We caught up with our very own Jess Holden on what work life is like as a Graduate in Audit & Assurance and the experiences she has been through so far. Jess graduated from Durham University with combined Honours in Arts (History and Economics) in June 2016. She joined Deloitte in September 2016 and is currently based in our Edinburgh office. Curious about what she has to say? Check out her accounts below:
What does your day-to-day role involve?
I work as part of one of the larger teams in Deloitte’s Edinburgh office, auditing an investment management company. Day-to-day I am out at the client site, with the rest of the team. I started with no prior audit experience, but everyone was willing to find time to explain things, and answer any questions. We have regular catch-ups within the team to check on everyone’s process, which made me feel included from day one. Importantly, Deloitte’s graduates interact with clients right from the start of the programme. It’s great to know that work you’re doing is actually contributing to the wider audit.
Did you feel ready to be working with clients on real projects so soon after joining?
It may sound daunting, but everyone is supportive and will make sure you’re prepared to go to the client with any issues. The good thing about working on such a big team is that you are always learning, and can pick up new skills as you go along. So far I've also spent 50% of my time at ICAS [the Instituted of Chartered Accountants of Scotland] studying for my chartered accountancy exams. Deloitte is really supportive of this, and I get to pretend I’m still a student for a little while longer!
Why did you choose to apply to Deloitte?
I applied to Deloitte at the start of my final year at Durham University, as the challenge of working for a company at the top of its game particularly appealed. Then the more research I did about the firm throughout the application process, the more I found it to be a friendly and approachable place that really cared about its people. I felt working for Deloitte would not only be the initial challenge I hoped for, but would also help me develop my skills and forge a successful career long-term.
How did you find Deloitte’s application process?
The application process was fast and fairly straightforward in comparison to others I’ve experienced. I found a lot of guidance on the Deloitte website, which helped me answer the initial application questions. Once I’d got through the first few rounds of online tests, the process was all with real people at the Edinburgh Office.
What were your interviews like?
The manager at my interview was friendly and put me at ease straight away. It felt they really wanted to get to know me, and answered all my questions about the firm and the role. For the Partner interview I had to prepare a PowerPoint presentation on audit rotation. At first this seemed a little daunting. But again, in reality, I found the Partner to be friendly and approachable and interested in the points I put forward. The rest of the interview was relaxed and chatty, which gave me a good impression of the welcoming nature of the firm. Importantly, I heard back after each round the very next day. And, when I was eventually offered a place on the Deloitte graduate programme, the manager who conducted my first round interview reached out to congratulate me personally. It was a small but nice touch that gave me a really good feeling about joining Deloitte.
What advice would you give to graduates considering applying to Deloitte?
Make sure you do your research, but no-one’s expecting you to know everything about Deloitte or the role. The important thing is just to be yourself, and show your enthusiasm for the role you’re applying for. And don’t be afraid to ask your interviewer questions.
What do you like most about working at Deloitte?
The people are what makes it. Both as a year group of grads, and within my team, the people have been welcoming, approachable and friendly. Like any job, we sometimes have to work long hours, but the team spirit is always high. Working for a large company such as Deloitte also has the social benefits too. Whether it is team drinks, an office-wide 10k or even touch rugby, there’s always something going on.
What’s your next step?
Once I’ve qualified, I plan to take advantage of the global nature of Deloitte; hopefully taking part in the secondment programme that offers the chance to work in other offices across the world. After that I am unsure, but I know that whatever happens there are so many different opportunities available within Deloitte itself. I am also confident that the skills I have developed so far, and will continue to develop throughout my time at Deloitte, will provide numerous opportunities to further my career in the future.
Up for a challenge and a career in Audit & Assurance? Here's your opportunity to find out more about joining us and work with friendly and approachable people from senior management to graduates.