Wells Levitt offers business management and interim CFO consulting services to companies in the internet, manufacturing, media and retail sectors. Typical clients are undergoing a time of transition and need a trusted adviser with both operating and investment expertise. Selected clients include: New York Daily News, Frequency Networks, Chromatik, Founders Fund, Cyber-Rain, Warren Lieberfarb & Associates, Team Downey, Violet Grey. Services rendered include financial reporting, investment structuring, and business management (including bookkeeping). Wells Levitt is hiring interns.
Jaden Levitt joined West Hollywood Ventures in early 2012 — the predecessor to Wells Levitt. In 2009, Jaden co-founded GGI, an energy services consulting firm that helped municipal and enterprise clients reduce their energy consumption through efficiency and renewable generation. At GGI, Jaden was responsible for corporate strategy, supply chain management, and the design of financial analysis tools for the team. Jaden began his career at Endeavor — now William Morris Endeavor — after earning a BS in Biology and two minors in Markets & Management and Film Studies from Duke University.
1. How did you get started in the industry? How can someone who is interested in your work get started?
I didn’t start in this industry at all. I swam through a frothy sea of opportunism and fountainhead-edness (read: bonehead) to find myself doing with my mind exactly what nature had intended for it, despite any protestations I may have once had in a philosophy class ten years ago. A forensic life strategist could trace the breadcrumbs of my restless spirit along the way. If something wasn’t efficient enough, I tried to make it better. If something was a lot of work, I did ten times the work to automate it so I’d never have to do it again. My personality and experience made me a good asset, but what really initiated me into this particular industry was finding an amazing mentor, the Wells in Wells Levitt.
2. What’s the future of your industry or job?
In the near-term, it seems that the costs of starting many types of business (see apps) has fallen precipitously, meaning there are many more operators in the marketplace and thereby creating a greater demand for business services such as accounting, modelling, and reporting. At the same time, subscription-based SAAS companies are making excellent automated tools available to these entrepreneurs so founding teams no longer need a pure CFO. It’s better for them to have founding partners focused on product development, market penetration, and fund-raising from an ever expanding group of investors, and then to outsource the CFO position to a company that comes ready to plug and play, so to speak.
3. What do you look for when you hire an intern or entry-level candidate?
Raw intelligence, eagerness to work, and reliability. When I was at the entry level, I always felt this pressure to pitch my interviewer my dream job at 45. Maybe that was a pre-recession notion. As an employer, I’m less concerned about the 10 year plan and more interested in how you solve problems, whether you’re suited to the task — and if you’ll show up every day to do it.
4. What is one thing an intern can do to make a favorable impression?
Be resourceful. And when you can’t figure out how to do that, be eager. Ask questions. But never ask a question you can Google in under 10 seconds. And never say something can’t be done. Chances are I’ve done or been asked to do in the past any task I’m giving you or I would do it myself.
5. Can you share an intern horror story, along with a positive intern story?
Like the Ivy-league educated pen-polishing intern? Or the intern asked to turn a partner’s office blinds 10 degrees every hour to keep the light at a certain intensity over the course of the day? The most horrific stories always have at their core a stark contrast between how great something looks on the resume and how much it contributes to your skill set. Often times, the sexiness of the company or industry correlates inversely with the respect and responsibility you’re given. The best stories are about interns who were ambitious, resourceful, and at the right place at the right time… The receptionist who took on more responsibility at a growing company and made partner in 7 years or the eager intern who impressed and was then be hired by a client who happened to be in the office frequently.