George Wu — Controller
The world of business has always intrigued me. When I was 13 years old I managed a restaurant as my part time job. My father worked at the restaurant, and I started out by helping out in the kitchen before working my way up to assistant manager. My father worked there for 13 years before he saved up enough money to buy out the owner.
Working at the restaurant allowed me to earn enough money to buy all the new technologies that interested me. Eventually I became more interested in how to turn my peers’ hunger for video games into a profitable business than in being the highest scorer in Grand Theft Auto.
This instinct for business led me to start an online business selling video games during my last year in high school. I figured it would be easy, since I had already picked up a lot of business know-how from running the restaurant.
Even though it failed, my video game business drove me to major in accounting at Baruch College. It also taught me crucial lessons about inventory management and product obsolescence. Perhaps the most important thing I learned though, was that in order to run a business, it’s important to understand and analyze data.
During college I continued to work and held accounting and finance positions in different industries, from not-for-profits and retailers to financial services.
After graduating from Baruch, I joined the assurance group at Ernst & Young, gained three years of audit and consulting experience, and obtained my CPA license. My clients consisted of hedge funds, mutual funds and private equity funds. I felt responsible for the financial well being of each one of our clients, and was proud to go out of my way to make sure each of them received any and all of the services they needed. My superiors at Ernst and Young appreciated my initiative and I was even recruited by the consulting team who wanted me to leave the audit group.
I decided instead to join Daruma, where I have the opportunity to learn the business from a very smart and experienced operations team. Although the firm has existed since 1995, the culture here is one of openness, creativity and new ideas that lead to growth. And even though I’m one of the younger members of the Daruma team, I like to think that I can contribute a certain amount of business expertise to our company – after all, I’ve been in business since I was 13.