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 Catherine, a Technology Consulting Graduate Analyst, to find out more about her experiences at Deloitte so far.
What are the highlights of a typical day?
The regular lunch and learn sessions, with food provided (usually pizza). One of our project team members will present on a topic they believe is interesting or useful for the project. The two best ones, so far, have been an industry 101 from a Deloitte colleague; and a client-hosted session, where they gave us a greater insight into the company and the work they’re doing.
Through Deloitte, I also volunteer to consult with a charity and we have a bi-weekly call to discuss how we’re progressing and what needs doing. There are 6 of us who then do the work. Once a month, we have a face-to-face meeting with the charity, to ensure we keep a personal relationship and allow for a more-free flowing meeting.
I usually go to the gym after work with another graduate and we do a fitness class. Then we meet up with a group of people for dinner, sometimes at a teammate’s apartment.
Your five quickfire questions
In 10 years I see myself as… still at Deloitte. I can see a clear progression here; they support your growth and development; they want you to succeed.
My favorite activity at work is… the travel! Currently, I’m based in Edinburgh, so I get to fly every week and stay in an amazing city.
I am passionate about… the charity work I do at Deloitte. I love doing the free consulting. It’s a great feeling knowing your work is directly helping people who need it; this is the most rewarding part of my job.
My favourite place is… Yosemite. I did a road trip around California in May 2018 and had the opportunity to trek up Nevada Falls, with unbelievable views!
My fun fact is… I was once British Champion for Judo.
How did you end up at Deloitte?
I didn’t know what I wanted to do after university, but knew I wanted a varied job and to have the opportunity to use my technical skills. Consulting stood out for me as a career and I chose Deloitte because of its global reputation and because of the emphasis of the graduate scheme on learning and development.
My biggest misconception was that I’d be working late every day and doing menial tasks in my first year. This couldn’t have been more wrong! I work 8.45-5.30 every day and my manager will always make sure I leave on time as they believe in a good work life balance. I have been given responsibility straight away and they are keen for me to push myself and take on as much as I feel comfortable with, and take ownership for the work I do.
The dreaded application process: how was it for you?
It was pretty swift and easy for me. I completed the initial online tests and had to download an app. The app consisted of 6 games to test your personality (persistence, risk taking etc.). Then I had a telephone interview and what’s called a ‘fast track’ day. I came in at 8.30, had a group case study and face-to-face interview, then an individual case study. At lunchtime they told us if we were to stay on or not. In the afternoon, I had my final interview and found out two weeks later I’d got the job.
I’d advise anyone to practice online tests, as the timing can be an issue; you need to know when to leave a question and move on. Also, ensure you get your personality across in the interview. The interviewer wants to feel confident you’ll fit in at Deloitte and that they’d be happy to work with you.
What new skills have you picked up so far?
Technical skills. Since joining Deloitte, my training has been tech heavy, since I wanted a more technical role. I have had automation training and training specific to Testing (my capability). My presentation skills have grown since being at Deloitte, as I had never had to give a presentation during my time at uni. During the first 6 weeks of training, we were given multiple opportunities to practise presentations, which is extremely useful once stating on project.
Do you get many learning and development opportunities?
I have a meeting every month or so with my coach, where we discuss how I’ve been getting along and what areas I would like to improve on. I’m currently studying towards my BCS diploma. Studying so far has been ok, as they’ve assigned time for us to take the exams and we get preparation days for the orals. Both my project team and managers support me during my exams and allow me to take the time off if I need it to study.
I travel every week too. My project is currently based in Edinburgh, Scotland. I fly up on a Monday morning and fly back Thursday evenings. I have learnt to balance my personal and work life and it also gives me a great opportunity to visit another city.
What’s special about the people in your team?
My team is made up of a different management grades and ages, but we all get along very well. It’s a great atmosphere to work in, as the office is a creative work space. Our team always come together to hit our targets, and we have internal project competitions between the teams, which can make it quite exciting. The winners are announced at the end of each week. We regularly have team and project socials too, which are always fun.
I couldn’t see myself working for any other company or within any other team. Everyone is very accepting and you’ll always find people you get along with. Working within a ‘digital’ environment, I also get to wear casual clothes every day, which makes me feel more myself.
What do you do? And what’s the most exciting thing about it?
To put it simply, I test whether mobile apps and websites work. There are great opportunities for me here, as digital testing is a growing area and there’s a clear progression path set out for graduates at Deloitte.
My last project was particularly exciting, as it was my first project that I got to be there for the ‘go live’. I was working for a challenger bank, where you can open a current account completely online, and I was involved in testing the account opening process. The project used some exciting, innovative pieces of technology, such as taking a selfie to verify yourself online.
Is there life at Deloitte beyond work?
Deloitte puts a lot of time and effort into ensuring there are good socials and celebrations of achievements. There are socials of all sizes and for everyone. We have graduate socials once a month, yearly balls for consulting, and quarterly events for technology consulting. For the Christmas ball last year, there was a battle of the bands, where teams of Deloitte musicians competed and raised money for charity.
I’ve also got involved with ‘BeyondMe’, which pairs Deloitte employees with charities for essentially free consulting. A group of us are helping a water sanitation charity that’s analyzing data for the placement of toilets in less developed countries.
My manager is very flexible with my working hours and location too. I alternate between working from home and the office on Fridays, depending on my workload.
What’s the best thing about your office?
My base office is London, Stonecutter Court, although I’ve never actually worked there, because I’m in Edinburgh from Monday to Thursday. On Fridays, I work in the Buckley Building. Both the surrounding areas are incredible, especially for lunch on a Friday. Every time I’m in the office, I’ll go to Leather Lane with other graduates to have a catch up. There are copious amounts of food stalls to pick from for lunch. The Buckley Building is great. It’s the digital office, so it has beanbags and table tennis, and a cool coffee machine!
What would you say to persuade a graduate to join Deloitte?
You would be stupid not to want to join Deloitte. The opportunities are endless and they push you to do all the training you need and want, which many companies do not offer.
Keen to follow in Catherine's footsteps? Find out more about Deloitte and discover live opportunities here.