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Career Research Project on BMP and JDSU



Introduction

Finding a company that is most suitable for one’s career aspirations plays a significant role in ensuring career success (WetFeet, Incorporated, 2014). In this regard, current report sets the primary objective of identifying an organization that suits my career aspirations in terms of geographical location, organizational culture, compensation packages, size of the organization and development opportunities at the organization. My major is in Accounting; as a result, I have an option of working in an accounting firm or any other organization having an accounting department. In current paper, I compared the suitability of BPM and JDSU with respect to my career aspirations. I used a number of sources to gather information relating to the companies including their websites, business articles, online sources and SJSU electronic database. After the analysis of the companies’ background, the product and services they offer, their organizational culture and their SWOT analysis, I settled on JDSU as my preferred company to work.

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My Criteria - Characteristics of an Ideal Company

My criteria for evaluating an ideal company is based on five factors, including the geographic location of the organization, the culture of the organization, the size of the organization, the compensation packages offered by the firm and opportunities provided at the organization. With regard to geographic location, my ideal company is that which operates globally and is not restricted to a particular region. I would prefer working in an organization that is characterized by workplace diversity and inclusion, which can be found in organizations operating in a global scale in multiple locations. With respect to organizational culture, my ideal company should have a people-centered culture. A people-centered culture implies that the company should place an emphasis on the voice of employees, as well as customers.

As a result, the organization should have possibilities for employees and customers to voice their concerns, after which the company should adopt responsive measures accordingly. With respect to size, my ideal company should be large; it deals with the growth opportunities, stability and the challenging work environment that accompany large corporations. With regard to compensation, my ideal company should be committed to paying employees a living wage. I consider it unethical for the Chief Executive Officer to earn high wages, while the average employee earns wages that cannot sustain him/her. In addition, my perfect company should have a possibility to recognize employees for their hard work. With respect to opportunity, my perfect company offers employees incentives and opportunities to grow and develop and learn in terms of developing new skills that are specific to their jobs, as well as softer skills to develop their capacity as leaders, managers and individuals.

In addition, my understanding of a flexible company is that it should have a flexible workplace environment for its staff. Flexible work environments entail providing employees with the permission to work from anywhere at any time, which compels the needs for the organization to focus on outputs rather than emphasizing on inputs. An ideal company should also have a possibility to adapt to change in a timely manner; it is so due to the fact that changes in the business environment occur at rapid rate, and businesses that fail to adapt or adapt late are more likely to bankrupt and disappear. As a result, adapting changes increases the long-term stability of a company, which is a crucial factor that I will consider when looking for a company to help me in the achievement of my long-term career goals and objectives.

Company I: Burr Pilger Mayer Inc. (BPM)

Background and Industry Information

Burr Pilger Mayer (BPM) is a company that offers comprehensive business and financial advice, especially in finance, tax and accounting. BPM is one of the largest consulting and accounting firms in California that focuses on providing its services to emerging and middle capital businesses in Bay Area, and high net-worth individuals. BPM boasts of delivering the expertise, resources and global capability associated with a Big Four accounting entity that has the accessibility and responsiveness associated with a local partner (BPM, 2014). The BPM’s International Tax Team is considered to be one of the leading in the West Coast and regularly deals with issues raised by clients globally.

Products and Services Overview

BPM offers full-service consulting and accounting services, especially in aspects such as wealth management, business consulting and assurance tax. The company services portfolio comprises of assurance services (audit services, SEC services, internal control and reviews and compilations). Corporate tax services include tax solution and guidance on global restructuring, local and state taxes, mergers and acquisitions, transfer pricing, compliance and planning and tax credit incentives among others, as well as consulting services in succession and exit planning, enterprise risk management, valuation of intellectual property, valuation of business and litigation consulting among others. Besides assurance, corporate tax and consulting services, BPM also offers tailored services for public companies such as quarterly and audit reviews, internal controls, international tax, valuations and forensic accounting. Services for private companies include outsourced accounting, cash flow management, start-up services and bank relationships among others. Lastly, services for individuals include tax compliance, legal representation Internal Revenue Service (IRS) controversy, counsel on charitable giving and tax compliance among others (BPM, 2014).

Customers and Competitors

BPM serves a wide range of customers, including public companies, private companies and high net-worth individuals. BPM has a broad services portfolio that is tailored to meet the needs of various categories of customers. The competitors of BPM comprises of the various accountancy and consultancy firms operating in California. Notable competitors include Ernest & Young, Deloitte & Touche, KPMG, Allan G. Hutchison CPA, Haskell & White CPA, Hayes & White Associates CPAs, New California Business Associates and Parks Palmer & Yemenidjian (Boogar, 2014).

Culture

In its website, BPM acknowledges that a talented and motivated staff is its greatest asset. As a result, it has adopted a people-centric culture characterized by commitment to work-life balance, valuing diversity, providing growth opportunities, encouraging women leadership, building an organizational culture that is values-driven and social responsibility (BPM, 2014).

SWOT Analysis

The SWOT analysis outlines the strengths and weaknesses that are internal to BPM, as well as the threats and opportunities that exist within the company’s environment. BPM has a number of strengths, which include solid reputation as a business consultant and certified public accountant; the use of a values-driven approach as part of its organizational culture, as well as the tool for meeting the needs of its clients; a highly competent and experienced workforce and a diverse service portfolio that caters for diverse customers; high client retention resulting in persistent referrals to the company (Boogar, 2014). BPM has a number of weaknesses within the organization, including its immaturity in delivering its services on a global scale and under-penetration in markets outside California (Boogar, 2014).

In its external environment, there is a number of opportunities that BPM can exploit, which include the increase in income levels of people aged above 60 who have been saving for retirement and have needs related to estate planning, tax preparation and tax planning; high growth in other sectors that provides opportunities for business consultancy; exploiting the positive image that the organization has in California; increase in population, especially retired people, presents an opportunity for increasing its individual customers. The threats that exist in BPM’s environment include an increasing availability of Internet-based software that simplifies accounting processes eliminating the need for people and businesses to look for specialized tax services; competition from the industry giants, especially the Big Four accounting firm; an increase in competition emerging from new firms, as well as sole practitioners; and federal and tax laws that result in gross simplification like flat income tax, resulting in decreased billable hours for both individual and business taxes (VAULT, 2014).

Decision

BPM has established its reputation as an accounting and business consultancy firm in California, which makes the firm to stand out in the West Coast. However, BPM’s presence and reputation is yet to spread across the United States and globally. As a result, the geographic location of the company is an issue of concern, since my preference for an ideal company is that with global operations. The organizational culture meets my criteria for an ideal firm, since it has a people-centric culture. The size of the company is also an issue, since BPM does not fit the description of a large company owing to the limited scope of its operations in California. The compensation packages and opportunities provided at the company are also among my criterion for my perfect company to work for.

Company II: JDS Uniphase Corporation (JDSU)

Background and Industry Information

JDSU has its headquarters in Milpitas, California and is involved in designing and manufacturing products used in optical decorative and authentication applications, lasers, optical communication networks, measurement equipment and various custom optics applications. The company was established as a result of the merger between Uniphase Corporation (United States) and JDS Fitel (Canada), resulting in the name JDS Uniphase. JDSU is the leader in the optical-networking industry (JDSU, 2014). JDSU makes use of its unique optical technologies to serve the needs of various markets that utilize light in their applications such as protection of consumer brands and preventing counterfeiting among others. JDSU operates globally with offices located in Europe, America, Middle East and Asia Pacific. In the America, JDSU has offices in Brazil, Canada, Mexico, United States and Mexico. In Europe, JDSU has office in Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and the United Kingdom. In Asia Pacific, JDSU has offices in Australia, India, China, Japan, Malaysia, Korea, Taiwan and Singapore. In the Middle East, JDSU has offices in the United Arab Emirates (JDSU, 2014).

Products and Services Overview

JDSU invents and partners with customers in order to develop and operate top-value and top-performing networks across the globe. The assorted technology portfolio also helps the organization develop counterfeiting applications, as well as high-powered commercial lasers that can be used for various applications. The product categories offered by JDSU comprises of network and service enablement, optical communications, optical security and performance products, laser products and power over fiber products (JDSU, 2014).

Customers and Competitors

The customer base for JDSU comprises of cable providers, datacenters and enterprise networks, structured cabling installers, mobile networks, fiber optics providers and installers and transport networks providers. With regard to cable services providers, JDSU provides solutions tailored to cable services providers in order to enable them to reduce the cost of offering broadband triple play video, data and voice. In addition, JDSU provides its services to cable operators (JDSU, 2014). Another category of JDSU customers comprises of data centers and enterprise networks. For these customers, JDSU offers numerous services aimed at satisfying the needs of cloud providers, system integrators, system administrators, technicians, enterprise information technology managers and network service providers. The portfolio for such customers comprises of solutions that deal with all aspects relating to networks that are datacenter-based, solutions for digital storage, network analysis and network cabling.

JDSU faces competition from a number of telecommunication companies such as ALBEDO telecom, Spirent, Finisar, Kingfisher International Pty Ltd, Anristu, Fluke Corporation, Riverbed Technology, EXFO and Keynote Sigos among others. The telecommunication industry is extremely competitive, which can be attributed to rapid innovation and industry deregulation. In most countries across the globe including the United States, there has been an increase in the privatization of government monopolies (JDSU, 2014).

Culture

JDSU acknowledges the importance of employee culture for the success of the organization. JDSU has the goal of attracting and recruiting the best individuals who can assist the company to achieve its business goals, as well as retain its position of a global leader with respect to technological innovation. In order to achieve such human resources (HR) objective, JDSU has adopted policies and initiatives aimed at investing in the future and wellness of its employees. Another important attribute of organizational culture at JDSU is inclusion and diversity. JDSU promotes teamwork and collaboration in order to continually offer innovative technology solutions that are capable of changing and improving the world. As a result, JDSU has embarked on creating a workplace environment characterized by inclusion and acceptance whereby workmates welcome others, encourage and share diverse viewpoints from diverse people of all genders, ages, lifestyles and ethnicities. It occurs due to the fact that an inclusive and a diverse workforce play a significant role in fostering innovation that benefits both customers and employees (JDSU, 2014).

SWOT Analysis

JDSU has a number of internal strengths including being the global leader in technological innovation resulting in the company using modern network technologies; superior customer service; an established and respected brand name; an innovative staff that is continually committed to improving the quality of products offered by the company; a diverse product portfolio; an established customer base that ranges from governments to private businesses. JDSU also has a number of internal weaknesses including a weak Research and Development (R&D) division and lack of economies of scale reducing the profit margins (Hui, 2010).

The opportunities in the external environment for JDSU include the potential for expansion using mergers and acquisitions and strategic alliances; an increase in data intensive population is likely to create a demand for its product; emerging new technologies in fiber networks and Voice Over the Internet Protocol could also boost the demand for its products; emerging markets such as China and India offer room for expansion; and that the company is decentralized, which puts it in a better position to serve the global market. Some of the threats in the JDSU external environment include an increase in competition; an unstable global economy; government regulations in the technological industry that hinder some of the company’s innovations from being implemented and distributed into the market (Reiner & Jurich, 2014).

Decision

JDSU has built its reputation as a global technological leader. In addition, the company is decentralized and has operations in various continents across the globe, which means that the company has satisfied my criteria with respect to the company’s geographical location. The culture at the organization meets my description of an ideal firm, since the company acknowledges the crucial role that its employees play in ensuring the success of the organization. The size of the company also fits my description of a large company, since the organization has office locations in five continents. Essentially, JDSU is a perfect match with regard to my descriptions of an ideal company.

Conclusion

A comparison of both BPM and JDSU reveals that both have an organizational culture that focuses on the needs of its employees. Both companies boast of a people-centric culture, which is manifested through their commitments to aspects such as employee training and development, investments in the future and wellness of their staff and diversity and conclusion. Both BPM and JDSU have similar compensation structures and emphasis on providing opportunities for employees to grow and develop their skills. Despite such similarities, there are significant differences in terms of the geographical scope of operations and the size of the firms.

JDSU has office in various regions across the world whereas BPM’s operations cover mainly California and the West Coast. In addition, JDSU is a large corporation when compared to BPM in terms of the scope of operations and financial capability. Both BPM and JDSU would have formed ideal companies to work for. However, BPM fails to meet the criteria for global office locations, as well as the criteria for size. It means that my final decision is JDSU. The scope of operation and the size of JDSU relative to BPM imply that JDSU is more stable when compared to BPM. As a result, I chose JDSU over BPM due to the fact that JDSU is better-positioned to survive the uncertainties in the business environment such as economic crisis. Therefore, JDSU provides a guarantee for long-term development. In addition, financial services firms are more vulnerable to economic shocks when compared to other sectors.

Next Steps

Current report has provided significant insights regarding my fit between career development goals and potential companies to work for in the future. There is no doubt that both BPM and JDSU are competitive as regards career development. Nevertheless, I have made my final decision to pursue my career goals through JDSU. As a result, I will work towards improving my GPA in order to boost my chances of securing a position at JDSU. In addition, I will constantly monitor news releases by JDSU in order to find out any available opportunities. In addition, I am targeting JDSU for my internship, which I believe will also increase my chances securing a position at the company.

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