STEM+Arts Career Profile – Tanneasha Gordon

Tanneasha Gordon
Cyber Risk Professional Deloitte & Touche

1.     Tell us about your role and what does it entail?

I am a leader in our Data Risk Group – within Deloitte’s Cyber Risk Practice. I primarily help Tech, Media and Telco (TMT) organizations navigate risk associated with their digital transformation or new regulatory obligations (e.g., General Data Protection Regulatory). This may include, but is not limited, to helping clients define their data strategy and new data driven business models to establishing new privacy operating model and product development practices to comply with GDPR and CCPA.  I am constantly balancing my client’s business drivers against their compliance obligations – in effort to minimize their compliance risk exposure while enabling their business objectives.

2.     What’s your background and how did it lead you to what you’re currently doing?

I had wanted go-to law school since I was 11. I went to a high school where you can actually major in law, I had a series of internships/externships with law firms even before I got to undergrad, and in college I minored in law and society. In my junior year of college, I started to get nervous about taking the LSATs. I talked to my advisor, who recommended getting my master’s in public administration, which would make me more competitive for top law schools and give me more time to take the LSATs.

So, I did. While there, half my courses were government and policy courses, and the other half was in the business school. I was doing really well in these classes—I was like, “This is really cool. I’m getting A-pluses in everything that I’m learning here, and I just love the way that you have to think and what you have to do.”

I was taking classes with people who worked at some of the best consulting firms in the world, so I got exposure to what it means to be a consultant. I started doing research on government consulting, found government consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton, and got a job there doing strategy and operations. I then moved to Deloitte in 2010 to focus on Cyber Risk – and been loving it since.

3.     What advice would you give our teens about, getting into your industry?

The foundational skills necessary to thrive in consulting is to:

  • Think critically and analytically
  • Communicate persuasively and effectively
  • Listen actively and deeply
  • Be curious
  • Embrace change

If you have these 5 skills and want to master them, consulting is for you!

4.     What is the most fun thing about your job?

I’m always learning. I am a sucker for knowledge, I get bored very easily, and I like a challenge. The nature of consulting is very conducive to those who get bored easily—from the partners down, everyone is continuously challenged.

In terms of my specific job, I have always been drawn to strategy—how do I make sure that this company or this client is successful? When you put in the risk component, though, you have to be more creative: What if this happens? What if that happens? What if their systems get hacked? What if this competitor enters their market? What if they don’t procure the right system? It makes me start thinking about the current state and simulating “what if?” scenarios and coming up with ways to protect clients from those situations. I love the fact that I still get to think about strategy, but then I get to be creative and help drive my clients and these awesome organizations in the direction of success.

I also love helping people and organizations.  I very much believe that part of my purpose as a human being is to help others. Whether it’s helping an organization get to a good compliance posture and out of regulatory crossfire or helping my client get promoted through peer mentorship – I can exercise my desire to help others.

5.     Did you have someone in your life growing up that provided you the support and inspiration?

At every stage of my overall development, there has been at least one person driving, shaping or fueling my inspiration, ambition or thirst for knowledge. Whether it was favorite aunt who taught me how to write compelling essays at 6; or my librarian in elementary school who exposed me to different literary genres and gave me free books if I worked the bookfairs; or my high school mentor who locked me in a conference at her law firm until I finished writing by hand all my essays for my Cornell application; or the countless silent sponsors I have had at Deloitte who line up leadership opportunities and admission into selective leadership programs so that I can mature my business acumen and leadership skills – I have always had someone.  I think as much as it takes a village to raise a child; it takes an amalgamation of mentors and sponsors to build a leader.  I am honored to have some of the best mentors and sponsors at Deloitte.

6.     Can you share something about yourself that isn’t well known?

I am very spiritually grounded.