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The Forensic Technology practice has grown dramatically over the last 10 years and today is a team of 84 professionals. We are embarking on a new and exciting expansion by opening an office in St Albans and we are looking for ambitious and driven individuals to help grow the team to 50 in this location. We have invested in a spacious state of the art laboratory for analysing and processing data. From a work perspective there will be no distinction between the office in London with a variety of opportunities within the UK and abroad.
The picture below is from our office window and shows just how close the train station is. There is also free parking on site so several of our London based team members are considering swapping their rail season ticket for a set of car keys!
Callum from the Deloitte St Albans office describes what it was like working outside of the City.
“There is a more relaxed, friendly and personal working environment. The St Albans social committee plan all sorts of fun events, the Summer and Christmas Balls are the main ones. Then there’s the new joiner social event in the local pubs and there is an end of busy season social at the end of February which is usually a bar night in London, curry night, karaoke. Then they always try and switch things up last year they did cheese and wine night and a trip to London Zoo, this year there is talks of arranging everyone to go to a football match.”
Find more information about who we are, what we do and our Graduate Recruitment opportunities on the Forensic Technology website.
“I am currently a part of the Forensic Technology graduate training scheme, which I started in 2014, after completing a Bachelor’s degree in Physics at Imperial College London.”
“The scheme comprises of one year in Forensic Analytics and one year in Electronic Discovery, which I am under taking at present. I am going to focus on one part of the E-discovery discipline: data collection. Last month I travelled to Copenhagen with the team below to participate in my first ever data collection. I learned how to dismantle laptops to remove the hard drives and set up the equipment needed in order to image them.”
Even though this picture looks a little intimidating, the process is quite simple once you understand the purpose of each component.
As this was my first ever onsite data collection I was a bit nervous but the rest of the team were very supportive. They helped me develop the skills needed so that, by the end of the day, I was able to proceed with little help. It was fantastic that I was given the opportunity to go to Copenhagen and I find that even though I had completed training in this area, you often learn more on the job.
We are also lucky in that a lot of our projects in Forensics are based abroad, which means we are provided with ample opportunity to meet and work with our colleagues from the Deloitte offices in other countries and explore new and exciting places. (Check out Copenhagen below).
So, if you feel like learning more about this electrifying line of work, then please don’t hesitate to reach out to me and leave a comment below. I will be only too happy to help!
Victoria Pearce, Director at Deloitte in the Forensic Technology team shares her experience on returning to work with Deloitte.
Victoria said "I joined Deloitte Forensic in 2000 and in 2011 I started my maternity leave and subsequently took a 3 year career break following the birth of my daughter."
"Earlier this year I was contacted by Deloitte via the Women in Leadership initiative and asked if I was interested in returning to work at Deloitte. Following a number of discussions and interviews it became apparent the opportunity was too good to miss. Deloitte have implemented an agile working policy which enabled me to return to Deloitte Forensic Technology as a part time worker in their growing St Albans team. Flexible working allows me to work remotely to ease child care issues and to spend quality time with my daughter, here we are standing in muddy puddles – just before jumping!"
To celebrate some of the UK’s top businesses employing thousands of apprentices across the country, and the launch of the Apprenticeship Delivery Board, the Prime Minster David Cameron hosted a reception at 10 Downing Street on Monday 18 January.
In attendance from our firm were Honey Clarke, Head of Professional Education and Apprenticeships, along with HR Director Caroline Hunt and two BrightStart Apprentices: Lauren Mays who joined Financial Advisory in September 2014 and Alex Sinclair who works in Technology Consulting, having joined Deloitte in 2012. Both sit on the BrightStart Committee and were involved in organising the recent BrightStart celebration event hosted by David Sproul and Emma Codd.
David Sproul said, “Improving social mobility is one of the UK’s biggest challenges. One of the ways in which we are seeking to address this is by doubling the number of positions available through our BrightStart Business Higher Apprenticeship Scheme.” For us, there is a clear business imperative to get this right. In order to provide the best possible service and make an impact with our clients, we need to hire people who think and innovate differently, come from a variety of backgrounds and bring a range of perspectives and experience into the firm”.
During the evening, the Deloitte group met with David Cameron and David Meller and Nadhim Zahawi, co-chairs of the new Apprenticeship Delivery Board and were able to tell them about the opportunities that come from joining the firm through the non-graduate entry route.
Lauren and Alex gave a brief account of their experience at the event:
On Monday 18 January we had the honour of attending an apprenticeship celebration reception at 10 Downing Street. After arriving and nearly bumping head first into George Osborne, we were ushered upstairs past the portraits of all the former Prime Ministers, to meet our fellow apprentices and their firms’ apprenticeships Champions.
Thanks to Deloitte being a market leader in apprenticeships, we were also invited in to the White Room for a private meeting with the Prime Minister and David Meller and Nadhim Zahawi, co-chairs of the Apprenticeship Delivery Board. The Prime Minister was interested to hear about our motivations for choosing an apprenticeship and our career progression so far. He was even so bold as to enquire what our salary progression looked like in comparison to our graduate colleagues!
After keynote speeches from Nadhim Zahawi and David Cameron, there was just enough time for the obligatory picture in front of the door to Number 10 before heading home to give a full account to our expectant parents.
April Li our Associate at Deloitte in the Forensic Technology team shares her take on what working life is like at Deloitte. Check out her entry below and if you have any questions make sure to ask her below.
April said, "I joined the Forensic Technology graduate training scheme in 2014 after completing a Masters in Finance at Imperial College London."
"As an international employee, I am sponsored by Deloitte and have been given a lot of support for various challenges I have faced working in the UK, such as my visa application and mortgage application."
"The graduate training scheme in Forensic Technology comprises two 12 month placements in two core disciplines: Electronic Discovery and Forensic Analytics. My first placement was in Electronic Discovery where I worked on several different client facing projects. One of the projects I have been part of is an investigation into tax avoidance at an international company. I have also been part of a project investigating alleged bribery and corruption activities for a European client. Currently I am in my second placement, in Forensic Analytics, working on a money laundering project for a financial institution."
"Our projects could be based anywhere in the world and there are many opportunities to work abroad on temporary assignments. This provides me with the opportunity to both work in, as well as explore, other cities and countries I may not have otherwise been able to visit."
Don't just take my word for it. Here is my favourite view on my walk towards the office from the train station everyday.
Why you got involved/what interested you into joining SID?
As a first-year student emerging from semester one, I had little clue as to what I wanted to do with my future so the opportunity to apply for a spring program where I could experience a professional atmosphere without having to determine a set career path was excellent. Deloitte appealed to me, particularly, because of their well-organised career events as well as the enthusiasm and helpfulness of the professionals who came along to them. I applied to ‘Spring into Deloitte’, thinking my experience would entail some teamwork exercises and perhaps a tour of the office but I honestly did not expect to leave feeling as inspired and motivated as I did, after just two days.
What did the event entail, what did you get up to?
Over our short time at Deloitte, we were given five insightful presentations about the different service lines the company offers. The most useful part to these was the case study exercises we completed. It allowed us to apply and expand our knowledge about the particular topic we were researching, whether it was on tax advice, auditing, consulting or even risk analysis, and it helped us to enhance our teamwork skills as well as our communication and presenting techniques. The skills and knowledge that I have picked up are invaluable to any important interviews, which I may have in the future. The feedback we were given, by the employees at Deloitte, was essential to the improvements we saw in our skills.
In addition to the Deloitte-specific exercises, we were given the most fantastic workshop on professional behaviour. The quality and expertise of the individual that spoke to us highlighted how much Deloitte valued our presence by investing in her time and skills. Furthermore, this talk was overwhelmingly useful as it opened our eyes to the effectiveness of adult behaviour and professional communication. This is something that, as young individuals, we have had little exposure to and yet it is a highly important element that we need to grasp in order to become successful.
At the end of the two days, we were given detailed information about the next steps in the Deloitte process and were able to prepare for a mock interview that we had during the final hour. The interview mirrored the format of the Summer Vacation Scheme interview and the interviewers, who were managers or senior managers, had actual experience conducting the proper interviews, themselves. This exercise left me feeling confident and prepared for the next steps and motivated to improve on what I had delivered. We received both professional feedback, which was detailed and highly constructive, as well as feedback from our peers, who were able to compare our interview to their own.
What did you get out of the whole experience?
Overall, I have left Deloitte feeling even more determined and prepared to pursue an exciting and successful career path. The two days allowed me to decide which service line I would be suited to and filled me with confidence that Deloitte will support my every step. Furthermore, the opportunity to mix both socially and professionally with bright, like-minded individuals has enabled the best outcome from the two days, by being able to bounce off different peoples’ ideas and learn skills through teamwork and cooperation. The Deloitte professionals who shared their fantastic stories have inspired me and it is clear that the company nurtures success on a global scale. The Deloitte team was very well organized, happy to be with us and probed us constantly for constructive feedback, so that they could improve even further. This whole experience has been instrumental in motivating me to take those extra steps towards creating a career for myself as well as providing me with unique insights into Deloitte and the professional world. I am so excited to see where Deloitte might take me and to potentially succeed and prosper within such a well-established company. ‘Spring into Deloitte’ has set me up with the foundations I need to do this.
A review from Katherine Wilson - First year student at Kings College London
Exam time can be a challenging period for a lot of students. Different students deal with it in different ways. We asked three of our BrightStart school leavers (Devon, Michael and Angharad) and one of our graduates (Nayema) how they got through it. Here’s a summary of what they said. Stand by for some invaluable tips!
Having been through exams yourself, what would be your best tips for someone who’s about to take them?
Start revising early. It gives you the chance to plan properly. It gives you time to spot gaps in your understanding and ask teachers or lecturers for help. It gives you the best possible chance of walking into the exam room feeling prepared and confident. It might be tempting to have fun now and revise later but the benefits of revising early are endless.
Practising past papers is also crucial. It’s no good memorising the entire syllabus if you can’t perform in a practical scenario. Practising papers under timed conditions will help you understand what the exam will be like on the day, and that’ll take some of the pressure off you.
Sounds cheesy, but DON’T PANIC!! A bit of pressure is good to motivate you to revise beforehand. But when it comes to the actual exam, you’re so much more likely to remember those little things you forgot to look over if your head is calm.
At Deloitte, how do you manage your time between work and revision?
Generally, work time is for work. And study happens around that, mostly at weekends. Waking up a little earlier at weekends and doing a couple of hours of solid revision really helps.
Deloitte’s study days are also brilliant. We’re allowed to take a number of days as study leave every year, so that’s a great way to take some time off just before exams to prepare.
What would be your three top tips for staying calm throughout the exam period?
- Don’t just revise. Make sure every day has some non-exam chill time. Go for a long walk. Watch a movie. Take up a hobby. Do anything that gives you some head space.
- Talk to people. As clichéd as it sounds, talking to other people who are doing the exams will help you realise that you’re not alone and that other people may be finding it hard too!
- Eat and sleep normally. As tempting as it is to stuff your cheeks with chocolate, drink copious amounts of Red Bull and stay up until 4am cramming as much into your brain as possible, the caffeine rush that keeps you awake isn’t going to last forever and will leave you exhausted and with a headache – not ideal exam conditions.
What would be your top tips when it comes to time management around exams?
It’s all about planning your weeks in advance. See which days you can realistically fit revision in and stick to that schedule. Also, give your phone to someone else while you’re revising. You might actually get some work done!
Don’t forget to take breaks. It’s best to work for an hour or so, then take a 10-15 minute rest. Also, don’t waste too much time going over topics you know well. It’s better to know 5 topics well than 3 topics excellently and 2 topics not very well.
Have you got any tips for university students in the final stages of completing their dissertations?
- Get as much advice from your mentor as possible. Make sure you arrange as many one-to-ones as you can.
- Get someone to properly proofread your work and double check that your structure is logical.
- Focus on having a strong first half, but an even stronger second half. People often concentrate on getting the beginning right, but the findings/conclusions can really make or break a good dissertation.
Work/life balance is important during exam time. What do you do to avoid getting too stressed?
Having a plan definitely helps. If things get intense, plan your weeks and then prioritise your daily tasks each morning.
Make sure you remember to take some time out. Exercise is great stress reliever. And even just spending a few hours reading a book or seeing friends can make a big difference.
This is something I get asked a lot: Most people have heard of mergers and acquisitions but have no idea about our role is in the process.
In simple terms our job is to investigate the target company of a potential acquisition. We analyse the company in order to assess its ongoing financial viability and identify any possible risks to the business. The general sorts of things that we are investigating (although it varies greatly from job to job) are:
- Is the company profit making, with a healthy balance sheet and a positive cash flow?
- Are the company’s projections of future profits reasonable: are they in line with historical trends? Were historical profits influenced by large one off items which are unlikely to be repeated? Have they lost any big contracts recently?
- Are there any risks to the company which we can identify: have the owners underfunded investment in the company, in anticipation of selling up? Are the company overly dependent on a small number of key customers/suppliers? Are they owed a lot of money from a company which is struggling to pay its debts?
Every company is different, meaning every assignment is different making this not just a vital part of any transaction but also a fascinating place to work.
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.
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...
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.