Normally, OneWire CEO Skiddy von Stade interviews other corporate executives as part of his Open Door CEO interviews series. This week, the format is tweaked slightly: he spoke to Michael Pascucci, entrepreneur and founder of Oxford Resources Group, which leases automobiles on a grand scale.
Pascucci has also started a number of other companies, and has proven his worth in the finance industry many times over. He offered a number of different maxims that are valuable to anyone looking to apply for finance jobs – or those considering starting their own firms, as he did – in the future.
Always be working to fulfill a specific need
A talented entrepreneur is not enough to ensure that a business venture will be successful, Pascucci said during his interview. The single most important thing determining the success of a business, rather, is whether or not the product or service offered is fulfilling a major need among the targeted customer base.
"I started to understand what makes a successful business," Pascucci told us. "[The first thing] is find a need. One that exists or one you think may exist. A real need. Then get a very good solution to fill that need."
Hiring managers maintain a standard by which they hire people – for accounting jobs, investor relations jobs and every single other position
"Once you have that solution, you need people to implement it," Pascucci continued. "Hire the very best people you can possibly find. Have a standard to hire to. And never break your standard."
Your track record will help you to meet those standards when applying for jobs. But intangibles – like passion – count for something too
As Pascucci noted, hiring managers are likely looking for someone who meets their standards when they're hiring for finance positions, such as wealth management jobs or investor relations jobs. To meet those standards, you need to rely on strong interviewing skills and intuition. But intangibles, like your passion for the industry, play an integral role as well.
"Your standard is primarily driven by track record, [also] the interview and intuition, but track record is always the guiding line," Pascucci told von Stade, when asked what he looks for in the talent he hires or invests in. "The intangible is integrity, honesty, candor, [the applicant's] willingness to want to help people … [their desire] to provide the best product to their customers that they can possibly provide. They have to be passionate about that."
New graduates need to work hard to establish themselves, and to get a feel for which industries are growth industries
We asked Pascucci what advice he would give to graduates coming out into the ultra-competitive job market of 2014. He offered us a typically idiosyncratic answer, one that's right in line with the belief in hard work and determination he had already established during the interview.
"I would tell them, [if they're] coming out with no connections, take a lot of interviews," he said. "Find out which industries might be growing. The world is changing so fast today because of the internet. You have to be careful which career you pick, because it may become dead-end or low-paying, eventually."
Charity is the common thread tying together successful individuals – so work out your philosophy toward business and how you plan to give back early on
"My philosophy of life is God first, family next, then your business," Pascucci concluded. "Take some of the people who've been on your show. The common thread they have: they're all very involved with charities and with helping other people."