Life at Deloitte
Travel junkie and culinary enthusiast who enjoys advising clients on business issues
“I always wanted to go back and get an MBA. So while I have been working full time, and just this past May, I graduated with my MBA at Rice. It was a 2-year program. The last semester was overlapped with full-time work, full-time school, and a new baby, so it was particularly challenging. I made it out alive, but I got a few grey hairs in the process. It was worth it though, because it was something I always wanted to do for personal fulfillment. And it gives me a lot of credibility with clients.”” — Chris Keller, Houston, TX Senior Consultant, SAP Finance Transformation Deloitte Consulting LLP
- Texan at heart
- Chris’ key to success
- The further you go, the more focused you get
- Career journey
Texan at heart
Chris Keller was born in Portland, Oregon, and moved with his family to Texas when he was six years old. He says this may be the reason that, while he considers himself a Texan, he hasn’t a hint of an accent. Chris graduated from business school at Texas A&M and began working for Deloitte immediately out of college.
Headquartered in Houston, he works primarily on finance transformation projects. “I specifically work with SAP.” Chris is not a programmer. He approaches SAP Software implementations based on how they drive value in a given business. “I help my clients decide how to run from a finance perspective.” In essence, SAP is just a tool to make it happen.
But there’s more to Chris’ projects than finance. In most cases, it’s an enterprise level solution. “Usually there is a finance team, a supply chain team, and a marketing team.” This means Chris often works across disciplines, with consultants and advisors who specialize in other areas of transformation. Collectively, they analyze and map out how a given client does business and how departments interrelate, then, drawing on leading practices and Deloitte’s knowledge, they make changes, “whether that be decentralizing human resources, relocating operations, or restructuring for tax purposes.”
Chris’ key to success:
“Variety is what lured me to Deloitte. It is like buying a mutual fund instead of buying a single stock. I get the opportunity to work in so many areas; I would never have that opportunity elsewhere.”
The further you go, the more focused you get
Over the years, Chris’ role has changed. He says that at the beginning, the focus of a consultant is broad with lots of different tasks and a variety of projects. As he’s gained experience, he’s also gained focus. “It is like a pyramid. The further you go in your career, the more focused you get, and you also get more responsibilities.”
Chris’ ability to focus and to tackle responsibility helped him achieve something remarkable along his career journey. He went to Rice University full time and earned his MBA, while continuing to work full time at Deloitte. To top it off, his wife gave birth to a new baby during his second year of grad school. He says succinctly, “It was insane.” It also taught him about more than business. “I had to figure out a way to balance three big components of my life — work, school, and family. I found out that I am more capable than I thought I was.” As family, friends, and colleagues rallied to support him, he also learned that people are integral to your success. “You are not a one-man show,” he says, “I couldn’t have done this without my colleagues, and even more so, my wife and my baby girl to keep me going.”
Chris is committed to the local community and has been the lead for the Houston office Community Tree Program for the past four years. He likes to travel and does so several times a year. “We are going to Italy this summer,” an ideal match for Chris’ love of food. He’s also a home brewer of local note. Recently, Chris and his college pals brewed a Dublin Dr. Pepper Oatmeal Stout that was a finalist in a Houston beer competition.