The importance of belonging

Jesse Salver, RSM alumni

Culture RSM alumni

I grew up in Miami, in an Orthodox Jewish family. When I was in kindergarten, I remember filling out a workbook about what I wanted to be when I grew up. Like many young children, I gravitated toward the career of one of my role models, my father, who was a certified public accountant at our family-owned company, Salver + Salver. As I continued through secondary school, my passion for accounting shifted to the arts, where I played the bass at the Miami Arts Charter School until I realized the artist lifestyle was not my calling. I fell in love with applied mathematics during my last two high school years in a Dual Enrollment program called School for Advanced Studies at Miami Dade College. I decided I wanted to pursue a civil engineering career and accepted an offer to study at the University of Maryland. However, I deferred my enrollment for a year and a half to study Judaics in Jerusalem, Israel, at Derech Ohr Somayach.

Jesse Salver

Before returning to the states, I withdrew my enrollment from the University of Maryland after being granted a generous scholarship to attend Yeshiva University, a private Jewish university. Yeshiva did not have an engineering program, so I studied mathematics. I quickly realized that this program was not for me, and I pivoted back to my original desire, accounting. I like to think that God made it very clear that my kindergarten self always knew I'd be a CPA, and here I am today.

Jesse Salver first day

I was introduced to RSM US LLP (RSM) through none other than my role model, my father. He is involved in public service and sits on the board of The Children's Trust, where he worked closely with Donnovan Maginley (deceased 2018), a partner at RSM who he highly respected. Unlike your typical young associate, I was looking for a lifetime firm. Finding a big firm with a family office feel was important to me, and that's what I found at RSM.

When I came to RSM, I felt a sense of belonging through the employee network groups (ENG), and I could share my culture through the ENG Interfaith. As an active member, I chaired a few events for the Jewish holidays, where I shared educational pieces and traditional Jewish cuisines like latkes and sufganiyot (jelly donuts). ENGs played a crucial role in my career. It's easy for a tax guy on the investment fund team to stay in his lane and not venture outside the 20th floor of the New York City office. Having events that were not vertical-specific allowed me to meet and connect with more people in the firm. It was a great opportunity to make meaningful connections.

Leaving RSM was one of the hardest decisions I've made during my working career due to the amazing relationships I developed there. Not only did people invest time and effort into my professional development, but they also cared about me. Leaving was very difficult, but I could not be happier at Kohlberg & Company. Working with such incredible, talented individuals with whom I have already fostered meaningful connections is an honor and privilege. My role at Kohlberg expanded my technical tax knowledge and unique industry knowledge to be a well-rounded investment fund tax specialist. In my new position, I'm closer to my home in Stamford, Connecticut. I spend more time with family and friends, attend Orangetheory Fitness classes, host huge Sabbath and Jewish holiday meals, volunteer in my community and dedicate more time to Judaic studies.

If I could offer advice to fellow alums, it's to stay connected. There is value in seeing where you came from and keeping in touch with folks who invested in you and whom you constantly learn from in every stage of your career. If people cared about you then, they care about you now. Take advantage of those early relationships, and your network will continue to build.

Want to hear more about Jesse's RSM alumni story? Connect with him on LinkedIn. Or, if you’re inspired to find your next role at RSM, explore our openings today.

Life at RSM

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