Building a surprising career in technology.

Posted by Deloitte careers UK on 16/07/2014 at 5:08 PM in Careers, Experienced hire recruitment, Graduate recruitment, Industrial Placements, Recruitment, School Leavers, Talent, Technology Permalink Comments (0)

If you’d told me a year ago I’d be working in Technology, I probably wouldn’t have believed you. I studied Maths and Statistics at University and besides a little experience of statistical programming, I had no background in tech.  I have since come to realise that working in Technology means much more than programming.

It started when I began my final year statistics project at University. I realised that I was able to think creatively and harness data to create innovative solutions to various real-world issues. This small taster of the possibilities that exist within Technology led me to decide I wanted to enter into the world of Analytics, and embark on a career transforming data into insight.

I applied for the inaugural Deloitte Analytics Training Academy, a graduate recruitment scheme run in partnership with the Department of Employment and Learning and Belfast Metropolitan College. It offered the chance of a job at Deloitte’s Insight Studio in Belfast where analytics solutions are built for a wide range of clients. 

What struck me most about this particular programme was that it targeted graduates from any discipline. Indeed, together we made up an incredibly diverse bunch coming from a wide variety of backgrounds including English, IT, History, Finance and Fine Art to name a few. We all had in common that we were keen to make a go of it in the fast-paced, cutting-edge world of Technology.

Training was nine weeks of classroom based learning and a second phase of five weeks working onsite in the Belfast office, all designed to equip us with the skills and knowledge required for a career in Analytics.

The broad syllabus covered technical aspects such as SQL (a programming language designed for managing data) and fun exercises, such as finding innovative ways of displaying data to make it easily digestible and understandable for others - a crucial part of working in Analytics.

On completing the nine weeks it was clear that there are numerous areas in Technology that I could specialise in, and in that short space of time I had developed skills in many. I graduated from the first stage of the Academy, received a certificate from Minister Farry, the Minister for Employment, and was invited to join the second phase of the programme. We were asked to work on an exciting upcoming project and undertook a project simulation which tested everything that we had learned and more. The experience I gained was invaluable. Not only did I learn the basics of what elements make up a Technology project, but also how they  work together to be able to produce a successful outcome.

Following a Partner interview, 10 Academy participants were offered a job in the Insight Studio, including me. Having started work I can now see how the skills I  gained are invaluable and have already seen a number projects that I would love the opportunity to get involved with. This, however, is only the beginning and I know there will be a lot of learning and tough challenges ahead -especially given that the world of technology is ever changing.

I’ll keep you updated.

Sarah


"Halfway between university and a normal job."

Posted by Deloitte careers UK on 10/07/2014 at 12:55 PM in Careers, Graduate recruitment, Industrial Placements, Recruitment, School Leavers, Summer Vacation Scheme, Talent Permalink Comments (0)

Hi everyone - it's Grant back for part two. I’m a recent university graduate, in my first year working in the Transaction Services team in Leeds. In this blog I’ll let you know about my experience in the Deloitte grad scheme, and give you tips to help with your application. Feel free to post any questions in the comments section below.

Anyway, back to that quote - "halfway between university and a normal job."

Before joining Deloitte, that is how someone described the grad scheme to me – to be honest I didn’t really know what they meant. After my first two weeks at college studying towards the ACA qualification, I’m beginning to understand what they were getting at.

I’m in college with the approx. 40 other Deloitte Leeds grads (mainly from Tax and Audit). It’s early days but there seems to be a really good group of us. The college work isn’t easy, and there is a lot of content to get through, but it’s a lot of fun being in college with all the other grads: once a week all the guys play football together, and Thursday/Friday nights a load of us go out in Leeds.

Having looked at my schedule, I’ll be spending about 1/3 of my first year at Deloitte in college (on full pay). I’m looking forward to getting into the office and seeing what the job is like, but I’m looking forward even more to my next stint in college.


Becoming a professional…

Posted by Deloitte careers UK on 25/06/2014 at 5:36 PM in Careers, Corporate Finance, Graduate recruitment, Industrial Placements, Recruitment, Regions, School Leavers, Summer Vacation Scheme, Talent Permalink Comments (0)

Hello, I’m Grant and in 2012 I graduated from the University of Nottingham with a degree in Maths and Physics. After taking a gap year, in September 2013 I Joined Deloitte as a new grad in the Transaction Services team in Leeds.

Over the coming months I’ll be letting you know how I get on with the Deloitte grad scheme. Hopefully along the way I’ll be able to help you decide whether or not the graduate scheme is for you, and also give you a few tips to help with your application.

If anyone has any questions, post them in the comments section and either I or someone from the graduate recruitment team will try to get back to you.

And so to part one; Becoming a professional

All the 40 or so new Corporate Finance grads start out by attending the graduate development week. In a nutshell it was all about turning us from students and into respectable professionals.

During the daytime we had workshops and teambuilding exercises designed to help us: make a good first impression, improve our presentation skills, hold effective meetings, be an effective communicator etc. During the evenings there was a fair amount of networking (drinking).

The whole week was really fun - my highlight was a talk from TV Psychologist Judi James (those of you willing to admit watching Big Brother will know who she is). Having a physics background, I was pretty sceptical going in, but it was fascinating. It was full of tips and tricks to help you improve your body language and make a good impression on colleagues and clients.

The week has really developed my ‘soft skills’, I’ve made a load of new mates, and learnt to think about things in a whole new way.

And that was only the beginning. I'll be back soon with part two of the journey...


Ed’s Middle Eastern adventure part 2 - Getting hot under the collar

Posted by Deloitte careers UK on 16/06/2014 at 11:05 AM in Careers, Experienced hire recruitment, Graduate recruitment, Recruitment, Talent Permalink Comments (0)

As month one draws to a close, I sit in Dubai airport with a large gin and tonic, contemplating what has just passed.  It has included spitting camels, football injuries, sand in brogues, waterparks, new team members on boarding,  inappropriate team member gym wear and, of course, long hours for all of the project team.

The Deloitte project team has grown to 18 members, with a client team of 80+ involved in over 12 separate workstreams. Relationships have strengthened and the as-is analysis of the first 17 companies in wave one of the project has begun, aiming to baseline existing support function service levels within the companies. Once the base-lining is complete, we can use the data to design and build the new Global Business Services company to integrate staff, process and technology into.

In parallel to all of this there have been work streams looking at how to set up a new company: Working with branding and visioning agencies to define the name, logo and mission statement for the brand new entity - all quite sexy stuff.  This vision has then been used to develop key design principles for the future organisation which will drive the operating model and organisational design – the next phase of the project.

It has been an incredibly busy month in the office, but at weekends we have had some time to kick back a little, enjoying desert camping and Abu Dhabi’s largest waterpark. As well as this, ‘sports night’ has kicked off with an inter-Deloitte football match, a closely fought battle ending in a draw, a sprained ankle and a need for the magic sponge!

It has been another great month on the project and as temperature, workload and deliverables increase, it’s certainly going to be a very hard next few months. I will keep you updated as we go.

Ed


A career in real economics.

Posted by Deloitte careers UK on 23/05/2014 at 9:36 AM in Careers, Consulting, Experienced hire recruitment, Graduate recruitment, Industrial Placements, Recruitment, Summer Vacation Scheme, Talent Permalink Comments (0)

This time last year I didn't know that any economic consulting transpired at Deloitte. Economic consulting was meant for other niche firms, not a Big 4 firm. Fortunately I discovered that situated within the Corporate Finance service line is an economic consulting branch which I had the opportunity to get first-hand experience of.

 

I was studying Economics and Management at Oxford University and was looking for work experience in the summer preceding a graduate economics program. After searching around I happened on Deloitte's economic consulting branch that were offering a 3 month paid internship, with the aim of getting involved in three distinct projects that would offer both breadth and depth. Perfect!

 

However, a healthy dash of scepticism led me to believe that I would be trawling through data, cleaning up PowerPoints and proof reading reports! The real work would be left for the 'real' economists. The first project that I was on did initially involve extensive research, but after the brunt of this was done I found that my opinion was valued throughout the whole process, and what I was actually doing was applying economic theory from my course directly to real life situations.

 

The project I was working on was to calculate the impact of a large tax rate on a certain product in an African country. We applied economic concepts such as demand elasticity and Gini coefficients to calculate the number of products that would be purchased at different tax rates. We also had to determine the impact until 2020. This meant that we needed to factor in the expected changes in the distribution of wealth, earnings, population, household size and access to electricity.

 

This is only one of the projects that we were involved in. A recent report from the department was featured in the Financial Times. Commissioned by eBay, it was assessing the impact of online sales on sales within brick-and-mortar stores. Our clients were surprised that we could apply robust economic theory and statistical analysis to make such substantive recommendations. We have also worked with other high profile organisations such as Facebook or Twitter. As corny as our department slogan sounds, we are actually 'bringing economics into the boardroom'.

 

After working on a number of other projects, a series of unfortunate circumstances meant that I didn't end up getting enough funding for my masters. But, as the department had been growing so quickly, they took me on as a temporary associate before I started the Masters in the following year.

 

Since then I was able to experience a wider range of sectors in which the department has expertise: health, energy and telecommunications. 

 

In my opinion, the key reason for the department's success is the people. A culture has been developed where I could approach colleagues to ask questions and get guidance to work out a problem. Every employee is assigned a mentor, and I have found that the process of mentoring has meant that I have had feedback on all my major projects; highlighting what I have performed well in, and given me development opportunities. The department also has an emphasis on organic growth so that this culture is retained, and hard work is duly rewarded.

 

All in all I feel that I have experienced some of what the economics department has to offer: I've been able to apply economics to real instances, in variety of sectors; I've met friendly, approachable and very smart people; and I now know a plethora of Excel shortcuts!

 

Peter, Economic Consulting


Economics & Employment blog #2: Hiring is back on the agenda.

Posted by Deloitte careers UK on 1/05/2014 at 9:51 AM in Audit, Careers, Consulting, Corporate Finance, Experienced hire recruitment, Graduate recruitment, Industrial Placements, Recruitment, Regions, School Leavers, Summer Vacation Scheme, Talent, Tax, Technology Permalink Comments (0)

Hello again. In the latest in our series of blog posts inspired by insight from our Chief Economist Ian Stewart, we look at how business confidence is putting recruitment of talent back on the boardroom agenda.

The UK economy has delivered many positive surprises in recent months, with the latest GDP data showing that output was 3.1% higher in the first quarter of this year compared to a year earlier. This represents the fastest pace of growth since before the financial crisis, and has beaten most economists’ forecasts for growth.

These strong output numbers have reflected many of the results we have been seeing in our CFO Survey recently. Risk appetite among the Chief Financial Officers of the UK’s largest companies rose to a six-and-a-half year high in the first quarter and our index of economic and financial uncertainty has fallen by a third over the last year.

Encouragingly one of the biggest improvements we have seen recently can be found in CFOs expectations for the jobs market.

In the years following the financial crisis CFOs have been fairly pessimistic about the outlook for new jobs in the UK. Between the third quarter 2010 (when we first started asking CFOs about their views or hiring) and the end of 2011 an average net -16% of CFOs believed that UK corporates’ hiring would rise in the following 12 months. Over the same period only a fifth (+19%) of CFOs thought there would be a rise in hiring, compared to more than a third (+37%) who thought hiring would be scaled back.

Pessimism about hiring peaked at the end of 2011, when a net of -71% of CFOs thought hiring would fall in the following 12 months. Astonishingly, not one of the CFOs that we surveyed in Q4 2011 thought employment would rise in the following year.

The views of these CFOs – who typically represent around a third of the UK equity market – were borne out by the employment numbers that followed. Throughout 2012 employment growth fell steadily. Year-on-year growth in employment fell from 1.4% at the beginning of 2012 to a low of 0.1% at the start of 2013. A total of 206,000 workforce jobs had been lost through 2012.

The good news is that our CFOs expectations for hiring have changed in a big way in the last year. Optimism about hiring reached a peak in our latest survey, for Q1 2014. A net +81% of those surveyed believe UK corporates’ hiring will increase over the next year, with an average reading of +58% for this indicator over the last four quarters.

So far the recovery from the financial crisis has not been driven by businesses investing in hiring new staff, capital expenditure or discretionary spending. The fact that CFOs are now so bullish about expanding workforces in the next 12 months bodes well for the UK jobs market and for the sustainability of the recovery we are seeing in GDP.

You can keep up to date with the economy as it shifts by subscribing to the Monday Briefings at http://www.deloitte.co.uk/mondaybriefing

And of course, we'll have another in our series of Economics & Employment blogs to share shortly.


Think about your skills, not just your academics.

Posted by Deloitte careers UK on 11/04/2014 at 10:32 AM in Careers, Consulting, Graduate recruitment, Recruitment, Talent, Technology Permalink Comments (0)

After graduating from university, I was hit with a decision faced by all graduates, one to which only the lucky few know the answer; what’s my next step? I’d graduated in Mathematical Economics and Statistics and I wanted my first job to be relevant to my degree. I wanted a job that would give me the opportunity to use and develop the skills I’d invested in. The only problem was that I didn’t have a clear grasp of how my degree was directly applicable to a specific career.

When researching Deloitte I was attracted to the culture of Consulting and the firm itself. I decided to apply, and while completing the form was confronted with the list of competencies. Out of fear of selecting a competency that could mean the knowledge I’d acquired from my degree going redundant, I selected Actuarial & Pensions Services (APS).

In my first year in APS I worked on a number of small, technical actuarial engagements but spent most of my time on a larger, cross competency project. On this project, I worked with and got to know a team from Analytics within the Technology competency. I found the data architecture work they were doing a lot more interesting than the technical reviews I was used to, and compared to the smaller teams I’d worked in in APS, I enjoyed the culture of working in a larger team.

At the end of my first year I approached some of the contacts I’d made during my time working with Analytics, to discuss a possible move at the end of the 21 month Analyst Programme (the graduate scheme). They put me in contact with the head of Data Management (DM), who was very approachable and friendly. After an informal discussion, we were both keen on the move, and it became a simple HR process. I moved at the end of the 21 month programme, and joined DM as a Consultant.

Three months later I’m happily working on a Finance and IT transformation as part of another large, cross competency team. Taking a moment to reflect, the move has helped me realise two things.

The first is that I worried about the application of the academic knowledge I’d learned at university, and forgot about the other skills that university teaches you. Since moving to DM, my logical and analytical problem solving skills are being challenged daily.

The second is that the people at Deloitte care. APS, the competency who had hired and trained me, didn’t stand in the way when they saw I would be happier elsewhere. Technology (and DM in particular), the competency who hired me knowing I had little experience, were helpful, friendly and supportive of the move and made the whole process remarkably easy.

Paul.


‘You could be based anywhere from Swindon to Singapore’ they said.

Posted by Deloitte careers UK on 26/03/2014 at 1:42 PM Permalink Comments (0)

‘We need our consultants to be flexible and willing to travel.’ Singapore sounds nice I thought. I like the idea of international travel and I will build up enough airmiles to put Branson to shame.

So after nine months at the firm and a plethora of grand locations across our fine nation, including four in Swindon, two in Hemel Hempstead and three in Worthing, I find myself looking out of the window at an endless horizon of sky scrapers, tropical landscaping and 4x4s. I have arrived in Abu Dhabi, UAE.

I touched down four days ago and things have been non stop. Getting to know the area, the team, the local people, the etiquette and mannerisms of Middle Eastern business has been interesting to say the least.  After a day of orientation and dusting off the jet lag, we kicked off at client site to undertake the largest global business services (GBS) project in Deloitte’s history.

We are currently a project team of 11, from all corners of the consulting landscape. The client is a parent group that owns companies across multiple industries. Our Challenge?  To design and implement a cross functional global shared service centre. Quite the task over the five year programme.

As of next week, we branch out and kick off with all the Wave 1 companies to conduct a detailed ‘as-is’ assessment of their current operating models and support services organisations.

For now its lunch time and I’m off for a Chicken Shwarma, but I’ll try to keep you updated as the project – and Middle Eastern adventure - develops.

Ed, Consulting


Think you don’t want that project? Think again…

Posted by Deloitte careers UK on 17/03/2014 at 10:03 AM in Careers, Consulting, Experienced hire recruitment, Graduate recruitment, Recruitment, School Leavers, Talent Permalink Comments (1)

When you start with Deloitte you’re encouraged to quickly expand your network to find project opportunities. It’s always interesting to me, as this happens, how quickly individuals write-off industries or projects as something they don’t have an interest in.  In reality, I’ve found there’s something interesting and unique about every industry – and with the variety of projects we provide across the spectrum, I truly recommend people give something new a chance.

  1. First, focus on skills: I have no interest in cars (can barely tell the difference between them) but I was surprised how much I enjoyed a project with a global car producer where I had the right process experience to help them set-up a new business unit in the Middle East & Africa. You can switch experience between industries with more ease than you’d expect.
  2. Second, think long-term: Experience across multiple competencies is something that will only make you more well-rounded as you grow in your career.  Take interesting opportunities as they arise and you’ll quickly discover that trying something new is what keeps this career fun and challenging - previous experience is what provides future opportunity.

And most important…it’s all about people: When you’ve found great people to work with, you’ll realise the challenge and excitement comes from the team around you.  When you’ve found a great manager (or above) to work with – take a chance on the project itself, you’ll most likely be surprised how much you enjoy it.

Sarah, Manager, Supply Chain Consulting.


G'day from Sydney

Posted by Deloitte careers UK on 11/03/2014 at 2:05 PM in Talent Permalink Comments (0)

Deloitte and BUCS recently announced a new five year partnership, which will be focused on delivering to BUCS members and students in the key areas of leadership, disability in sport and women in sport.

The first event of the partnership was the BUCS Deloitte Leadership Academy that took place in London on the 21st of November 2013. The students met Northamptonshire cricketer Matt Spriegel who shared his thoughts on leadership and employability through playing sport. Matt has kindly written a short blog updating us on his experiences whilst out in Australia playing for St George cricket club. 

Matthew-Spriegel-006

 

Hi everyone, I trust you this finds you well. After I met you all down in London last November, Liz from Deloitte asked if l would be able to write a blog to let you know how I am doing out in Australia. Having seen the weather back home, part of me is tempted to really rub it in and tell you that all l have done is spend 3 months lapping up the sunshine on Bondi but I'm not sure you'll enjoy that too much!

Within 48 hours of arriving in Sydney I had already played two games of cricket for two different teams, I had no idea what time it was, no idea who I was playing for and least of all remembered anybody's name! The club I am playing for is called St George which has a huge tradition and history, for those cricket fans amongst you Sir Don Bradman played there (the best batsman of all time).

Having spent quite a few winters abroad, playing for different teams, it's vital that you make a big effort trying to get to know as many people at the club as possible. As a general rule Australian clubs aren't a massive fan of playing overseas players so you need to try and get off to a good start and get on with everybody. There are obviously various ways of doing this, but they seem to prefer a few beers after a days play to break down a few barriers!

Australians in general aren't the most reserved of characters, so with the demolition of England over the winter it's not been the easiest of places for a "Pom" to be. I have copped my fair share of stick both on and off the field since I have been here!

The main reason I came out here was to work with a coach who I had heard very good things about back in England. So I pay to have a couple of sessions with him a week, which whilst expensive have been totally worth the money. A lot of players aren't massive fans of going away and paying for coaching, but I view it as investing in my game. If it's going to make me a better player for when l come home surely it's worth the investment. Very similar to doing a weeks work experience or internship, you may not get paid for doing it but the other skills you pick up throughout that time will be invaluable for the rest of your career.

Northamptonshire's strength and conditioning coach has an online portal and gives me a monthly program which I fill out online after every session. I have 6 of them to do a week, plus my individual cricket sessions, 2 club net sessions and games on a Saturday. I often turn up to Saturdays tired from my weeks training, which often doesn't go down to well with the captain, but I have come out here to be fitter, stronger and better than I was when I left. So on this occasion I have to be a bit selfish. Having said that though, I haven't lost a game yet so must be doing something right!

Australia is a fantastic place to come out and train, I like the fact l am away from coaches and people telling you what to do back home. It gives me a lot more responsibility to sort all my training out myself, organise my time and learn a lot more about myself.

When I haven't been training during the week, I have been trying to do some work on an online course. This is easier said than done when you look outside and it's beautiful blue sky and the beach is calling! I have got the exam next Friday so I should probably get round to doing some work at some stage!

The cricket season is so full on, and completely consuming, it's nice to be able to try and get away from it and concentrate on something different. You can only train for so many hours a day before it becomes detrimental, so the fact that the lifestyle is so good over here makes it a perfect way to prepare for the season.

I hope this has given you some insight into how I prepare for a county season, I'm writing this to you on the beach! (I wish, I have got 2 fitness sessions and a batting session today)

Matt