GoTRG is made up of more than 2000 diverse teammates across the globe operating under one vision: to revolutionize returns. With experts in every field from software and engineering to ecommerce and supply chain, we want to highlight the skilled teammates who elevate this company’s mission every day. Each month we’ll hand over the metaphorical mic to a new goTRG teammate so you can better understand who we are and how we continually evolve as leaders in the industry.
Over to you Darnell…
My name is Darnell Thomas and I joined goTRG after 15 years of higher education, 2 degrees, and 3 careers. My professional journey was not a linear road to a predefined endpoint. But along the way, I’ve learned so much about what I don’t like and what I excel at. Today I work as an Accounting Manager for goTRG and I know I’m exactly where I want to be. Looking back on the journey, I am so grateful for the ride.
Like a lot of kids growing up, I always wanted to work with animals so I got trained and certified as a surgical technician. I loved the experience and continue helping animals to this day. But my plans changed as soon as I saw the movie Top Gun. I knew right then I wanted to learn how to fly.
So I packed 2 bags and a laptop, left Maryland, and moved to Daytona for flight school in 2005. For 5 years, I studied like crazy to become a pilot at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. But I was never just a full-time student. I supported myself as a part time veterinary tech as well. When I finally graduated in 2010, the airline industry was in a downturn and I struggled to find work. But I didn’t let the setbacks stop me on the path to becoming the professional I am today. So I pivoted.
I earned my pre-med certification and passed the MCAT exam. Then I enrolled in Florida International University’s Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine. My plan was to become an Anesthesiologist since I love helping people through allopathic medicine and surgeries. Sure my previous subjects were a little furrier, but I thought I’d take a shot at humans. However, after two years, I learned that working three jobs while attending medical school was not doable.
I needed to keep searching for the career that felt right. Luckily, my flight school in Daytona called around the same time and made an incredible proposal. Embry-Riddle offered me a full-ride scholarship for my MBAA due to the fact that I graduated Cum Laude in 2010. I was shocked, but I knew it was exactly what I needed to do. The program was virtual, which would allow me to stay in Miami. It would also allow me to receive two concentrations –Finance and Accounting–which I would later use to launch the career I love today.
Throughout my years of schooling to that point, a lot of people said to me you don’t know what you want. But the truth is, I refused to give up in the face of setbacks. I wouldn’t settle for a job I didn’t like. I knew I was smart, capable, and on the right track to discovering the perfect opportunity. I just needed to persevere.
So I studied like crazy to earn the MBAA. I also worked full-time at Miami Air where I volunteered in their accounting department part-time. That was my first taste of working with numbers, and I absolutely loved it. In 2015, I graduated and got my first break as a Financial Analyst at Silver Airways.
Still following this timeline?!
To make a long story a little less long, let’s skip to the part where I came across a Technical Financial Specialist position available at goTRG. I was working at the time, but I wanted a change. Luckily my skill-set was exactly what goTRG needed, and I went from candidate to full-time employee in 3 days.
When I first started, I have to admit I was overwhelmed. I was skilled at Excel and SQL, but I struggled to navigate the proprietary system that goTRG had in place. I also found a few bugs that I thought could be improved. So I would arrive at 6 AM and leave at 3 AM as many days as needed to get a grasp on the system.
I worked closely with our CEO, who never had an ego about the software he created. He wanted to make it the best possible version, and was always open to feedback. Over time, goTRG’s talented development team added more features that have truly transformed the accounting process.
I was also lucky to work closely with goTRG’s Chief Sales Officer, David, who validated my reconciliations before we paid customers. David took notice of how I structured reports and automated the process of creating them. He liked it so much that he trusted me to help set a new standard in reporting.
Thanks to the mentorship I received from our leadership, I’m now serving goTRG as Manager of the Accounting team. I couldn’t feel more at home or excited about my future at the company.
While goTRG has grown exponentially in the two years I’ve been here, our organization remains flat, which means our leaders still care about being accessible. They still regularly sit with me and often leave their doors (literally) open in case any of our teammates need their help. That means the world to me.
While it’s been a journey filled with many detours to get here, I don’t regret any of it. Every degree I’ve received, and every job I’ve worked has shown me who I am and who I’m not. Every role has led me to goTRG’s Finance and Accounting team. And perhaps one day, I’ll call myself CFO. 😉