Last week, we caught up with Laura – a University of Exeter graduate who secured a vacation scheme and graduate role with Deloitte through the exclusive Bright Network Deloitte Fast Track scheme. Laura told us all about the application process and shared her three top tips for other students.
Why did you choose this company and this role?
I chose Deloitte as, having done their Summer Vacation Scheme, I really liked their culture. The teams were all very welcoming, helpful and encouraging as I learnt about the work involved, and the managers were all very approachable.
I chose to apply for Consulting because the role is very varied in terms of the projects I will be put on and the skills that I will use for different tasks and develop throughout the Graduate Programme. There are also opportunities to travel with this role as Deloitte have offices in more than one hundred different locations, which is very exciting for me.
What were the different stages of the application process and how did you prepare?
My application process was divided into two parts, as I did the first stages for the vacation scheme, and then the final stage after that for the graduate role. The first stage was the online written application, which involved a CV followed by more specific questions. The second stage was online tests: mathematics and critical thinking. If you pass these tests you go on to the assessment centre and then, if this is successful, you have the final partner interview.
Most of my preparation went into the assessment centre and final interview, for which I spent a lot of time brainstorming the kind of questions I might be asked and thinking of examples to use for the different scenarios. I also recapped over what I had done during the vacation scheme, as I knew I was bound to be asked about it. I had to start the final interview with a presentation, so I also had to research and prepare what I was going to cover in that, as well as producing a hand out.
What was the toughest part of the application process and what was your favourite part?
The toughest part of the application process for me was the online tests, as there was a lot of pressure to perform well under timed conditions. My advice for this would be to practice the tests as many times as you can until you feel confident enough to take them.
My favourite part of the process was actually the final interview. I enjoy giving presentations and I felt confident in talking about my vacation scheme and in answering the other questions that the partner asked me because I had the reassurance of having passed the previous stages and I had received good feedback from my mentors on the vacation scheme.
What three top tips would you give your fellow Bright Network members?
- My first tip would be to really spend time researching the company you are applying to.
- Secondly, be confident. A company like Deloitte wants someone that they can send into client meetings and telephone conferences, and someone who can prepare and give presentations/reports. Confidence shows through the way you present yourself and your abilities.
- My last tip is to be yourself. Show a bit of your personality; employers want people to develop working relationships with clients and colleagues.
What's your lucky charm or pre-interview ritual?
I don’t have a lucky charm, but before I go in for an interview I always take three deep breaths to settle any nerves, and I tell myself “I can do this” – whatever works to give you that last-minute boost of confidence!
How did being a Bright Network member help you secure this role?
It was Bright Network that suggested that I should apply to the fast-track application for the Deloitte vacation scheme, as they had picked out my profile and said that I would be the right fit for Deloitte if I was interested. That phone call started the whole process that led to me having the graduate role today.
Being a Bright Network member, I was also invited to different events. One that I attended was the Women in Consulting Day. There were representatives from each of the ‘Big Four’ and other consulting firms, who gave an insight into their companies and tips on making your application stand out.