Julian de Luna recently celebrated his sixth year with 8020 Consulting! In this post, Julian revisits past projects and experiences, offers advice to professionals considering consulting on their career paths and takes a look forward at the years to come.
1. What do you enjoy most about your work these days?
Julian: What I enjoy is how dynamic my work week is. My responsibilities can go from building Excel models, to designing process workflows, to building out customizations in accounting systems all in a single week (and maybe through the course of a day).
2. What are a few memorable projects, and how did they challenge you and/or make you grow?
My first 8020 client project had many firsts for me: my first full system implementation, first real in-depth experience with gathering business requirements and developing system-based solutions, first real project management, first time working with software developers to build customized solutions. Additionally, I was involved with so many smaller projects for different functional areas of the company. All of these projects coalesced into one common goal – building a system that worked for the entire company. I really learned what it means to be part of a cross-functional team by supporting all functions from accounting, fulfillment operation, customer service and the executive team. It changed my perspective on what is possible and how I could contribute.
My first new engagement during the pandemic was also challenging. Adjusting to the constraints imposed on us is a challenge in itself. As a consultant, there were also significant adjustments in day-to-day operations – from holding effective pre-engagement meetings, developing client relationships, establishing the appropriate level of communication and visibility and providing the best level of service. I certainly had to learn to adapt to a different environment while still holding myself to the same standards.
3. What has been the most unexpectedly rewarding part of working as a consultant?
I’ve been able to work in a number of different industries and for companies of different sizes. These companies, despite so many dramatic differences in operations, share so many similarities. To learn the nuances of each industry and apply learnings from one engagement to another, regardless of size or where the company is in its lifecycle, has been an incredibly rich experience.
4. What advice would you give someone considering a career at 8020 Consulting?
Don’t be surprised when you realize how much you don’t know, whether it be specific accounting treatments, systems functionality, or just better ways of doing things. Keep your eyes, ears and mind wide open. You can learn a wealth of information from your clients and especially your fellow consultants. And don’t be afraid to go out of your way to help your colleagues. That, in itself, is tremendously rewarding.
5. Is there anyone you’d like to thank or acknowledge?
All of the consultants at 8020 that I’ve worked with – some on long engagements and some with whom I have had brief conversations. Echoing my earlier sentiment, there is so much to learn. Sometimes I do not realize that I picked something up until later down the road.
6. What are you most excited about currently?
Each chapter in life (work and personal) brings new challenges and experiences. I look forward to working through those challenges, gaining those experiences and becoming a better person along the way.
Careers at 8020 Consulting
We take pride in nurturing long-term relationships with our team members and our clients. If you’re interested in working on our team of accounting and finance professionals, visit our careers section of the website, where you can learn more about life at 8020. You can also put in an application for consideration by following the instructions at the bottom of that page:
Julian has diverse finance and accounting experience in various industries including financial services, entertainment, consumer electronics, and consumer products with companies including Capital Brands, Video Equipment Rentals, Belkin International, Deluxe Entertainment, and Pacific Life. His expertise includes FP&A, budgeting and forecasting, financial modeling, financial process improvement, financial system implementation, treasury operations, and cash flow forecasting. Julian holds a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of California, Riverside and an MBA from the University of Southern California.