Employee Spotlight: Kathy Arena, CPA – Financial Operations Consultant
Our Employee Spotlight is here to help you better understand our people, culture, and what it’s like to work at Bridgepoint Consulting. We believe we have a great balance of challenging work and collaborative people that enables each of us to enjoy being part of #teambridgepoint thoroughly. Today’s featured Employee Spotlight is Kathy Arena, CPA, a Financial Operations Consultant for Bridgepoint Consulting’s Dallas Office.
Get to know Kathy
As an individual who was always numbers-oriented, Kathy pursued an Accounting degree and got her career started in public accounting. She spent time working at startups and established companies before focusing her interests on controller roles. Bringing 25 years of experience, Kathy is a CPA, is a big part of our Financial Operations team, and joined our team in September of 2019.
Kathy is a people person and is naturally very social. She’s always out and about meeting new people and doing new things. When she’s not out making new friends, traveling, walking her 85 pounds of fun, aka Pyrenees Retriever mix, you can find her cheering on the Cowboys, testing out new recipes, or spending time with her family.
What led you to consulting?
To be honest, I was bored. I was bored of doing the same job every month, and I craved something more. I wanted more challenge, to see new things and use the experience I’d gained to help different companies move forward. Years ago, I was at a startup. Like any other startup environment, I had my hands in everything. I missed the diversity that came with that. While I didn’t want to go back to a startup, consulting sounded like it had the variety and challenges that I was looking for, so I took the plunge and haven’t looked back since.
What attracted you to Bridgepoint?
A good friend of mine works for Bridgepoint’s parent brand, Addison Group. I mentioned to her that I was looking for a change and thinking about getting into consulting. She had met some of the directors at Bridgepoint and spoke very highly of them. She introduced me to them, and we grabbed drinks. I came out of that meeting feeling like they understood what I wanted to do. I aligned with who they are, where Bridgepoint was going, and the market they operated in, so it was easy for me to take the next steps with them.
How would you describe the culture at Bridgepoint?
Helpful. The entire team is the definition of this. The best part of my job is working with people who genuinely care about your success and are open to sharing knowledge so that everyone can succeed. People listen, all the way from consultants to the Principals, and by truly listening, they’re able to provide fantastic guidance on projects. It’s refreshing to have such helpful people at Bridgepoint.
When did you know #teambridgepoint was for you?
I’ve had a couple of #teambridgepoint moments, but the one that stands out is the first all-hands event. The event was exceptionally well organized. The people there were approachable, helpful, and went out of their way to introduce themselves to me. As I got settled, things just got better and better, from everyone having a good time to celebrating team victories, big and small. I resonated with the company’s approach, but you could see that the people were what makes Bridgepoint what it is. This was huge. Over the years, I’ve found that, for the most part, the work is the same no matter where you go, but it’s the people that make the difference. That first all-hands event solidified my decision to come on board with Bridgepoint, and I’m excited to be here.
What are you excited about in your role at Bridgepoint?
The never-ending variety. Coming from an in-house controller position, I would typically do the same set of tasks, month in and month out. There is so much that goes into a project at Bridgepoint, and it requires a lot of flexibility. I love this because I need to constantly adapt, learn new things, and am exposed to a mixture of different work.
Talk to us about who you are outside of consulting
For starters, I enjoy traveling. Whether it’s going to visit my daughter in San Francisco or traveling to Florence, Italy, sampling the latest wines, or simply watching traveling shows, it’s something I’m passionate about and try to take advantage of as much as I can. I also really enjoy cooking. I find it very relaxing and a great way for me to unwind.
What’s one thing people might be surprised to find out about you?
I don’t know if I have anything that people might be surprised to find out about me. I’m a very open person. People who know me just know me.
What advice would you give someone who is considering a career in consulting?
Have confidence in yourself. When I was initially getting into consulting, some people asked me how I would transition from doing the same job day in and day out to complete 180. I was a little intimidated at first, but I was confident in my abilities. I’d been exposed to similar roles earlier on in my career, and with consulting aligning with my goals, I knew I could make the transition. Having the confidence to push yourself out of your comfort zone makes all the difference.
Ready to join #TeamBridgepoint?
If you’re someone who has spent your time in-house throughout your career but are looking to drive more change, looking for new challenges, or are craving more variety, consider a career in consulting with Bridgepoint We’re always on the lookout for top talent. We encourage you to browse our current openings and become part of #teambridgepoint!
Check out additional employee stories here or find out what makes Bridgepoint point a great place to work!