GYM HQ Team Member Spotlight: Kiefer Luo, Staff Accountant

Kiefer joined the GYM HQ team as a payroll specialist several years ago. He’d finished up his BS in accounting and was biding his time as a host at a local high-end restaurant. He was eager to get his foot in the door at a growing company but didn’t quite have the experience needed to join our accounting department. However, he was willing to roll up his sleeves and earn his stripes in payroll. Since then, Kiefer has proven himself time and time again. He transitioned from the payroll team over to accounting, serving first as an AP clerk and later fighting for a hard-earned and well-deserved promotion to Staff Accountant. In February, he took home the honor of being GYM HQ’s MVP. We sat down with Kiefer to learn a little more about him.

GHQ: What do you like most about working at GHQ?

KL: I enjoy the people I work with in the accounting department. Ryan, Jacque, and Brigette make it easy to come into work and go about my schedule. Ryan doesn’t micromanage. Jacque has entertaining stories. Brigette is just really nice. I enjoy the conversations I have with all of them. We talk about what’s going on in the world and give our own insights which I enjoy.

 GHQ: Why did you decide to become an accountant?

KL: It was early on in high school when I initially thought about being an accountant. The decision was based on a variety of factors. The field has job stability, and the pay is adequate. I believe the profession will never die out. As long as there are businesses, I’m sure I’ll be employed.

 GHQ: You started with us when you were newly out of school. What’s the journey been like from payroll specialist to staff accountant?

KL: Transferring from the payroll department to the accounting department was a big jump for me. The time I spent in payroll made me understand the accounting side even more. There are checks and balances between the two departments. Payroll greatly affects the accounting department and how we handle things. The journey itself has been wonderful. I enjoyed my time in payroll, but accounting is where I thrive.

 GHQ: What are your career goals?

KL: I eventually want to work for a big four accounting firm. I believe the experience I gain from Gym HQ will one day get me into the big four.

 GHQ: Aside from crunching numbers, what else do you enjoy?

KL: When I’m not in the office, I enjoy sports, poker, and spending time with friends and family.  

 GHQ: Who is your biggest role model, and what lessons have they taught you? Why do you look up to them?

KL: My biggest role models are my parents. They’re hardworking people who taught me valuable life lessons. I always turn to them whenever I’m in trouble or need somebody to talk to. They shaped me into the person I am today.

 GHQ: What advice would you give someone just starting their career?

KL: Keep grinding. The term “grinder” is used in poker to describe somebody that plays long hours, picking their spots carefully, and maximizing their hands to make as much profit as possible. I use this as an example because I didn’t get a job right away when I graduated from college. I had dozens of interviews. It’s a long process. I have friends that graduated who still haven’t landed a job in their field yet. I always tell them to keep grinding. You have to push through. Most people can’t start their career right away. I remember the first interview I had with Melissa. She mentioned a statistic about how hard it was for people to land jobs right out of college. Life is a grind for most people. A lot of people struggle to make ends meet. So when you finally do land a job, make sure you work hard and excel at it.