firefighting consist of teamwork. Whether it’s at a fire call, during training exercises or during one of our meetings, the members all need to work as a team to meet the objective. The same translates at Ernst & Young. We not only work as a team to serve our clients, but we also work as a team to make sure everyone has time to pursue our own personal as well as professional interests.

Read the Full Vault Interview with Nick Bueti Here.


-- Alex Tuttle, Vault.com

Filed Under: Workplace Issues

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