Barowsky School of Business grad giving back from Deloitte

As a manager for Deloitte Tax LLP, Salvatore Crivello ’07 has traveled from coast to coast and around the world, yet he still comes back to his accounting roots at Dominican.

“The biggest difference Dominican made in my life is that it introduced me to my professors who will remain colleagues, mentors and friends for life,” says Crivello, a tax manager in the Passthroughs Group in Deloitte’s national office in Washington, D.C. “This is much to the credit of the size of the school and the business program, and has been hugely instrumental in shaping the professional I am and continue to become.”

Crivello selected his business major at Dominican after forging relationships with his business professors. To this day, Crivello has continued to maintain those relationships with three of them – Elizabeth Capener, Christopher Leeds and Denise Lucy.

 “I’ve had very intense interactions with each of them, and they’ve played a critical role in my personal and professional development, and it’s really made me who I am today,” Crivello said.

“By taking advantage of our small class sizes, research opportunities, and an internship experience, he ‘found’ accounting at Dominican,” says Capener, assistant professor of accounting in the Barowsky School of Business. “Sal was instrumental in lobbying for the addition of the accounting program that flourishes today. He was one of our first two graduates in accounting and he has been a wonderful representative of the University.”

Dominican’s focus on integrating a liberal arts education with professional study prepared Crivello for the workplace. In fact, he has committed to memory a quote from Dr. Lucy as testament to that. She is founder and executive director of Dominican's Institute for Leadership Studies.

“She said, `The business skills get you the job. The knowledge of the liberal arts gets you to the boardroom,’ ” Crivello says. “I can’t forget that.”

Though he had never before prepared a tax return, Crivello volunteered on a number of Saturdays in San Rafael’s Canal district to assist community members through Tax-Aid, a California-based nonprofit organization that prepares and files taxes for low-income taxpayers free of charge. That service opportunity allowed Crivello to meet Rob Massey, a current partner of Deloitte Tax LLP, who encouraged Crivello to apply for an internship with Deloitte. By his junior year at Dominican, Crivello had parlayed that internship opportunity into a full-time position as an associate with one of the “Big Four” accounting firms.

“So I started my senior year with an exit plan,” Crivello says. “It couldn’t have fallen into place better.”

Deloitte, which employs thousands of professionals and has an established presence in over 150 countries, has now hired more than a dozen Dominican graduates over the last eight years, much to the credit of the business program’s relationship with the Tax-Aid organization and now with Deloitte. Accounting students are now eligible to receive service learning credits for their taxation courses through volunteering with Tax-Aid—a testament to Dominican’s commitment to service of both its community and its students.

Crivello not only credits his volunteer work with Tax-Aid and his internship with Deloitte for shaping his career, but believes his role as a dormitory Resident Advisor has had a positive impact on his life as well.

“Taking care of someone’s kid while making the parents happy might be one of the hardest jobs there is,” Crivello says. “I’m in a managerial position now, and it’s much the same thing. I’m trying to help people grow. I’m trying to help people develop. I’m trying to make people – and myself – better than we were yesterday. I’m teaching people what I was taught to do. That’s how my Dominican experience as an RA has helped me today. I don’t think I would have been able to do that as well if I didn’t have the Resident Advisor experience.”

In his current position, Crivello specializes in the tax treatment of partnerships and limited liability companies. Much of his experience involves advising clients on transactions regarding joint ventures, domestic and international business restructurings, and preparation and review of tax compliance-driven financial models.

That keeps Crivello busy. However, when he is not traveling or working from India or Washington and he has the opportunity to return to the Bay Area, Crivello has returned to Dominican to speak on professional panels to students.

“Students are inspired by hearing from a recent graduate about his experiences at Dominican and his transition to a meaningful career,” Capener says.

“I’m paying it forward,” Crivello says. “It’s doable but incredibly difficult trying to accomplish anything of great achievement on your own without help, support, or even knowing where to start. It’s really the value Dominican brings to its small population that allows me to go back and interact with current students to show them how I did it. They can choose to follow or not, but at least it gives them ideas as to what opportunities are out there. That’s what was given to me, and it’s the least that I can give back.”

What Crivello can also give them is advice. It’s simple: MAPS out your career.

“Find a Mentor. At every point in your career, try to find someone from whom you would like to learn, who inspires you, and who is the best at what he or she does.  This is will challenge you and help you grow exponentially,” he says. “Find an Advocate.  You want to have someone in your corner when the going gets tough because inevitably, it will.  Be Proactive in getting what you want.  Own your career.  Specialize and focus on developing invaluable and unique expertise that lends to your credibility as a professional.”