Life at Deloitte
Career Journey: Sylvia Taylor
Working mom and military spouse
“When you're 22, fresh out of college, and exposed to real-world clients for the first time, it's tough because you don't have that life experience yet. When I came back to Deloitte, I had that experience, and it helped me adapt again to the professional world.” — Sylvia Taylor, Deloitte US Office of Confidentiality & Privacy, Austin.
- Flexibility is crucial
- Encore Program
- Booting back up
- Balancing act
- Join the Risk and Financial Advisory Practice
Flexibility is crucial
The flexibility that Deloitte was able to offer me has been extremely valuable, as both a working mom and a military spouse.
In 2006, five years into her first stint at Deloitte, Sylvia left Deloitte when the military relocated her husband Patrick, a US Navy pilot, to rural California, where she opted for a local industry position. “Despite being a Navy base, many are built out in the middle of mountains and desert, rather than near the coast.” After California, they moved again to the high desert of Nevada, placing her hundreds of miles from the nearest Deloitte office. Forced to leave her industry job, she took advantage of this time to start a family while pursuing a professional certification as well as her master’s degree.
Still, Deloitte remained on her radar. “I always said that I’d like to try to come back.” So when circumstances took her family back east to the DC area, Sylvia applied to Deloitte’s Encore program, an 11-week course for people who’ve left the professional world for an extended period of time. Encore hones skills, builds professional confidence, and prepares people for the return to a high-performance environment. The program rekindled Sylvia’s passion for Risk and Financial Advisory and for Deloitte. Following it, she immediately stepped into a senior consultant role in Deloitte’s Richmond, Virginia office.
Her return to Deloitte has been far less turbulent than when she first walked into the Houston office back on September 10, 2001. Yes, the day before 9/11. A short time later, after several industries experienced a regulatory fallout and their bankruptcies created more turbulence, auditing and consulting were changed forever. That combination of events shaped her work, with much of it being focused on early compliance with the 2002 federal law known as Sarbanes-Oxley.
Booting Back Up
Now, 15 years later, she’s tackling another challenging area of the profession that’s growing exponentially: auditing information technology. “Coming back up to speed was really a ‘boot camp’ for the first three months, and in some ways, it still is,” she says. Sylvia’s found support from co-workers and mentors. In fact, she’s been able to reconnect with friends who still work in the Houston office where she started. “I have my married name now, and I actually emailed them joking around, introducing myself as a new employee…then at the bottom of the note I told them who I was!”
Sylvia says raising a family and working like she does is a balancing act. She gives credit to a few things for being able to maintain both. First, her parents who are the children of immigrants from China who fled the country during the Communist Revolution. “They owned several small businesses while raising a family,” she says. “They've worked very hard and have achieved much success from that.” That instilled in her a strong work ethic, whether the pursuit is a career, hobby or family.
Second, being a Navy spouse has taught her to be flexible and to deal with uncertainty. Something that is required in Risk and Financial Advisory work. Lastly, she says, “Deloitte has been really great at working with me to stay on local clients with minimal travel.” She adds that she’s been able to carve out blocks of time for her family—evenings and weekends—while still being connected to her work and her team. “It's easier now than it was 10 years ago for us to work remotely with advances in communications and technology.”
Outside of work, Sylvia enjoys experimenting with new recipes in the kitchen. “We have had amazing travel opportunities with our careers, and food was always a big part of that experience. I enjoy recreating many of those experiences at home.” She now looks forward to one day traveling with her two boys to share the same experiences with them.
Sylvia on boomeranging back to Deloitte
You get tremendous exposure to the business world working for Deloitte. You learn many critical thinking skills and are exposed to a variety of industries. I've worked on everything from commercial fruit growers to major oil companies.
In the fall of 2017 and after being back with Deloitte for a little more than two years since re-joining the organization (and since her profile was first published), Sylvia is serving in a different capacity than Risk and Financial Advisory.
Today, Sylvia is a Lead Specialist in the Deloitte US Office of Confidentiality & Privacy, assisting with the deployment of Confidential Information Programs for client accounts, and helping to effectively mitigate confidentiality and privacy risks.
“Our team helps client service professionals address confidentiality requirements related to client confidential data, including personally identifiable information, via manual processes, and data handling or technical safeguards. You can imagine how important this is today, not only for our clients, but also for Deloitte. ” Sylvia said. “I wanted to focus on an internal role that would be suitable to the skills I gained in the last two years in the risk and financial advisory role, and I feel I’ve found that. I’m excited for this next opportunity at Deloitte.”
Not only has Sylvia made a move to a new area of focus at Deloitte, not long ago, she and her immediate family decided making a physical move from Virginia Beach to Austin, Texas, would be good, too. “We’ve made three moves in 10 years as a military family, so the decision to make one last move to Austin to be closer to our extended family fits right into our long-term plan, and I’m so grateful for this role and the flexibility Deloitte has given me,” she noted. While it seems like Sylvia may be done with making moves for a while, that does not mean her Career Journey ends here. We will bring you more updates as we hear more from Sylvia in the future.