Life at Deloitte
From boomerang to partner
“When I left Deloitte I never thought I would come back—not because I didn't want to, but because if I was out of public accounting for a period of time I wouldn't be able to. That was clearly the wrong assumption. I had contacts at Deloitte and I happened upon a conversation with someone and they told me to look into it again. And when I came back, I told my husband, I feel like I am coming home.” Jennifer Deutsch, Los Angeles, Partner, Business Tax Services, Deloitte Tax LLP
- Off the beaten path
- Jennifer’s key to success
- Always a focus on helping clients
- Career journey
Off the beaten path
Jennifer Deutsch’s journey to partner has not been a straight line.
She graduated from the University of Michigan. Moved with her Marine husband to San Diego. Briefly held a job selling business forms (“Not like we have business forms, anymore!”). Graduated in 1996 from San Diego State University with a Masters in Accountancy. Then took a position with Deloitte after an internship at Coopers and Lybrand. She says of Deloitte, “I loved the people; I loved everything about it.”
Turned out, she would also come to love that Deloitte has an international presence and entrepreneurial culture, because she proceeded to advance her career even as her family moved “at the discretion of the U.S. government.” They’ve lived in San Diego, Washington D.C., Emerald Isle, NC, Orange County, CA, and even Frankfurt, Germany, all coinciding with her husband’s military assignments. For most of that time, Jennifer worked at Deloitte, though she did leave for a period to take a position in course development and instruction for the prestigious Becker Professional Review.
Jennifer’s key to success:
“I’ve had several great mentors who encouraged me to believe that if someone gave me an opportunity, my answer should always be, ‘Yes, why not?’ … as opposed to thinking, well I don't know if I can do that.”
Always a focus on helping clients stay ahead of the curve
Fittingly, Jennifer understands that professionals go through different career cycles and that it’s important to own your career. “I still see a lot of folks who narrowly look at their skill sets as opposed to seeing how they might be applicable in different situations.” Through the twists and turns of her career, her own mentors have often helped her get past similar hurdles, showing her that she’s capable of more, even, than she thinks. She works to do the same for others. “I think a mentor has to have a unique role of being a little bit of your cheerleader, but also a bit of your conscience.”
As she looks ahead to Deloitte’s future in tax, Jennifer sees it being directed not so much by government regulation or even client need, but by client success. “In order for us to succeed, ultimately our clients have to succeed.” That requires a continuous evolution of services, strategies, technology, and people. “We have to help them be ahead of the curve.”
Jennifer and her husband (now retired from the U.S. Marines) have three children and a dog. Thanks in part to her husband’s career they’ve had the opportunity to visit Egypt, Morocco, Turkey, Peru, and lots of European countries. Jennifer is an avid runner, swimmer, and cyclist who sets her goals high—this year taking on the challenge of another winding journey—her first half-Ironman. That’s just over 70 miles of swimming, cycling, and running.