Deloitte team members from left to right: Ella Kemp (BrightStart), Andy Gardner (Summer Vacation Scheme Graduate), Katie Barrows (Scholar), Zoë Dexter (BrightStart), Victoria Elkins (BrightStart), Claire Siviter (Talent Director – South Region) and Hugh Knudsen (Scholar).
Zoë is a BrightStart Apprentice working in our Reading office. Zoë identified that when giving careers advice, her school placed a lot of emphasis on traditional university routes and lacked awareness of alternative pathways. To try and remedy this, she proposed the idea of an essay competition, designed to challenge local students to consider a wider range of school leaver opportunities. A small team, led by two of our BrightStart apprentices, pulled together to make this happen. We caught up with Zoë to find out more...
What inspired you to set up the school essay competition?
I went to a local state school and whilst the school had a wealth of experience in helping students to prepare university applications, it wasn’t aware of some of the alternative routes that were out there. I spoke to some of my fellow BrightStarts, and it seemed that many had shared the same experience! The aim of the competition was to engage with both schools and students to promote awareness of the opportunities that Deloitte offers to school leavers. We also wanted to inspire them to pursue careers in business.
What’s the best part of your job?
I’ve been at Deloitte for two years now, and I love the variety I get as part of my role. I’ve been given real responsibility early on – which is a challenge I enjoy! The essay competition is a perfect example of this: I suggested the idea to the senior management team and not only did they listen, but a few months on and we’ve made it into a reality. It’s amazing that here at Deloitte we’re given these opportunities, even right at the very start of our careers. No one is too junior to contribute and make an impact.
Is Deloitte different to what you expected?
It’s a very friendly place! I’ve met some great people here. Having come straight from school and not having had any experience of working in a corporate environment, I really didn’t know what to expect. I think what surprised me most about Deloitte is how friendly and supportive all the people here are.
Do you have any advice for students considering an apprenticeship?
My advice would be to research all the options available to you carefully – both university and other routes – then work out what’s best for you and go for it wholeheartedly. The best way of getting a feel for whether something is right for you is to attend as many of the events on offer as possible – Deloitte host a range of drop in sessions, careers fairs and insight days. Speak to the people currently in the role to get a feel for what’s involved.
What impact do you think the competition has had?
We received a phenomenal response from the local community, and once the competition had closed we hosted an awards event where the winners were announced. A few of the senior management team have said that it was one of the most successful and engaging events they’ve attended at Deloitte! The students had the opportunity to hear real-life stories from some of our apprentices, graduates and partners, and did a great job at quizzing them on their careers to date! We were able to engage with them and tell them all about our school leaver opportunities and why Deloitte is such a great place to work. Our three overall winners each received a cash prize and the opportunity to complete a work shadowing placement in our Reading office.
What are your future career plans?
When I first started out on the BrightStart scheme, I wasn’t sure what my future career ambitions were and never imagined I’d be able to work for a company like Deloitte. The BrightStart scheme has inspired me and made me realise that I can do anything I want. I already work with a broad range of businesses and clients, and now I’m two years in I’m taking on more complex work. I couldn’t say exactly where I want to be in five years’ time, but I feel confident I’m growing and learning all the time.
Over the coming weeks we’ll be hearing more about the school essay competition and having conversations with some of the students who took part. To find out more about the big impact it’s had in the local community stay tuned...
You can find out more about our BrightStart higher apprenticeship here.
Paying homage to our fondness of brain-teasers, every month we post a new challenge created by the Forensic Technology team, focusing on logical, analytical and coding problems.
For this month’s challenge you need to put your spy hat on and decrypt a message.
The first step is to revisit the Challenge #1 blog. Shameless, we know.
Using the answer to the number of prime numbers that have digits that sum to 13, can you find the key word in the post? (Clue: we have decided that two or more words that are hyphenated should only be counted as one).
Found it? Great! The encrypted message is below, with a handy matrix that can be used to crack the code (and give you inspiration)! You will need to use the key word to decipher the original meaning.
We hope you ‘Blaise’ through the rest of this challenge!
Hint: Capitals are important and should be preserved.
Once you have the decrypted message, the dots and dashes can help you reach the final goal.
If you crack the code, then post the first letter of each word in the title of what you find in the comments below.
We’ll be posting the solution next month, along with Challenge #3.
If you are someone who enjoys problem-solving, logical thinking and technology, check out our Forensic Technology graduate programme roles to see if they are the right fit.
On Saturday 16 July the winning four teams from the Impact Awards were given an opportunity to see-off the ParalympicsGB athletes in style at the Deloitte sponsored Team Launch. The Impact Awards celebrates employees that make an impact that matters—for clients, for our people, and for society.
Attended by almost all of the 300+ athletes selected to compete in Rio, the event was a chance to share the final stage of the athlete’s journey before they enter their pre-Games preparation camps.
Lead partner for the firm’s British Paralympics Association (BPA) relationship, Simon Wakefield, shared the stage with Paralympian Ade Adepitan, The Last Leg’s Adam Hills and the BPA’s Chef de Mission for Rio 2016, Penny Briscoe, to highlight’s Deloitte’s impact in helping each athlete be ‘best prepared’ for the Games.
Jeremy Thomas, from our Leeds’ office summed the event up by saying: “Humbling, inspiring, and motivating – furthering my passion for what we do as a firm and the impact we can make. I will be following the Paralympics with a keen eye!”
Find out more about making an impact that matters in our 2015 Global Impact Report.
Already solved the #4TechChallenge for this month? Here’s a bonus question to keep your mind in challenge mode:
Why do no prime numbers have digits that sum to 15?
Post your methods and solutions in the comments below and look out for the answers next month.
If you are someone who enjoys problem-solving, logical thinking and technology, check out our Forensic Technology graduate page or professional roles to see if they are the right fit.
What's the answer?
For those of you that had a crack at the bonus question our justification is here:
If you've enjoyed this quiz, have a look at this Forensic Technology Challenge and keep your eye on the blog for more quizzes to come.
In Forensic Technology complex problem solving is a large part of our day-to-day work.
Paying homage to our fondness of brain-teasers, we’re launching a monthly Forensic Technology Challenge - a new series of logical, analytical and coding problems that put into practice the STEM, finance and technology skills essential to our work.
Every month we’ll post a new challenge created by the Forensic Technology team, focusing on one of these skills. You can solve these problems in any way that you want. We’re looking forward to seeing the different ways that you approach them!
Without further ado, here is the first challenge straight from the Forensic Technology hive-mind:
Of the first 2016 prime numbers, which ones have digits that sum to 13?
Our solution involved creating a Python script to do all of the heavy-lifting, but this is only one tactic. What was your method?
We’ll be posting how we solved this next month, along with Challenge #2. Don't forget to look out for our bonus question next week!
If you are someone who enjoys problem-solving, logical thinking and technology, check out our Forensic Technology graduate professional roles to see if they are the right fit.
What's the answer?
Here’s what you’ve been waiting for, the solutions to the first #4TechChallenge posted last month as well as the answer to the bonus question.
So without further ado here is the Python script we used to generate the list of primes and subsequently find how many had their digits sum to a specified total. (Note we used Python 3.5.1.)
Of the first 2016 prime numbers, 141 have their digits sum to 13. Here is the complete list of them:
If you've enjoyed this quiz, have a go at the Bonus Question and keep an eye on the blog for more quizzes to come.
Kiran from the Electronic Discovery team in Forensic Technology shares her experience below.
I work in Forensic Technology and have been part of the Electronic Discovery team for 3 years, for the past year and a half I have been working on a project based in Lugano, Switzerland. The project has been set up such that a team of us rotate and we each spend 2 weeks at a time on site in Lugano. This means that I spend 2 weeks overseas and then I return to London for a month before travelling again.
We have a few projects in Forensic Technology that are based overseas but the great thing about this project is you can maintain a presence in London whilst also getting to travel. Being so close to Italy the project attracts colleagues from the Italian firm as well as the Swiss firm so it is a great opportunity to work with new colleagues and learn about the way they work.
Lugano is a city in southern Switzerland in the Italian speaking region. It is the 9th largest city in Switzerland that attracts many visitors including numerous celebrities! It is the third financial centre of Switzerland with trade, tourism and finance being the main strengths of the local economy.
Lugano is a beautiful place its Italian influence is immediately noticeable so after a day in the office there is plenty of choice for dinner, the hardest part is deciding where to go! From pasta to pizza the food is cooked fresh and is authentically Italian, I have yet to be disappointed.
The other great part about working in Lugano has to be the weather. The summers are long and very warm which often makes a welcome change to the great British weather. I really enjoy being able to walk along the lake to work in the mornings and find it is also a great way to unwind after a long day.
During my time on the project I have been able to see Lugano during all seasons and can say it is just as beautiful during the winter with the snow on the mountains, you just have to keep an eye on the flights!
Another bonus of working on an overseas project is the opportunity for travel. This project in particular offers a great alternative flight policy so if you don’t fancy flying back to London you can exchange it for travel to another European destination. Milan is on the doorstep only a short train journey away and has made for some wonderful weekend breaks.
Here at Deloitte we have a really active sailing club and each year in April, we hold our annual spring regatta. We charter 20 boats for the weekend and encourage both experienced sailors and novices to get out onto the water. On each boat we have an experienced skipper plus two experienced crew members who act as hosts. There’s room for eight people on each boat and the rest of the places are open to people with little or no experience of sailing. I’ve been one of the experienced crew members for several years now and always look forward to meeting new people and sharing my passion for sailing with them.
Most years we get lucky with clear blue skies and sunshine but this year the weather on the Saturday was a bit grey and cloudy. It did mean that there was a nice steady wind though it was rather chilly as it was coming from the north – hence the need to be wrapped up in full wet weather gear!
We spent Saturday morning teaching the newbies the basics of sailing and putting these new skills into practice. In the afternoon we had a treasure hunt so were given a chart showing all the buoys between the south coast and the Isle of Wight. The buoys had different points values and we had to plot and sail a course with the aim of collecting as many points as we could in the three hour time limit. We had a fun afternoon with plenty for everyone to do - whether it be navigation, helming, trimming the sails or simply sitting on the rail (a really important job when you are sailing upwind in heavy weather!).
In the evening, all 160 of us went for a group dinner in the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club and most of us then followed this with a few beers in a local hostelry. The next morning, Poppy, our social secretary bravely volunteered to be hoisted up one of the masts to get this great shot of us in Cowes Marina.
On Sunday the sun came out and they organised a couple of short races for us – some of which involved downwind meaning everyone got the chance to put their spinnakers up. Over the years the sailing club has invested in some Deloitte branded spinnakers and it’s a great sight to see one of these sailing majestically along with Cowes and the Isle of Wight in the background.
For those that get the sailing bug, there are other opportunities throughout the year, one of which is Cowes week. We usually have a few boats out and invite our clients to join us which is great for building relationships and giving them the chance to experience some full on racing in the oldest and largest annual sailing regatta in the world. Cowes is in August so we enjoy the chance to put on our shorts rather than our wet weather gear!
This is just a small blog to give you as potential apprentices an insight as to what your typical week could be like!
I wake up every morning at 6am. I feed and walk my dog then feed my two tortoises. I shower and get dressed, formal shirt and tie for Mondays through Thursdays then Smart Casual for Friday. I make sure that I have my bag and packed lunch then leave for the train station. My train is a 40 minute journey so I always make sure that I have a good pair of headphones to listen to some feel good music while on the train. I usually get to work around 07:50am but I start at 8:30am. Usually people start at 9am but I have been granted this early start to finish earlier so I have more time at home. This also gives me the opportunity to set up and make myself a coffee before I start my day.
During working day, I am the first point of communication for my team. I have the responsibility of ensuring that members of the firm fulfil their compliance responsibilities. It can get busy at times but I prefer being proactive and productive with my time. I answer a variety of queries that come my way and after time you get used to responding to questions. I love working in an office environment, you sit with your team so if you need help you can just ask, also you can go grab a coffee and relax while you work at your own pace!
All apprentices have to attend college once a month for classroom training. This is where we go over several modules to make sure we are ready for our exams. I like these days because the other apprentices work in other offices so we can share our experiences and have a general catch up.
Every Friday is our study day; a chance for us to look over our college work, organise coursework and revise for exams! I love having it on a Friday because we get to dress informally and relax while studying in a meeting room. It is also nice to have the chance to talk to the other apprentices and have a catch up on how they are finding the apprenticeship.
Apart from working and studying I have a social life outside of work. Monday was a particularly special day for me. I received a Two Stone weight loss award from my slimming world group and I was awarded Greatest Loser of 2016! This has been 9 weeks of progress from the meal we had in the college with the other apprentices and mentors behind the scheme. I feel so proud of myself and am already feeling the health benefits of losing over 10 % of my body fat.
Last weekend, I travelled to Southampton to play an away rugby game for the Cardiff Lions Rugby Team against the Wessex Wyverns. I started back with the Lions in January, at first I was nervous as I have never played rugby before but the respect this team have for each other and the supportive attitude of the player is both honourable and admirable. This was my first of many matches I intend to be playing for this team, and, it was nice to settle down, getting to know the teams after our match with a buffet and beverages.
Overall, this apprenticeship scheme has been an amazing experience for me. It has given me a whole new perspective into the working world. This isn’t just an apprenticeship, with Deloitte this is an opportunity to have an amazing career, make strong relationships both business and friends, and, to gain valuable work experience from one of the leading global financial industries. Hopefully I will be accepted for the Bright Start Scheme which will allow me to become a qualified accountant and enhance my future experience with Deloitte.
The Spark Event was a new and exciting experience for everyone within Financial Advisory. I was in the first wave of the event, there were six waves in total, which included 300 colleagues across the whole of Financial Advisory. It was nice to get out of the city for a few days too. The location of the event was near Swindon and was next to a large lake which was beautiful during sunset!
We were given an iPad each to use during our time at the event which included our itineraries as well as lots of documents and information for the case study that we were to complete during the two days. The teams were arranged so there was at least one person from each service line within FA and a partner to lead us through the case study. This meant that we had a chance to network across the service lines and meet some really nice people!
During the two day event we were involved in several sessions covering how we react to social situations, how body language can affect our feelings in these situations and how to work with colleagues with different personality traits.
After the first day of the event we had a fun-filled evening ahead with dinner and games including Foosball, Dance mats, Black Jack, Scalextrics and a Ping Pong table. There was also a movie playing with unlimited popcorn! We had the evening to relax and have some (competitive) fun with our colleagues!
Throughout the event our teams met up several times for an hour or so to work together on the case study. The case study resulted in a 5 minute pitch to several of the partners within FA in which we had to showcase everything we had learnt during the event. I was part of our presenting team along with two others and we covered all of the services we could provide the client across FA.
The finale of the event included the top three teams as decided across all of the partners presenting their pitches to everyone at the event with the winning team receiving a prize of lots of coffee vouchers! I was really proud to see Mitesh, one of our FT team, in the final three and on the stage presenting to the panel of partners.
Overall it was a really enjoyable two days with lots of opportunities to meet colleagues across FA, learn how each of us work and how to work together and develop our pitching skills in a fun and friendly environment!
Zoyah Ahmed from Forensic Technology who attended Target Jobs IT’s Not Just For the Boys event shares her recollection of the event below.
“Last month I represented Deloitte’s Forensic Technology team at Target Jobs IT’s Not Just For the Boys Event. The purpose of this event was to give female undergraduate students the opportunity to find out more about careers available to them within the technology industry.
I took part in the ‘Insider Insights’ and ‘Networking’ sessions, in which I spoke to numerous students about my day to day role within Forensic Technology and also gave them some advice on what technology recruiters are looking for. I enjoyed these sessions as it wasn’t too long ago that I was in the same position myself, and I hope that my recent experiences and advice will help those who I spoke to.
I also had the opportunity to attend the ‘Panel Discussion’ session in which the students had the chance to ask senior female leaders within technology questions about their careers and how they achieved their success. The leaders also gave advice on how to be successful women in technology and reach leadership positions within this field.
I attended this event to give advice to young women on how to enter the technology sector but I also learnt a lot through this event. One of the key points I took away was that as women, we tend to keep quiet about our successes, but if we have done something which deserves recognition, we should show it off it. This means when it comes to promotions, our successes are already well-known.
The fact that I learnt so much shows the importance of attending these events: I found this event invaluable, and I am already a woman in technology. Had I attended something similar when I was a graduate it would have given me a much better understanding of the technology industry. This in turn would have helped me improve my graduate job applications. I would highly recommend all women interested in this sector to attend events like these because they give attendees a good opportunity to learn more about technology careers and how to succeed within them.
Register now for our Forensic Technology Insight Day on 22nd March. Further details can be found at: http://www2.deloitte.com/uk/en/pages/careers/articles/deloitte-insight-days.html"