Deloitte understand the importance of diversity and the need to empower and advance women. Through motivational initiatives, mentoring, regular informal meetings and workshops they aim to attract, develop and retain talented women. We caught up with Lauren, a Cyber - Risk Advisory Graduate, to find out more about her experiences at Deloitte so far.
Do you have a set routine to your day?
Not really. I’m working away from home at the client office this week. Typically, I’ll start work at 9am, catch-up with emails, plan my day, and check-in with colleagues and my manager first.
Today, I presented the delivery plan I’ve been working on with an associate director. We got some great feedback from the client. I then spent two hours in three meetings. One helping align our project with the client’s governance and risk team, another with the change and communications team developing a stakeholder engagement plan, and finally with a Senior Manager whose input I need for the part of the project I’m leading.
I spent the rest of the day working on resourcing estimates, a work breakdown structure for the initiative, and updating the deck based on feedback from this morning’s meeting.
I finished at 5:30 and met with some colleagues who joined the project at the same time as me, going to one of our favourite Italian restaurants for dinner.
Your five quickfire questions
My biggest challenge since joining Deloitte is… fitting all the charity and personal development opportunities into my work schedule.
I love working at Deloitte because… the people I work with are always encouraging me to pursue my training goals and to take on more responsibility
The three traits that define me are… personable, optimist and creative
My favourite place is… Rome
If I could learn to do anything it would be… to either speak Spanish fluently or get a qualification in Privacy or Cloud Security!
How does Deloitte compare to your other work experience and job applications?
I found the application process a lot less stressful than many other jobs I’ve applied for. There were only two interviews and the mobile game aspect I found novel and engaging.
Before I joined Deloitte, I did a placement year as an Events Manager at an arts centre, as it was a career I’d always wanted to try. Turns out it was not the career for me; the hours were crazy and it was very stressful.
I thought it would be similar here and I’d be working 12 plus hours a day. That’s simply not the case. Flexible working is something Deloitte takes seriously, and most line managers make sure you’re sustaining a good work-life balance. Sometimes you do need to work late, but this is very much the exception rather than the rule.
What skills are you surprised you’ve needed in your job?
I was surprised at the level of emotional intelligence needed for a job in consulting. There are a lot of misconceptions about what consultants do, especially in big companies like Deloitte. But being able to listen and empathise with others is a really important part of being able to do the job well, and it makes it a lot easier too.
The best leaders here have an insanely large knowledge base that is always expanding, something I envy! They are also skilled at imparting their knowledge to others in visual ways, which is key to communicating messages at any level.
Do you get many learning and development opportunities?
The learning curve in the first year is massive. I never thought I’d get the hang of fulfilling the (rightly) high expectations of the client and managers, but the support is there and those that want to succeed can, even if it seems an impossibly high mountain to start with.
I hope to develop specialist knowledge in the ‘people’ side of Cyber, be that Insider Risk, cultural training and awareness, or elsewhere. I’m starting to work with colleagues that specialise in these areas, so I can learn more.
I’m currently working on a big client with over 150 other Deloitte people. They have a large international presence, with opportunities to work in Denmark, the Netherlands, the US and more. I’ve gained some great experience and built a fantastic network – it’s a wonderful opportunity to learn.
What’s special about the people in your team?
My team is just me and an Associate Director. He may well be the smartest man in the universe. His knowledge of the cyber world and beyond is incredible, and he is always giving me opportunities to learn more and experience different core parts of the business, which is invaluable as a consultant…. I’ll stop there or he’ll read it and get a big head!
The approachability of the leadership is something I was unsure about when I joined. After nearly a year, I’ve realised they’re all just human too; they care about what you think and do what they can to help you be successful. Their commitment to delivering the best possible work for clients and junior staff members is wonderful.
What do you do? And what do you like most about it?
When I describe my job to friends I say “Remember the cyber attack that happen to X organisation? My job is to help make sure that either doesn’t happen again or, if it does, that they can respond and recover as quickly as possible”.
All four Cyber groups: Strategy, Secure, Vigilant and Resilient are growing fast. So, whatever industry or area you’re interested in, there’s always an opportunity to put your hand up to get involved.
I love the diversity of projects, people and places we work. I love the opportunities I am given to shape the career I want. I love the flexibility to work when I need to, and the focus on adding value, not just being present for the sake of it.
You’ll love it here if you enjoy travelling around the country, learning lots all at once, and want to have an interesting, increasingly relevant career. However, it’s not for you if you still use ‘password’ or any variant, as your password.
Is there a good work-life balance at Deloitte?
Yes. I work at the client office from Monday to Thursday. On Friday’s I often work from home or in the local office. If I need time off in the morning or afternoon, and give advance notice, I’m allowed to make up the hours when I can.
Aside from that, I am part of several support networks at the firm: GLOBE, Women’s Network, and Women in Cyber.
And there are far too many social things to list here… events, activities and parties galore.
What’s the best thing about your office?
Manchester is such a great place to live, with links across the country, lots of excellent bars and restaurants and things to do. The rent is still affordable (more expensive than Leeds or Liverpool, but cheaper than Bristol and London). I only moved here from Leeds a few weeks ago, so I’m still finding my feet, but know I’ve made a good choice of place to live.
I’m about to graduate. Why should I join Deloitte?
You’ll struggle to find a scheme that gives you the opportunities that Deloitte will give you – be that in professional training, work development, travel and to build a network – anywhere else.
Keen to follow in Lauren's footsteps? Find out more about Deloitte and discover live opportunities here.