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Life at Deloitte
Meet CORE alum Ray Detwiler
Ray Detwiler recently transitioned from the armed forces to helping lead Deloitte's veterans programs. Deloitte’s Career Opportunity Redefinition & Exploration (CORE) Leadership Program helped him do it.
Alpha Bravo Hero
Eight months before Ray Detwiler joined Deloitte, he was one of fifty veterans participating in a three-day intensive personal development training program at Deloitte University, Deloitte’s 700,000+ square foot leadership center for professionals within the organization, our clients, and leaders from outside our organization. The CORE Leadership Program, offered through the Deloitte University Leadership Center for Community Impact (LCCI) works with transitioning service members and veterans to help them identify their unique strengths and experiences to define their personal brand, leverage proven networking strategies, and tell their story in a way that resonates with others. Like most program participants, Detwiler was glad to have the opportunity to establish his personal brand and identity outside of the Army.
“In terms of my military career, it was relatively easy to figure out what I wanted to do. I am a musician–a third generation Army trumpeter. My father spent his entire 28-year Army career with the Army Blues, Pershing’s Own and he’s still the principal trumpet with the National Symphony Orchestra Pops – and my grandfather (Ray I) was an Army trumpeter during WWII. So I have this long familial tradition.”
- Ray Detwiler
Learning through others
Sometimes, however, who you think you are isn’t exactly who you end up becoming. Before joining Deloitte, Detwiler did doctoral work in Educational Leadership and taught public school for many years – which led to a two-year stint on active duty at the Office of the Chief Army Reserve (OCAR), Ft. Belvoir, VA. While there, Detwiler represented the Army Reserve in the development of the Department of Defense’s Transition Assistance Program, or TAP-GPS. It was an unexpected career transition, and one that led Detwiler to question what lay ahead. So he was thrilled to travel to Deloitte University and experience a different kind of transition workshop for veterans.
Defining a post-military identity
Early in the CORE program, participants sorted through a deck of cards that asked questions about what made them feel strong and what made them feel weak. Each of the 50 participants began quickly working through their own prior experiences, building a mosaic of their passions, interests, and skills. Detwiler and the rest of the cohort then began exploring how to represent their unique value proposition to others, while practicing interviewing and networking with Deloitte professionals.
After the CORE program, Detwiler ensured his resume and LinkedIn page were up-to-date and began pushing himself to network a little more, both on and off-line.
“Networking used to feel like it was a little one-sided. I had a hard time at first asking people if they’d be willing to chat with me about job opportunities because it felt disingenuous. But, as I’ve gotten further along in my career, I’ve found that it’s really about supporting and connecting others, particularly those who went through CORE with me, and that’s really rewarding.” - Ray Detwiler
No longer reserved about networking
For Detwiler, networking helped him get his current role at Deloitte. “One of the Deloitte professionals I met at CORE knew someone on LinkedIn at another company I was interested in, so I reached out to her about that role. She wrote back and told me there was a new opening at Deloitte managing the Veterans issue area as part of Corporate Citizenship. Would I be interested? Absolutely. Three months later, I was a Deloitte professional – I couldn’t believe my luck.”
Deloitte has provided new personal and professional challenges for Detwiler, and so he’s particularly appreciative of the company’s Armed Forces Business Resource Group (AFBRG) Veteran Mentoring program. The program matches new Deloitte professionals who are veterans with more senior Deloitte veterans who can provide guidance to them, particularly in the early months.
“I think it’s hard for some of us, as veterans, to reach out and ask for help,” Detwiler admits. “Culturally, that’s somewhat new to us. And so to have someone to talk to who’s also gone through a challenge adjusting to corporate culture, to be able to share what’s going on with someone who’s also a veteran and a leader at Deloitte, that’s just invaluable.”
Eyes on the prize
Detwiler is still new to Deloitte, but he’s thrilled by the opportunities he has here. “I think, in large part, a military service member is someone who is up for a challenge. Deloitte provides that challenge in many ways, and I certainly feel that my military experience has prepared me well – but the CORE Leadership Program made all the difference. And I am now in a position to help serve transitioning veterans, so, in a way, I’ve created yet another new identity for myself.”
Four reasons every veteran should apply to CORE
Program participants access Deloitte’s award-winning leadership development curriculum, and learn how to identify their unique edge and make a career choice based on their personal passions. Specifically, the CORE Leadership Program helps veterans and armed forces members:
- Define their personal brand, identify their strengths, and be able tell their own story
- Learn innovative networking strategies and communication techniques, which include best practices in using social media, through personalized and repetitive employment simulations
- Interact and network, from the start of the program, with Deloitte leaders as well as professionals from the public and private sectors
- Gain access to other alumni of the CORE Leadership Program