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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.
We've asked our Deloitte Digital colleagues to give us a quick tip sheet for those looking at a career in programming.
Eóin and Jacob are our resident iOS developers who specialises in user-experience-focused apps. From flying drones in North Wales, to attending LGBTQ late opening and working recruit new graduates to join Deloitte Digital so there's never a dull day!
Get ready, here's their insights and tips to starting a career in programming:
- Interest in Coding - As an engineering applicant you need to be able to code some. But if you didn’t do it at university, proving you’re interested by teaching yourself is a great way to get an edge. Use Udacity, Big Nerd Ranch or Ray Wenderlich for beginner-level tutorials. Showcase your projects and get inspiration from others with GitHub.
- Commercial Awareness - Be sure to keep up-to-date on recent business news and understand current world events. Read the Financial Times or the Economist critically to develop this.
- Work Experience - For many places, this is a must as it proves you can operate in a workplace environment.
- Extra Curricular Activities - Have you been in a band? Have you helped run a society at university? Played in a sports team? All of these show dedication and develop key soft skills.
- Previous Entrepreneurial Endeavours - Selling t-shirts on your website or making profit on an event you set up all count!
- Being Friendly & Approachable - The seemingly banal trait of being a nice person actually goes a long long way in landing a job at Deloitte.
Do you have questions for Eóin and Jacob? Leave your question below and they'll get back to you!
As an 18 year old, I understand the life-changing decisions that school leavers face. That’s why I want to give an insight into what it’s really like to make the jump from school to the world of work. Here’s the story of my first few exciting months as a Deloitte apprentice.
Unclear about my future
At first I was very sceptical about my future. The majority of my friends were applying for University, attending open days, and anticipating an exciting three years in a completely new environment. But something didn’t feel right for me; my gut instinct stopped me from applying. If you feel University isn’t for you, it’s good to know that there are other fantastic opportunities that can lead to a successful career.
Deloitte intrigued me. Having spoken to people who’d worked at the firm for a while, it was clear that the opportunities here were endless. And I just knew that applying (and hopefully being accepted) would go on to be the best thing I ever did. The recruitment process was challenging, but definitely enjoyable. We were able to speak to the previous intake of apprentices during the assessment day, which helped ease my nerves and gave me some pointers for the interview. Not only was the whole assessment day really well organised, but the communication prior to the day itself was really calming.
A positive start
From the outset, I’ve felt trusted and treated like an adult. For example, we were all invited to a 3-day induction away from home, in Liverpool. This was a great opportunity to get to know each other and build a strong bond before entering the office environment. And it was a perfect way to start the 12-month apprenticeship.
Easing in to our first week
There’s no need to worry about being thrown straight in the deep end. Although the work is challenging, you’re eased into working full-time and taking on tasks by yourself. We were given a group project to start with, which tested our team work and initiative – two very important skills for every successful Deloitte employee. For some, the dress code can be a worry, but you can wear anything ‘Business Casual’, from shirt and trousers to a full suit.
Plenty of support
Every apprentice is supported by a mentor, throughout their apprenticeship. Your mentor can answer any questions you have, from general queries about a task to your future career prospects. You name it; they’ll find an answer to it. This has really helped me with my progression and has inspired me to become a mentor in the near future.
College work and the qualification
Part of the Entry-Level apprenticeship involves studying for a Level 3 Diploma in Business Administration. The course is very enjoyable and college lessons (once a fortnight) are relaxed, yet informative. Every other Tuesday, you are given time to revise, and I find this very beneficial.
I’ve never felt under pressure or unable to attain excellent college results. This is because we have great resources. We have full access to the college, including the library, which is stocked with course-related material. We’re given brand new tablets to access online revision material and contribute to our e-Portfolio. And we have dedicated time to study as a group – I found this a very effective revision tool.
I was unsure what to expect in terms of the workload, but I soon found out and adapted to the Engagement Support Centre’s system. You’re an assistant for certain engagement teams around the UK, but can end up completing tasks for colleagues all over the world.
If work coming in from your teams is minimal, you can ask the assigners for ad-hoc opportunities. This exposes you to a very wide range of tasks: anything from running reports to booking hotels. The variety is one of the main reasons I feel this apprenticeship is a great way to kick start your career.
Expanding your network starts on your very first day – at induction. It was a bit like the TV show ‘The Apprentice’, as we were given a task to complete with people from all over the UK, who we’d never met before. This was really enjoyable and brought us Cardiff Apprentices even closer; they feel like friends I’ve had forever.
Since then, I’ve been asked to travel to London to assist with a new Excel system that analyses Budget to Actual Hours. This was an exciting opportunity for me, as I’d never travelled to London on my own before. And I got the chance to speak to lots of people and find out how the work varies from office to office. Opportunities like this don’t come around often for 18 year olds.
An amazing chance to make an impact
If you’re willing to work hard, and want to make an impact, this could well be for you. You don’t have to go to University; there are amazing alternative opportunities and the Deloitte Apprenticeships are definitely one of them.
It was a proud night for our colleagues in Wales as one of their apprentices took home the Apprentice Award.
Rob Young joined Deloitte in September 2015 as part of the newly created Cardiff Apprenticeship programme. Our partnership with Cardiff & Vale College (CAVC) allows us to offer on-the-job business administration experience to people across the region. Rob joined the Tax GES Centre of Excellence Team in Cardiff on a 12-month apprenticeship.
Red carpet moment
Fast forward 12 months: Rob was chosen from CAVC learners across all curriculum areas for his outstanding achievements in the year, and took home the Apprenticeship Award for the 2015-16 academic year. Congratulations!
What’s next? Rob successfully applied to the Audit BrightStart programme which started in September 2016. It combines on-the-job learning with study towards a professional qualification, and comes with a salary and benefits too.
Good to know
We know that a traditional university degree is not right for everyone. If you know someone that would rather get a head start in their career and start earning while they learn, BrightStart may well be a better option – find out more.
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, we are heading over to Rio (figuratively) and getting into the spirit of the Paralympic games. Using the publicly available data for the last two Paralympics (Beijing and London), we want you to predict using a mathematical model how many gold medals ParalympicsGB will win in Rio.
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...
Ross Flanigan, Director, tells us why he is a big advocate of our Cardiff Apprenticeship scheme.
Just a few months ago, after many more months of effort and planning and interviewing, I was so pleased to see the first group of ten Business Administration apprentices join our teams.
The timing was great because they joined our business just as our training partner ‘Cardiff and Vale College’ opened their new and amazing city centre campus. We were all finding our way with this first group. The idea of apprentices was new to us, the college was building credentials, and the apprentices, well, they just had the small matter of setting out on their careers to think about.
Would it work? We didn’t know!! But I’ve got to say, it has been an exceptional success so far, and that’s mainly down to the apprentices themselves. Yes our Firm, our managers and the mentors have really made an effort. Yes, the college has pulled out all the stops. But we have been really amazed by the attitude, ability and commitment of the apprentices who are working in five different parts of our business.
They have no preconceptions and no fear. They’ve shown that when (with just a little trepidation) we put them in for a free chat with our CEO along with the Wales First Minister and his entourage.
So they’ve picked up the work, they’re volunteering for more, they are looking for their next career step with us, they are passing the academic bits and they are even helping more recent recruits settle in. I think the term used is ‘exceeding expectations’.
As it’s all going so well, we had a chance to bring everyone in the programme together for a low-key celebration just recently when apprentices, managers, mentors and our friends from the college had dinner together at the incredible rooftop restaurant ‘The Classroom’ in the new college campus. That restaurant is a candidate for best in the city if you ask me. But why ask me? A little apprentice-type blogging will probably say much more.
Brandon Edwards, KYC Analyst in Forensic, Financial Advisory, went along to the dinner. Check out his account of the evening here:
“The food was exquisite, staff delivered a first class service and the atmosphere was very relaxed. Thanks to this event, I was able to network with people that I had never met before as well as build up stronger relationships with people that I vaguely knew.
Every person that I met, no matter how high up in the company, was very welcoming, forthcoming and available for me to talk to if I had questions to ask on any topic at all. I made great personal connections with many different people who I’m pleased to say have now become friends.
I am very grateful to be involved in this event and hope that there are more events to come which will enable me to get more involved and meet more great people.”
For those of you who don’t know the meaning of the finger point, it means that Deloitte are number one!
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.
We’re delighted to announce that our “Spring into Deloitte” Scheme won the award for Best Short-term Insight Scheme at the National Undergraduate Employability Awards!
Here is an excerpt from an article RMP Enterprise wrote about the ceremony and our win:
Deloitte take home the Award for Best Short-term Insight Scheme at the National Undergraduate Employability Awards
Deloitte have been recognised for providing an exceptional insight scheme for students at this year’s National Undergraduate Employability Awards. ‘Spring into Deloitte,’ a two day residential course, is designed to educate students in the world of professional services, in particular what it is like to work at Deloitte, and to deliver employability skills that students may want to use in the selection process for Deloitte, or any other career they choose to pursue.
The scheme has proved incredibly valuable in strengthening Deloitte’s recruitment pipeline: 45% of insight scheme attendees are successful in securing a summer internship the following year. Of those that take part in the Summer Vacation Scheme run by Deloitte, 75% then go on to secure a graduate job with the company, demonstrating the value undergraduate schemes can have on attracting and retaining young talent.
Deloitte fought off stiff competition from employers from a range of industries to take home the Award for the Best Short-term Insight Scheme. The other finalists in this category, which was sponsored by LinkedIn were EY, Schlumburger and Nabarro.
The Awards saw over 400 nominations from employers, universities and students across 17 different Award categories. Winners of each Award were selected by an independent judging panel, made up of key thought leaders in the industry.
Gareth Cadwallader, Governor of University of West London, and head of the Judging Panel, said of this year’s nominations, “The standard of nominations was once again outstanding across the sector. The commitment of some of the world's highest profile employers to engage with undergraduates, as well as the dedication from universities and students to the employability agenda, is extremely impressive.
The Awards ceremony welcomed thought-provoking guest speakers from the industry including Aimee Bateman from CareerCake.com, Sarah Flynn, Chair of ASET and Stephen Isherwood, Chief Executive of AGR to share their insights.
The most recent High Fliers report showed that over four-fifths of the leading graduate employers in the UK are now offering paid work experience schemes for students and recent graduates. These schemes are making students more employable than ever, and Stephen suggested we are returning to a “seller’s market” whereby employers are increasingly having to compete to recruit the most employable students. “
You may have noticed that non-graduate entry opportunities is a big priority for us. Talent is at the heart of our core values, no matter where it comes from or what shape it takes.
This is why we decided to celebrate our existing BrightStart apprentices in an evening hosted by David Sproul our CEO and Emma Codd our managing partner for Talent.
We kicked things off with David Sproul welcoming us all and giving a brief overview of the strategy and the doors it can open for our people: Deloitte as the place were our apprentices can push the boundaries of discovery and exploration and where unsolvable problems are solved for the wellbeing of clients, people and society.
That is when the stars of the show took the stage! Tom Elsey and Angharad Old, two BrightStarts, shared their journey so far and proudest moments.
Emma Codd then spoke about the future of the programme and the plan to double the number of apprentices in the firm by September 2016.
Our Head of Professional Education & Apprenticeships, Honey Clarke, also spoke about all the people in the firm that want to support apprentices, get involved and become a BrightStart Ambassador.
We rounded the evening off with Honey being joined by Emma, Gordon McFarland and Alex Sinclair for a panel session in which they took questions from the audience, before celebrations continued over drinks.
The BrightStart scheme is the firm’s non graduate entry route into most of our professions, from audit to consultancy; a route that started in 2011 with a small number of school leavers joining Audit and Tax in London and the regions. Numbers have slowly grown to include all our career paths and, in September 2015, we saw 115 BrightStarts join Deloitte, including the delivery centre in Belfast, taking us to a total of 300.
If you or someone you know might be interested in becoming a BrightStart and gaining up to a degree-equivalent professional qualification, the application for the 2016 intake is now open.
Visit or send them to our webpage to learn more.