Employee Spotlight: Jana Bates – Senior Manager

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 on Jana Bates, our Senior Manager for Bridgepoint Consulting’s Austin office.

Get to know Jana

Jana is a third-generation graduate of Baylor University (Sic ‘em) where she received a BBA in Accounting. She started her career in the Healthcare industry in the DFW area steadily moving up from Staff Accountant to Accounting Manager before deciding to relocate to the Austin area in 2000. At the height of the tech bubble, she decided to move out of healthcare and into the technology world going to a software company as their Accounting Manager. The tech bubble burst shortly thereafter, so she took a position as a Finance Manager at Ascension Seton for a couple of years before venturing into consulting for the first time working primarily with startups in fractional controller roles. Several years later, she was offered an exciting opportunity to be the Controller at a high-frequency training firm. After 4 years, she was ready for a change and realized that consulting was a better option for her and ended up at Bridgepoint almost 9 years ago. Since coming to Bridgepoint, Jana has had the opportunity to work with multiple clients, across many different industries on complex projects lasting anywhere from a few weeks to over a year.

Jana is a native Texan and grew up in Longview, a town in the Northeast corner of the state. She was in the same graduating class as Matthew McConaughey (Go Lobos Class of 88!!). She had horses growing up and loved riding with her family on the weekends. Thanks to her grandmothers she enjoys cooking and entertaining and looks forward to being able to throw parties again soon! Growing up 2 hours from Dallas, she is also a huge Dallas Cowboys fan.

What led you to consulting?

The short answer is that I get bored easily! I found in traditional roles that after you’ve cleaned everything up and automated processes there is nothing left to do but ongoing maintenance. I’m always looking for a challenge and there is never a shortage of that in the consulting world. I also feel like in consulting you can make more of an impact in a shorter amount of time. The variety and flexibility as well as the opportunity to meet so many new and interesting people were also driving factors.

How would you describe the culture at Bridgepoint?

Supportive! We have gone through many changes as a company over my 9 years at Bridgepoint, but one thing that has remained consistent is how much Bridgepoint values their employees. Over time, as I’ve expressed an interest in learning new skills and working on different types of projects, the leaders of Bridgepoint have always been very encouraging. With their partnership, I’ve been able to focus more on project management than traditional accounting and have been a part of multiple M&A integration projects as well as leading a cross-functional team on a transformational NetSuite implementation project. They’ve also instituted Leadership Academy which has demonstrated their dedication to developing the team into the future leaders of Bridgepoint.

What attracted you to Bridgepoint and when did you know #teambridgepoint was for you?

The people! Having worked at another consulting firm previously the one major differentiator was that Bridgepoint truly only hires the best. The Humble, Hungry, and Smart premise is evident in every person you meet from the principals down to our recent college grads. I have never worked with so many truly exceptional people! It’s comforting to know that if I ever encounter a problem that I can’t solve or something new to me, there is a large pool of talented professionals I can go to that are ready and willing to help in any way that they can. I never have any qualms bringing other team members onto a project from any of our practice areas because I’m confident that they will do a great job serving our clients.

Talk to us about who you are outside of consulting.

I enjoy traveling especially to any place with a beach! I am a big foodie and wine lover and have been lucky enough to participate in some cool culinary experiences over the years, including a trip to The French Laundry in Napa and a private chef pairing dinner in Seattle displaying all of the best of the Pacific Northwest. The next adventure on my list is to combine those two interests and eat and drink my way through Italy! I also enjoy cooking and have taken many cooking classes, including virtual classes during the pandemic. My other passion is sports (watching, not playing), especially college football!

What advice would you give someone who is considering a career in consulting?

I was once told by a client that being a consultant seemed much like being a detective, and that was one of the most accurate descriptions I have heard. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. One of the keys to being a successful consultant is listening and understanding your client’s needs. If you are comfortable walking into new situations and are looking for a challenging career where you can make a big impact quickly, consulting may be the perfect fit for you.

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 a great place to work!