Starting in Silicon
PROVO, Utah – Oct 29, 2021 – When Sam Lentz moved to California to work full-time for KPMG, one of his first clients was Apple Inc. Around the same time Lentz began his new job, Apple released its first iPhone, a day he remembers vividly. Similar to how Apple’s iPhone has evolved over time into today’s iconic gadget, Lentz, a class of 2007 information systems (IS) alum, reflects on his personal growth and how he’s changed during his career since graduating from the BYU Marriott School of Business.
Lentz started his education at BYU as a computer science major, but when BYU Marriott announced a new information systems program, he switched majors. He found that information systems was the perfect balance of his interests: business, finance, and technology. “I discovered my career sweet spot,” Lentz notes. “I could see myself being happy for a long time in the industry.”
During the summer semester of his final year of college, Lentz moved to Silicon Valley for an internship with KPMG. The internship gave him opportunities to work with KPMG clients who were focused on developing groundbreaking technology, such as Apple. After graduation, Lentz returned to Silicon Valley to work full-time for KPMG. His experiences provided him with a solid foundation for his career and led him to his current position with Dell Financial Services LLC.
Now, as a senior advisor at Dell Financial, a part of Dell Technologies, Lentz recently entered the company’s three-year financial rotation program. The program offers him the chance to learn new skills in various areas of the company. “My management team encouraged me to enter the rotation program because they knew I could handle more responsibility and opportunities for increased growth,” he explains. “The program is a fantastic way to learn about different aspects of the business, especially for me, because I’ve spent a majority of my career in software licensing.
“The rotation program brings people with fresh perspectives and unique sets of skills to a new team,” he continues. “I look forward to contributing my talents to future teams and cultivating experiences in the program that will help me grow and develop in my career.”
One project Lentz has enjoyed working on during his first year of the program is designing a creative data dashboard for financial analysis. His team wanted to tell a story about what happens with each account instead of merely presenting tables of data. “To accomplish our objectives, we implemented visual storytelling with the data,” he says. “We developed a dashboard that shows the history of individual accounts, going back as far as 12 years. We also included expectations for each account for the next five years.”
Lentz not only prioritizes collaboration with his colleagues in his career but also with others outside of work, evidenced by the time he served on the Orem City Council from 2016–19. One of the main reasons Lentz joined local government was to help solve what he describes as the city’s “fiber optic network problem.” Orem is part of UTOPIA Fiber, a high-speed internet fiber network that connects cities throughout Utah. However, not enough residents originally signed up for the service, so the city didn’t know how to provide financial support to the initiative.
“The fiber optic network problem was a complex mix of financial and legal challenges. As council members, we asked ourselves, ‘How do we help different stakeholders work together on a compromise that will benefit all parties involved?’” Lentz explains. Although the city didn't finish the project during Lentz's time on the council, he still experienced personal growth as a result of the experience. “I learned that working with the people around me and being open to their perspectives truly leads to better ideas and solutions.”
Lentz first started to value working and serving alongside others during his time as a student. "My classes at BYU Marriott helped me recognize who I wanted to be in my career and personal life, including how I wanted to set my priorities. Being generous with your time or donating resources is so much easier if you start that habit early in your career,” he says. “As a student I developed the important habit of asking, ‘How can I use my talents, resources, and time to benefit others?’”
As Lentz reflects on the personal growth he has experienced in his career, he attributes his passion for contributing to team projects to his time at BYU Marriott. “I realized as an undergrad that I wanted to do something meaningful in my life to benefit other people,” he says. “This same desire has propelled me throughout my career to elevate the people around me. The most valuable skill BYU Marriott gave me was the discipline to think beyond myself and my own family.”
Media Contact: Chad Little (801) 422-1512
Writer: Sarah Calvert