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Boston's Future Leaders Program Participant Profile: Amy Kasden

Posted by Katie Hauser on February 02, 2016

Name: Amy Kasden
Title: Senior Manager Tax
Company: RSM LLP
Program: 2016 BFL

What’s the coolest part of your job?
The coolest part of my job is getting to work with people. Internally my job is very team-based. I enjoy being able to develop and train younger staff, work with my peers on various projects, and learn from those more senior than me. I also spend a good amount of time building relationships with our clients, which I can be very rewarding. So while the world of tax might not sound extremely “cool,” a lot of what I do revolves around building relationships when you cut away the technical piece.

Who do you admire in the business world?
If I step back and identify a common trait in each person I admire, it is those of influence who build up the people around them as opposed to tearing them down. I aspire to be a leader who embodies this trait.

You work in the important field of accounting. What drew you to this field?
My road to accounting was a somewhat winding one. I went to college as a physics major due to my love of math and science, but ended graduating from the school of business with a major in both accounting and finance. Along the way I decided my next stop would be law school, which is what brought me to Boston. During law school I had the wonderful benefit of interning at both the MA Department of Revenue and the MA Appellate Tax Board. At the time I didn’t make the connection that those internships were bridging my accounting background with my legal background. Thankfully one of my professors, who was a partner in a Boston law firm, suggested I look at working in an accounting firm doing tax work. So that is how I ended up where I am today.

But looking back now, I think what truly drew me here was the fact that I enjoy working with numbers and within the business world. Working for an accounting firm lets me get the best of both of those -I see the number side of things but also interface with our clients and can provide real business solutions to them which is extremely satisfying.

If you could have any job in Boston, other than your own, what would it be and why?
I really like teaching and developing others, which is a big part of my job now. Thus, if I had to do something other than my current job, I would probably want to teach.

What is the best piece of career advice you have ever received?
I have been very fortunate to have some really great mentors throughout my career. While I have gotten a lot of really great advice along the way, the best was to believe in my own worth.

How can young professionals expand their networks and increase their impact in Boston?
I think there are two things that go hand in hand. The first is being good at your job. It can be somewhat surprising how fast your reputation builds by being good at what you do. The second is finding something you believe in and getting involved. Networking can be intimidating, but if you find a local group/charity/cause that you believe in and join that group, the networking will happen naturally and feel less daunting.

What reading material is on your nightstand?
In my down time I enjoy reading a lot of historical fiction; I’m currently reading books written by Philippa Gregory.

You are about to begin the Boston’s Future Leaders program. What is one thing you hope to achieve through your participation?
There are actually a lot of things I hope to achieve through my participation in the Boston’s Future Leaders program. If I am picking just one, it would be the intangible of developing relationships with other young professionals in the Boston area. Of course the program will help build leadership skills, which is one of its most important parts, but the added benefit of going through the program with so many other young professionals seems priceless.