Life at Deloitte
Career Journey: Lauren Boas Hayes
Former luge team member turned cyber risk professional
“I thought, why not be in a field that is changing really rapidly, that's going to look entirely different 20 years from now than it does today? Why not give that a try?” — Lauren Boas Hayes, Cyber Risk, San Francisco
Lauren's advice to you
Put in the effort to find the right fit. Deloitte is large enough that there are phenomenally interesting opportunities. Put in the work to connect with people who are doing what inspires you.
Lauren Boas Hayes thinks fast. It’s not a skill she picked up while studying at Georgetown, volunteering with a nonprofit in China, working at the US State Department, or even while working at Deloitte. It’s a skill honed as a teenager hurtling down a Lake Placid track of ice at 75 mph.
You see, Lauren was a member of the US National Luge team program through high school and it impressed upon her the importance of decision-making. “Luge is about making a decision quickly, knowing that it comes with risks and rewards, and seeing that decision through,” she says.
Career in cyber risk
Today, Lauren is weighing different risks–cyber risks, to be exact. As a senior consultant in Risk and Financial Advisory, Lauren focuses on helping companies recover from data breaches. But interestingly, her degree isn’t in anything related to technology. It’s in international politics. She has studied five languages (French, Chinese, Thai, Spanish and English), but has only recently started to learn any programming languages. “One of the things that's been amazing about Deloitte is that I’m able to do this work and I don't come from a computer science background.” Lauren has found a team that enables her to apply her understanding of international relations to the complex world of cyber threat actors.
She’s found a career in cyber risk by excelling at decision-making—threat assessment, strategy, mitigation and communication. “I get to work side-by-side with somebody who's much more technical than I am. Then I assess this technical information within its global context, pair it with the business risk, and handle client interaction, sort of translating the really technical information to a language that enables a business decision.”
Early on at Deloitte, Lauren was presented a unique opportunity. Her team had just completed its first major post-breach client project and the scale of the project was something beyond the initial thoughts of the team. Her insight into what really happened led to her advising company partners and senior managers on improvement areas. Ultimately, she and a coworker spent a few months focused on the issue and made a proposal. The response? The partners followed the recommendations and provided the management support needed to make the team’s development a priority. And her group quickly grew to around 50 professionals.
All that, in her first year in Risk and Financial Advisory. It’s one of the things Lauren loves about Deloitte. “It doesn't matter if the idea comes from the CEO, a partner, or a consultant, as long as you put in the work and demonstrate that it can meet a client need, Deloitte is willing to support it.”
Focus on staying fit
As you might expect, athletics are important to Lauren. She competed in softball and crew for Georgetown University. She attended the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics as a spectator and ended up taking a selfie with Vladimir Putin. (It’s a good story; ask her about it.) And now she has fun being part of the November Project, a national running group that connects her to like-minded athletes virtually anywhere work takes her.
In the future, there may possibly another kind of “running” in Lauren’s life. “My dream has always been to run for Congress one day.” She’s fed that dream as an intern on the Hill, a volunteer for national campaigns and with “more political debates than my friends and coworkers likely appreciate.” Ultimately, she plans to hold office. When asked if she’d run for senator or representative, she doesn’t hesitate. “Representative.”
Intense competition. Critical decisions. Slippery slopes. Sounds about right.