Informational Interview

My desire to add knowledge to my finance information base drove me to an interview with Mr. Erfan Kazemi, the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Sands Point Associates, LLC. As my role model, I thought I could get words of encouragement and success tips in the field of finance. This was a dream and an important move since I was aspiring for a similar position after school. Sands Point Associates, LLC is a privately owned company in Morristown, New Jersey and is categorized as a business management consultant.

Getting into contact with the CFO took close to one year as all my emails, attempted phone calls, and social media search bore no fruits. I was able to get his corporate contacts through lead generation software and through the company’s social media accounts, but his assistant could not book me an appointment. Deep digging, continuous inquiry for the appointment, and relationship building all failed. My final attempt and the one that bore fruits was an application for an internship program in the company. Being listed for an interview gave me the opportunity to have a one-on-one conversation with Mr. Kazemi.

According to Mr. Kazemi, the field of accounting and finance comprises of many qualified majors, but market knowledge and the desire to always be at the top created the best version of him. In his understanding, being the best in any industry or organization entails utilizing all the qualities and skills an individual possesses.  

As a CFO, he is tasked with being an impartial challenger as well as a player in driving the objectives of the company. He is an adviser to the CEO, a negotiator with financial institutions, as well as the person charged with ensuring an effective financial structure for the company.

His most challenging task in the firm is always ensuring that there exists no tension between the roles of various key executives. He highlights that he has been successful in this field in the three companies he has worked as a CFO based on his view that the role of a CFO is not only being the impartial and key to the mechanics of decision-making in a firm, nor being a cool-headed CEO advisor, but being the owner of a sound and safe process of decision making. He highlights the principle of behavioral economics, which states that better processes are important in making good decisions, and an individual cannot make important decisions alone, but better processes are of significance if they build judgment and insight from various personnel.  

I learned the importance of processes in making vital decisions. It is important to utilize better processes to achieve better decisions in any decision-making case. Consequently, every individual has a skill and the manner through which they utilize it makes them achieve their targets. For instance, I like caring for the newborns, a factor that I realized applies to my finance profession dreams. It needs a lot of dedication to efficaciously care for a newborn baby. I will need this dedication as a CFO in the future to achieve the highest standards of my abilities.

This was an important informational interview for my cognitive preparedness and I challenge other aspiring financial and accounting experts to think about their skills, their ability to contribute to a team, and the influence they can make to an organization. I will definitely be involved in such informational interviews if they are meant to drive a point that will change my career and life to the better.