BTU #83 - Chris Dattaro: Navy to Goldman Sachs to Operations at Lyft


“Always do the best job that you can possibly do, even if it’s not something that you want to do. And always keep relationships open."– Chris Dattaro

Chris Dattaro is an Operations Manager at Lyft in Washington DC. He started out at the Naval Academy, after which he served as a Surface Warfare Officer for five years. After departing the Navy, Chris participated in the Goldman Sachs 3 month Veterans Integration Program, before joining FBR, an investment bank, in an Institutional Equity Sales role. He briefly worked at Trustify as the Director of Recruiting before joining Lyft. Chris is married to an active duty Lieutenant and HR Officer and he is also active in his spare time coaching veterans about their career transition to the civilian workforce and working with veteran entrepreneurs.

The top three reasons to listen to this episode are:

  1. Goldman Sachs Veterans Integration Program - Chris started his civilian career in this 3 month program, and provides a great overview of why veterans should consider applying
  2. Startups - Chris talks about using angel list and other tools to find the right startup for you
  3. Career Advice - Chris has spoken with hundreds of veterans, and I really, really liked the advice he gives throughout our conversation. Things like recognizing how priorities change throughout your life, so there is no single dream job - it changes over time. And how many times our military experiences is a series of sprints from one 2-3 year assignment to another, which is in contrast to the marathon of a civilian career. He’s got some incredible advice any vet would benefit from hearing.

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Show Notes

  • 1:51 - Chris’ background
  • 2:37 - How Chris’ decided to leave the military
  • 3:25 - Chris’ first job search and what drew him to the Goldman Sachs Veterans Integration Program
  • 4:36 - An overview of the Goldman Sachs Veterans Integration Program and advice for veterans considering applying to it
  • 6:18 - The types of work Chris did as part of the Goldman Sachs Veterans Integration Program
  • 7:06 - What lead Chris to FBR, and overview of FBR
  • 9:08 - Chris’ first role in Institutional Equity Sales
  • 13:28 - What brought Chris to Trustify and what this experience was like
  • 15:18 - How Chris found the opportunity at Lyft
  • 19:12 - What it’s like to be part of an extremely high growth company, and an overview of the Operations Manager role
  • 21:25 - Chris’ advice for veterans seeking to work at Lyft or a technology company similar to Lyft
  • 23:35 - Some common mistakes that veterans make, based on Chris’ work helping hundreds of veterans in their career development
  • 33:35 - Resources that Chris would recommend to other veterans
  • 36:00 - Habits that Chris needed to break in order to be successful in his civilian career
  • 40:00 - A failure that Chris faced in his civilian career and how he learned from it
  • 47:37 - Final words of wisdom