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Life at Deloitte
From Olympic Trials to tax professional
After 16 years of swimming competitively and graduating with a bachelors and master’s degree in accounting, Justin White found his way to Deloitte. Now a tax consultant with Deloitte Tax LLP specializing in partnership taxation, Justin reflects on his journey to the US Olympic Trials to his career here at Deloitte.
August 15, 2019
Armed with both a bachelor's and a master's degree in accounting from Lehigh University, Justin White has developed quite the affinity for numbers, but his first love was swimming. Justin began swimming at a young age and continued to swim competitively for close to two decades. "I took my first swim lesson when I was five years old and started swimming with a summer league when I was six. The following year I joined a full-time club team and didn't stop swimming for the next 16 years."
Swimming became a part of Justin's daily routine, and he dedicated many hours to perfecting his craft. Although he was trained in all swimming styles, his stroke of choice was freestyle. "I competed almost exclusively in sprint freestyle events. It's the first stroke that every swimmer learns, and I knew from the beginning that this was where I wanted to focus.”
Focus he did. Justin continued to swim competitively and set his eyes on the ultimate goal of representing the US at the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. To get there, he had to qualify for the national team at the 2016 USA Swimming Olympic Trials. “Once I made the decision that I wanted to qualify for Trials, all my energy shifted to making the cut. I sacrificed internship opportunities to build my schedule around swimming and working out more than four hours a day for five to six days per week.”
Training for the Olympic Trials proved to be one of the most challenging undertakings of Justin's life. It required complete sacrifice and dedication over the course of two years. The competition to make the Olympic team is fierce as any American can qualify to compete in the USA Swimming Olympic Trials as long as they achieve a set time at any regulated swim meet, but to make the Olympic team a swimmer must place in the top two in one of the thirteen individual events at the Trials.
The 2016 USA Swimming Olympic Trials
In the summer of 2015, Justin went to the Midwest Futures Championship to try to qualify for the 50-meter freestyle. He ended up winning the event overall, but narrowly missed the Olympic Trials cut by 0.07 seconds. “For the next four months, my life revolved around those few microseconds. I made a second attempt at the 2015 US Winter National Championships in Federal Way, Washington. I ended up making the cut and qualifying for the Olympic Trials.”
This was a significant accomplishment for Justin, and he was one step closer to representing the United States at the Olympic Games. He went on to compete in the 50-meter freestyle at the Olympic Trials held at CenturyLink Center Omaha in Omaha, Nebraska from June 26 to July 3, 2016. Justin gave it his best shot but unfortunately did not make the team. “Although I didn’t make the 2016 Summer Olympic Team, I had the most incredible experience I could have ever asked for and wouldn’t change a thing.”
Reflecting on his journey
Today Justin looks back fondly at his journey to where he is now and is proud of his accomplishments. Not only did he dedicate himself to a sport he has loved since childhood, but he also made sure to make time for his academic studies as well. While in college, Justin completed two internships at Deloitte, and attended Deloitte’s Alternative Spring Break. His journey has taken him around the country where he has met and competed with pro-athletes such as Conor Dwyer, Rowdy Gaines, Cullen Jones, and Michael Phelps. Now his drive and dedication continue to be reflected in his work at Deloitte.
“Competitive and collegiate swimming has morphed every aspect of the person I am today. I would say the biggest takeaways from swimming would be the competitive drive towards success and the ability to embrace the grind while learning from the journey, not just the result.”
Justin White is a tax consultant in Deloitte’s Tax practice, with a primary focus on partnership tax and a concentration in private equity and real estate. As a member of Deloitte’s Business Tax Services group, Justin combines his extensive accounting knowledge and insights to help companies navigate challenging tax issues.