What ever happened to….Phil Greenwood Manager’s Choice
I recently spoke with Phil about his career path, the impact working at KPMG made and where he sees himself headed in the future. Going into college, Phil planned on a major in communications, but a strong background in math, high demand in the accounting profession and a stagnant economy in the early 80’s pushed him toward a career in accounting. Joining the firm when it was part of the Big 8, Phil worked for a variety of clients in his first years across the governmental, manufacturing and insurance industries. Speaking about his time at KPMG, Phil noted that he enjoyed the ability to see a variety of companies and learn about the intricacies of each. He also appreciated the leadership positions that were available to young adults coming right out of undergrad.
After two years at the firm, Phil took a job with McDonald’s Corporation auditing the finances of individual franchisees across the United States. After a year, Phil enrolled in the Univ. of Wisconsin’s MBA program majoring in finance/entrepreneurship. Upon graduation, Phil took a position with Abbott Laboratories in Chicago. There, he continued to leverage his experiences and the skills developed from his time a KPMG. Specifically, Phil recalled how he was able to build upon the communication skills he established during his time at KPMG through daily interaction with doctors and hospital personnel at Abbott.
After three years at Abbott, Phil decided to continue his education by enrolling in the PhD program at the Univ. of Wisconsin, majoring in Philosophy in Continuing Education and minoring in Entrepreneurship. Upon graduation, Phil immediately was offered a position as Professor of Entrepreneurship at the Univ. of Wisconsin. Over the course of his tenure in Madison, Phil has taught a variety of courses including Entrepreneurial Finance, New Venture Creation, Entrepreneurial Management, and Strategic Management at both the undergraduate and MBA levels. During the summer months, Phil takes his talents abroad, guest lecturing in such countries as Spain, Turkey, France, and Argentina. Despite the breadth of his career experiences, Phil still credits the skills first learned at KPMG for his role as an educator.
When he’s not lecturing, Phil has also developed and taught seminars for various companies including Brunswick Corp, Abbott and Grainger Corp as well as taken on consulting roles for middle market and early stage enterprises in biotech and high-tech manufacturing.
Phil also provided an interesting perspective on recruiting from the viewpoint of a professor when asked, “what can KPMG do to continue to attract top talent from business schools such as those at the Univ. of Wisconsin?” Phil mentioned that business school students value dynamic companies that can adapt to change in the business world quickly, use technology efficiently, and that students are increasingly focused on companies’ culture and social awareness. Phil touched on how the world is becoming much smaller and how change occurs so much more quickly than it did 10-20 years ago. The heightened pace creates ever more fierce competition but, at the same time, creates opportunity that young talented people are equipped to handle. From the workplace to the classroom, it’s clear that Phil’s 30 year career has been quite a journey. Phil has continuously strived toward a career he enjoys and implores his students to do the same, stating “It’s not necessary for you to figure out what you want to do as you get older, instead, you try some different things and figure out what you don’t want to do.”