Life at Deloitte
Career Journey: J.C. Goetz
From military to professional services
“It’s crazy when you're coming from the military, you don't expect your superiors to say thank you. So I'll do something here and somebody will likely say to me, ‘Hey thanks so much,’ and I'm like, you're my boss. If you want me to do it, I'll do it.” — J.C. Goetz, Tax, Los Angeles
In business school, they talked about fit being more important than money. And I was, like, I'm in business school for money. But once I got here I realized fit is important. So that's what I try to tell everybody, fit, fit, fit.
Transitioning from the military
J.C. Goetz was learning how to walk again when he realized that the next step in his life wasn’t going to be with the military. By this point, at age 33, he’d already served in the United States Marine Corps, worked with a nonprofit that recovers kids who get trafficked internationally, survived cancer, and re-enlisted with the Army Special Forces, where he’d been seriously hurt in a training accident—broken back, temporary paralysis, intense pain—the reason he was relearning to walk.
With the Special Forces no longer an option, he said to himself, “I can either sit here and feel sorry for myself or I can finish school and figure out what comes next.” You can probably guess what his choice was.
At a crossroads
After completing his undergrad at Campbell University, he went to USC and got his master’s in business and then joined Deloitte in October of 2015. He plans to add a law degree through Southwestern Law School’s evening program, which he was accepted into the summer of 2016. “I think I’m just that guy. If I have an opportunity to go to school, I’m going to do it.”
Passion for learning
Ambition and energy define J.C. He grew up on Long Island, the youngest of five siblings. He was a gifted athlete and student. Rather than go to college, he joined the Marines at 18 to see the world. That opened his eyes in lots of ways, he says. He saw how others lived, experienced real diversity of people and views, and developed a passion for learning.
It makes sense then, that J.C. is in Global Mobility for Human Resources, the practice within Deloitte Tax LLP that helps clients comply with regulations around taxes, payroll, and benefits for international employees. He says that right now he works a lot with spreadsheets and helping his managers be informed and prepped. “I attach work papers to everything.” His interaction with partners, though, has whet his ambition—“there's going to be a lot of opportunity going forward.”
As a veteran of active duty, J.C. is also clearly driven to help other veterans make the transition he’s made. He’s reached out to the director who heads up Deloitte’s C.O.R.E. Leadership Program and plans to become active in it once he gets fully settled into his position. In the meantime, though, he does have advice for veterans. “You have to be diligent and do the work for yourself. You can’t rely on others to do it for you.” He also says “You have to be able to manage the freedom that comes with autonomy.” Something you don’t get in the military, but that is part of the culture at Deloitte.
J.C. on fit
One of the biggest surprises to J.C. has been the value of culture fit. Everyone told him that the biggest thing at Deloitte is the people. “Yeah, sure, the people,” he thought. “And then you get here and you start working for people who are truly brilliant and amazing and actually care about you.” He says that after taking his LSAT recently, he received emails for three days asking how he did. The queries came from senior managers as far away as Oklahoma. That sense of loyalty to one another fits J.C.’s view of the world. Loyalty is “paramount.”
Today J.C. is back to playing hockey and is still active, though after the injuries he sustained in the military, he’s not the athlete he used to be. That said, it seems pretty clear that by relearning how to walk, he’s found a place where he can run.
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