Tony Witherspoon is an IT consultant who has been in the game for a long time: he's been working in IT and consulting since 1998. Over the course of his experience, he has worked for several of the biggest names in the tech consulting business, as well as companies that are household names in the consumer products space. In short: he knows a lot about what it takes to build a successful career in the tech field, and about the kinds of attributes that people who are trying to choose an organization should look for in an employer. Currently at Deloitte, where he is a Specialist Leader in Deloitte Consulting LLP’s Cloud Services Practice, Tony recently took the time to talk to Vault about his experiences.
Vault: Can you tell us about how your career has progressed?
Tony: My experience has been particularly broad. When I began my career, I worked mostly on software development. That progressed to IT project management. About six years ago, my role began to pivot toward Cloud Computing.
In terms of industries, I started out doing more federal government work. Now, I'm more focused on the commercial side, where I look for ways to impact and serve our clients.
Vault: How does the lifestyle at a consulting firm compare to the firms you've worked for in the public sector?
Tony: A major difference is that, here, IT is the core. When I was at [an apparel company], IT is not what they're all about it just was not their focus — they use IT as a tool. When it came down to it, it was a consumer products company and their focus was on the people who build the products.
When you're in a consulting organization, it's different because what brings the revenue is the people. At Deloitte, we constantly look to grow our skills and experience to best serve our clients. As a result, I’ve had opportunities to provide input in shaping where the organization goes, what we do, and how we operate. That’s a great feeling.
Vault: What about the cultural shift? How has that changed since you moved back into the consulting sector?
Tony: The culture is definitely different. Deloitte has clients all over the world. Since joining Deloitte, I've been to many locations inside the U.S., and also traveled to support clients abroad. Traveling is both exciting and challenging. Meeting new people and tackling new projects is fun, but being away from my family is tough. I’ve discovered that it’s about finding a balance, and Deloitte’s leadership has been a great support. They realized that if I'm burning out, I won't be able to serve our clients. Deloitte wants its professionals to do well and balance priorities.
Vault: So what does that look like in practice?
Tony: It takes work. This is a changing world. Technology changes, and so does the way people work and operate. Over the last five years, I've noticed a trend toward more web conferencing and video conferencing. For example, with our current client, I’m on site, but the team members are in different cities. Increasing remote interactions can be great, but also a challenge. It’s important to build up trust in the beginning, showing them that even when we're remote, we're getting the work done. The flexibility is great. When people join our project, they tend to want to stay. They like our approach and work style.
Vault: Is there such a thing as a typical project in the cloud practice at Deloitte?
Tony: Not in my experience. I've been on four projects since I've been here, and they've all been different. The in-depth knowledge and experience we bring to a project is a constant, though. We help clients assess their current state, envision the future state, and determine a path forward.
Vault: What is the onboarding process like for an experienced hire?
Tony: Deloitte has a lot of new hire training to welcome people to the organization and get them acclimated to the culture and processes. They also get you started networking and making connections across the organization.
Vault: What's the typical level of experience of someone coming into your team?
It depends on the project – but Deloitte helps employees at all levels to develop their skills through hands-on experience and internal training programs.
Vault: Last question. If you were selling Deloitte to a potential hire, what would you tell them about the organization?
Tony: Deloitte knows its clients well. For anyone who is excited to help organizations, large and small, solve some of their toughest problems, this is the place to do it.
This content was sponsored by Deloitte. The following disclaimer was provided by the firm:
As used in this document, “Deloitte” means Deloitte Consulting LLP, a subsidiary of Deloitte LLP. Please see www.deloitte.com/us/about for a detailed description of our legal structure. Certain services may not be available to attest clients under the rules and regulations of public accounting.
This publication contains general information only and Deloitte is not, by means of this publication, rendering accounting, business, financial, investment, legal, tax, or other professional advice or services. This publication is not a substitute for such professional advice or services, nor should it be used as a basis for any decision or action that may affect your business. Before making any decision or taking any action that may affect your business, you should consult a qualified professional advisor.
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