How Execu|Search Put Me To Work: Gian Manalili

Gian seeking career advice

This is part of a series of testimonials from candidates who have successfully been placed by The Execu|Search Group. This testimonial comes from Gian Manalili; you can find our past testimonials here.  

When Gian, a CPA, reached his fourth year at a Big 4 firm, he felt like he was at a crossroads in his career. Enjoying his work as an auditor for entertainment and media clients, he was torn between staying at the firm for the long run and exploring other interests. After connecting with Jonathon Amen, a Senior Associate within The Execu|Search Group’s Accounting/Finance division, Gian decided to keep an open mind about new opportunities.

When Gian first spoke with Jonathon, he didn’t know what he wanted out of his next position. As a result, Jonathon made it a priority to learn about Gian’s interests, preferences, and goals. Once they determined that Gian would like to pursue opportunities in the entertainment industry, Gian went on his first interview since college and quickly received an offer. Enjoying his new role doing financial planning & analysis at a national TV Network, Gian was happy to speak to us about his job search:

On his background…

I graduated from NYU with a BS/MS in Accounting with a minor in Entertainment, Media, and Communications. I started my career at a Big 4 accounting firm, where I worked for four years with a focus on audit for entertainment and media clients. Thanks to Execu|Search, I am currently working in FP&A at a national TV Network, while learning a ton about the industry and some of my favorite shows!

On what he was looking for…

Although I was very happy at my then-current job, I knew that I owed it to myself to explore the market. I was transitioning off two of my main accounts and in the process of getting placed with my next client when Jonathon called. Although I had already started to think about my future, I had no idea what I was looking for. However, I did know that Jonathon was the right person to seek career advice from. He leveraged his experience to educate me on potential career paths. Little did I know that these initial conversations would take me on the path to landing my current role. I am very glad they did!

On how TESG worked to meet his needs…

Since Jonathon knew people in my network and was associated with an organization that has a very strong industry reputation, I knew that he’d always give me honest career advice and look out for my best interests. Although I initially had a difficult time articulating my needs, Jonathon set up a face-to-face meeting to help me identify my goals. Together, we figured out that I was looking for a position in the entertainment industry that had normal hours, minimal travel, and opportunities for professional development. Every time he presented me with an opportunity, he was able to explain how the position met these needs.

Jonathon also appreciated the fact that I wasn’t in a rush to make a move. Most of our phone calls ended with me telling him that I needed more time to think about my career change, which is something he fully respected. To help me identify the right type of roles, he also asked me questions that required me to reflect on the factors that were impacting my decision to make a change.

On how TESG ensured he was prepared…

Jonathon helped me a lot with my resume, which had not been revised in six years. Most importantly, he helped me understand what potential employers might be looking for in an experienced hire from a Big 4 accounting firm.

Upon landing an interview, Jonathon put the effort into ensuring I was set up for success. While I had interviewed potential candidates and interns for my old firm, it had been a long time since I was on the other side of the process. To help me prepare, Jonathon sent me some useful articles about interviewing from the Execu|Search blog and walked me through potential questions prior to my interview. When helping me polish my responses, Jonathon paid close attention to my skills, experience, and goals. He had anecdotes that he remembered from our first meeting, and there was pure logic behind every piece of advice he gave me.

On his overall experience…

Jonathon had my best interests in mind throughout the entire process. This was made abundantly clear on the day I interviewed and was subsequently offered the job. While he was very excited that I received a job offer, he challenged me to think about whether this was the right fit for me, both personally and professionally. He also encouraged me to discuss the opportunity with my family and network before making a final decision. It’s been about a month since I accepted the offer, and I am very happy. Thank you to Jonathon and his team at Execu|Search for all the work they put in for me.

“Like most people making their first move out of public accounting, Gian didn’t know what he wanted out of his next opportunity,” says Jonathon. “Throughout the process, we were able to work together to hone in on the perfect role. Gian landed this position after only one interview, which was his first since college! This is an incredible accomplishment that he should be very proud of.”