From RAGBRAI to RSM
RSM encourages our people to follow their passions and bring their authentic selves to work. Each person’s hobbies, interests and backgrounds bring forth unique experiences, perspectives and insights, which in turn strengthen our teams. Consulting Director Scott Jacobson is a perfect example as he shares how cycling inspires him to grow and elevate his team’s potential at RSM.
I grew up in rural Northwest Iowa. Some people may find that notion stifling, but for me, the possibilities in a place like that are endless. When I was 11, The Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa (RAGBRAI) came near my hometown, and I rode along for a couple days with my father in what still is the largest bike-touring event in the world. After that, I was hooked. The next year I persuaded my grandfather to be my support crew for the full week, riding from west to east across the entire state, which marked the beginning of my annual RAGBRAI pilgrimage.
I had never been a big cyclist before my first RAGBRAI, but the adventure of the ride and the intrigue of a less-popular sport fit well with my small-town mentality. Since my first RAGBRAI, I have missed only a handful of the annual rides, bringing my total to 28 counting the 2019 event. Shortly after college, I had the opportunity to race semi-professionally in France. While I missed RAGBRAI from Europe, I couldn’t miss the chance to ride alongside the likes of Lance Armstrong on the same roads and mountains as the Tour de France. During my time in Paris, I began a new career in consulting. All because an annual bike ride came by my small hometown in Iowa.
Three years ago, I came to RSM to help grow a valuation services consulting practice. Even though our team is a small group, we operate under the big umbrella of RSM’s resources, and it never detracts from the close-knit, small-town feel of our work family. I love bringing that same feeling to the clients I serve—like Wells Blue Bunny, based 45 minutes from my hometown in Iowa.
In a way, things have come full circle for me. As a cyclist, I started out on the roads of Iowa but grew into my potential as a semi-professional on the roads of Europe. Like cycling, RSM presents me with endless possibilities to grow into my potential. Working within the valuation team, we are small but mighty, with a runway of growth in front of us. RSM gave me a fresh perspective on my career, along with a flexible culture that allows me to continue to pursue cycling as a hobby.
One of my favorite adventures of cycling is the exciting yet comforting feeling of where my bike can take me. I get a similar feeling working at RSM — we have the opportunity to ride to the top of a mountain.