After receiving both his Bachelor’s and Master’s in Accounting from Texas A&M, Juan Ortiz now works for Grant Thornton's Talent Acquisition team as a Experienced Hire Recruiter, supporting tax projects across the nation while currently living and working remotely from Austin.
Ortiz initially took a different path, then realized where his true passion lies. “I started at a different public accounting firm when I graduated but quickly realized that I had passion to connect individuals to great opportunities while at the same time supporting Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiatives,” he said. “With that said, I decided to use my Tax experience and jump into a different role at another company and have since done Talent Acquisition (Human Resources).”
Ortiz is now an Experienced Hire Recruiter part of the Tax Talent Acquisition Group at Grant Thornton. “I think the best part of my current job is being able to talk to great candidates and give them the opportunity to kick start their career,” Ortiz said. “In addition, I value Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and this role has allowed me to share my input on certain practices and processes to ensure we not only get diverse candidates but are also doing everything we can to help them feel included in our offices regardless of their background.”
The organizations Ortiz was part of at Texas A&M helped him find his calling. “To be honest it was very much a risk I took after a year as an Accountant,” he said. “I had studied and worked on my Masters in Accountancy for such a long time, and never really took a step back to see what I personally wanted to fulfill my career ambitions.” Factors outside of his control motivated Ortiz at first, but then he switched paths. “At the time financial stability was my priority since I was a first generation student,” he said. “However, I think what ultimately was the biggest motive for me to pivot my career was my involvement within organizations in the DMS and in ALPFA. These experiences molded me to have a deeper understanding of the issues affecting minorities groups. Therefore, I thought I could use my Tax experience to work within the system to help connect more Latinx, Black, and APIDA candidates to professional opportunities.”
As for advice for others, Ortiz recommends finding what fits best for you. “Make sure the career you are choosing matches your personality and your personal ambitions,” Ortiz said. “Money is not everything but as a first-gen student I know it's important. I managed to find a balance between a professional career while also sticking close to my values. Yet, it's harder to see this until you graduate and time will become your best friend in realizing that.” Ortiz also believes networking is extremely valuable. “Once you know your job then go talk to someone from that field - you'll be surprised how effective a simple "Hi my name is..." can be on a networking platform such as LinkedIn,” he added. “If you can, I would take it a step further and send an email and ask why he/she joined that field in the first place or set up a call. There's no better tool than communication in any career you decide to pursue. In the words of one of my mentors, Henry Musoma, "Your network is your net worth.”
Ortiz also warns and encourages students about the challenges of the competitive job market. “There will be tough times where the outcome may be a rejection,” he said. “However, don't be discouraged, see it as a learning opportunity and ask what you could do to become a better qualified candidate. The recruiter will more than likely remember you for doing that and in the future you will be known for asking that question and coming back as a better polished candidate.”
Ortiz’ future goals include expanding within the company and helping with diversity and inclusion efforts. “For now I want to grow within Talent Acquisition and become a better recruiter and colleague for my team,” he said. “I hope to eventually step into a National Senior / Director role working more closely in improving the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion aspect of the company from a strategic standpoint. Ortiz participates in Grant Thornton’s diversity groups. “My company has Business Resource Groups (BRG) for different groups such as Latinx, Asian, Black, Disability workers, and LGBT to name a few,” Ortiz said. “I have joined and been part of some meetings for the Latinx group as well as supported the other BRGs. In addition, I try to stay present in the moment and have daily/weekly calls with my team not related to work. I think this helps in understanding each other better and honestly has done wonders to our work dynamic. Working remotely has made this easier for me and I've had the pleasure to get closer to some colleagues outside of my region.”
Juan Ortiz’s time at A&M and his current job has emphasized the importance of diversity. We encourage you to participate in the “Power of Diversity”, a month-long Diversity & Inclusion career development series hosted in partnership with the department of multicultural services. Register for events and learn more at tx.ag/thepowerofdiversity .
To use the career resources Texas A&M provides for its current and former students, visit our website at careercenter.tamu.edu or make an appointment at tx.ag/ccappointment. Your future starts now!