Employee Spotlight: AJ Goetz

March 10, 2023 in ,
By Zoe Nerantzis

For our latest employee spotlight, we’re excited to feature AJ Goetz, who is a Consultant here at FMP. Keep reading to learn more about AJ’s background, hobbies and what he likes most about FMP!

Tell us about your professional/educational background.

I have bounced around a bit. I first came to the area in 2009 as a college freshman. I was interested in political science and loved the idea of studying in DC. I ended up switching majors to economics and, though I enjoyed it, I did not have a clear sense of what I wanted to do when I graduated. So, I reached out to a nonprofit organization that I had interned and volunteered with while in school in the hopes of getting a summer job while I figured things out. I fell in love with the job and ended up working there for two years before moving to another nonprofit in the area. After two years there, I decided to go for my master’s and found a program that combined two of my academic interests—behavioral economics and public policy.

After graduate school, I worked for three years in corporate finance where I had the opportunity to build up my skills working with data and modeling. I had a curiosity about the world of finance, but I realized after some time that I did not have a passion for it. Wanting to be intentional with my next move, I decided to work with a career coach to help me find my next job, and with it, a clearer path forward for my career. That led me to an interest in pursuing government consulting, and, ultimately, to FMP.

What are your hobbies?

AJ and his teammates gathered to watch the 3v3 ball hockey championship game in Iowa.
This is my teammates and me at a 3v3 ball hockey tournament in Iowa. We lost earlier in the day but came back to watch the championship. Saturday night, under the lights… can’t beat the atmosphere.

If you’ve had a conversation with me over the past few years, there’s a very good chance I’ve mentioned “ball hockey”. I have become somewhat self-conscious of how often I bring it up, but I can’t deny how important it is to me. Hockey was my favorite sport growing up, but it had been about 6 years since I had played when a friend introduced me to a ball hockey league in 2015. At first, it was fun just to hold my hockey stick again—to run around, get lost in a game, and have a competitive outlet. Since then, it has become a much bigger part of my life than a once-a-week reason to break a sweat.

In the 8 years since I started playing, I’ve travelled all around the northeast, out to Iowa, and down to Texas to play in tournaments. It has certainly scratched a competitive itch for me. More than that, though, it has connected me with a community of people willing to take a kids’ game very seriously and given me memories and friendships that I’m very grateful for.

What brought you to FMP?

This is easy—the culture. You can never know for certain about the culture of a place from the outside looking in, but I was drawn to FMP because of the culture it advertises. It seemed like the company’s leadership was very thoughtful about the kind of work environment they wanted to promote. Through my interactions during the hiring process, I became more convinced that there was real substance to what FMP was advertising and, after one year at the company, I am happy to say that my hopeful assessment from the outside was right.

Describe FMP in 3 words.

AJ's family gathered around a table outdoors eating dinner.
This is my family and me eating dinner outside at the home I grew up in. It’s a great representation of Rochester, NY weather – nice enough that you want to be outside, but still chilly enough that you want to wear a sweatshirt.

Thoughtful – Building off the point about culture, it’s clear that real intention is put into internal decision-making.

Collaborative—I am fortunate to work with another FMPer on my project (Kristin Price) and have relied on our constant communication to perform and grow within my role on the team.

Supportive—I have a great sense of support, not only through the formal supervisory relationships on my project and at FMP, but also in the interactions with other FMPers—there is a very welcoming atmosphere at the company. 

Zoe Nerantzis joined FMP as a Consultant in May 2021 and works with the National Science Foundation team by supporting NSF’s learning and development branch. Zoe is from Rockville, Maryland and can generally be found reading fantasy novels, working out in her basement, or rooting for the Washington Football team.