Summer Vacation Scheme in Deloitte careers blog
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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.
Situated in the heart of Britain’s IT corridor, the Reading office presents fantastic opportunities for graduates interested in developing careers working with a truly diverse client base. Our people find themselves in a unique position where they are provided with the opportunity to work with a variety of companies ranging from the largest FTSE 100 and Fortune 500 brands to privately owned fast moving entrepreneurial business across all industry sectors. Our globally diverse client base provides our graduates with opportunities to coordinate with our other UK as well as global offices, thereby assisting their development as a 21st century professional.
The Reading office is the largest office outside London and has around 600 people working across all four of our service lines (Audit, Tax, Consulting and Corporate Finance). This means the opportunities to learn and grow are endless.
We encourage our people to work with their counterparts in other service lines right from the start of their career with us. We offer office-wide initiatives to promote networking to help develop business and professional skills vital to everybody’s success (which also leads to developing some lifelong friendships!).
New joiners can expect a wealth of support upon joining Deloitte. Every new joiner is paired with a ‘buddy’ who mentors and offers support in the initial weeks and months. There are regular training sessions and constant professional development is encouraged and delivered across the grades.
Aside from the fantastic professional development opportunities, Reading is at the forefront of leading our Corporate Social Responsibility projects. We have both formal and informal charity support arrangements in place. We encourage our people to actively participate in such opportunities and the firm allows each individual to spend 3.5 hours each month specifically on community investment projects. Our office often participates in “Community Investment” days – where the whole office spends a day with a number of different charities in the region doing things like painting, gardening and building – just giving something back to our local community. Our people also have the opportunity to participate in a number of nationally acclaimed charity events – be that the annual Paralympic “Ride Across Britain” event or climbing Kilimanjaro!
Given the unique size of our Reading office, each graduate is presented with the fantastic chance to gain greater exposure to senior members of teams and therefore enable them to interact and gain experience from them on a regular basis. As a firm we are supportive of agile working and our people are actively encouraged to take advantage of the flexibility the firm offers us
The Reading office is the ideal place of choice for anyone looking to explore differential opportunities within the Big 4. Our size and breadth means that we can offer an unparalleled opportunity to all of our people to professionally develop in a way that’s personal to them – allowing each individual to achieve their career and life aspirations.
Anita is the Partner leading the SE Executive Remuneration team and has been advising remuneration committees and companies on reward strategy, share and incentive scheme design, and developing tax efficient and commercially effective pay structures in the UK and many other jurisdictions for over 15 years.
"I initially applied to the Deloitte Micro-Tyco Student Challenge because I was intrigued by their newsletter, which presented the challenge as an “opportunity to unleash your inner entrepreneur”. On February 1st, I found myself in a room with four people and £1, thinking of ways to make as much money as possible. Over the next month, we organised dozens of sales all across Nottingham and events such as a pub quiz and a club night, generating a total of £1389.
In March, we were told that our team came fourth in the challenge, meaning that we all got the opportunity to do a two week Easter internship at Deloitte in London. We were then supported to apply for the Summer Vacation scheme which I also took part in. At the end of the summer I ended up getting a graduate role offer before I even started my last year in university!
I encourage everyone to participate in Micro-Tyco because there are so many things to take away from it. Firstly, you get the chance to put your business skills into practice. Then, whilst organising events, you get to meet many new people from different courses and year groups that you would never have met otherwise. You also get to work with a Deloitte Coach that helps you expand your network and understanding of how the business world works. The challenge also changes the way you think about investment and profit. You begin to realise that all you need is to spot a ‘gap in the market’ and provide that missing service. And finally, the money you earn goes to WildHearts, who are doing an incredible job helping women in developing countries realise their dreams and improve their families’ living conditions through microfinance.
The main advice I would give future participants is to really give every money making idea a chance, because as we have learnt - the simplest things are often the most profitable. And, on a more practical level: plan in advance. Even though the challenge starts in February, there is nothing stopping you from discussing ideas and driving responsibilities ahead of time."
Shilpa Shah, a Director at Deloitte and leader of the firm’s Women in Technology network, is a passionate advocate of tech careers for women. Here are her five key tips for female students who are considering getting an IT job when they graduate.
Get behind and beyond the name
Shilpa says, ‘Technology sounds a tad dull compared to, let’s say, consulting or investment banking so the first thing to do is research and understand what a career in technology actually means. Everything that we use, everything that keeps us connected, every service we benefit from is influenced by technology.’
She highlights the great variety of roles available within IT and points out that they are as varied, subject to change and fast-moving as technology itself. ‘Because technology affects everything, working in it means you can see the effects of what you do quicker than in most other jobs. So it’s far from dull.’
Be passionate and show passion
Women who are pursuing IT careers should let their enthusiasm for technology come through in their applications and interviews, Shilpa says. ‘It’s a fact of life that good businesses always support passionate people who are genuinely interested in the work, and willing to try different things. So, during the application and interview stages, show some passion and excitement about technology!’
Work experience is good, however long it is
It goes without saying that work experience is useful for job hunters, not just because of what they learn on placement but also because it gives them examples to talk about at interview. Shilpa highlights the range of work experience opportunities on offer for students to take advantage of, from insight days, career fairs and campus visits to events such as IT’s not just for the boys!, run by TARGETjobs Events specifically for women undergraduates.
She stresses that students need to make sure their work experience is as broad as possible, and draws attention to the value of networking: ‘However long you work in technology, you should always have the same goal: to talk to as many people as you can, learn about what they do and start networking with them and their colleagues.’
Technology needs women
Mixed-gender teams are more effective than single-gender teams, and technology employers are well aware of the business case for recruiting female graduates. Graduates who have studied subjects other than IT are also welcome. As Shilpa puts it, ‘Women from all degree backgrounds will find the door open and a warm welcome waiting for them.’
She explains, ‘Technology is an enabler for change and the people who are successful have to deal with people, processes and technology. Undergraduates with non-technical degrees who are good with people and processes need to pick up the technology in the same way that technical grads need to develop people skills.’
But women need to believe...
Research suggests that some female students are less confident than their male peers. Leading businesses that are keen not to miss out on talent attempt to counter this and support their female recruits by developing networks that enable women to share experiences, get support and develop their careers.
Shilpa says, ‘Women undergraduates should seek out organisations that are committed to equality and diversity; organisations where women are in senior roles and are passionate about supporting new graduates at the very start of their careers.’
The Women in Technology (WIT) network at Deloitte that Shilpa leads organises mentoring, seminars, training courses and events with external speakers, and also works in schools.
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.
In the last couple of weeks I have attended a few student recruitment events on behalf of Deloitte, and I noticed a few questions which came up time and time again:
1. How can I improve my chances of my application being successful?My advice is to: do a thorough manual spell check of your application (automated spellcheck doesn’t pick up everything). Make sure your application highlights all of your transferable ‘soft skills’ as well as your academic record. Be well informed about the Service Line you are applying to. And, make sure you apply early.
I’ll be doing a later post which will set out in a bit more detail my top tips for getting a job at Deloitte, make sure to keep an eye out for that!
2. When do I need to apply? There is no set deadline so apply as early as possible – applications opened on 1st July 2014, for the September 2015 intake and the sooner you apply, the better your chance of securing the role you want.
3. Do I need to have a degree in Accounting or Maths? No. The more relevant your degree is, the more it will help your application, but I know loads of people of people on the graduate scheme with degrees in other subjects, ranging from Politics to Modern Languages.
4. In what ways is your job different to your expectations? The work in Transaction Services is a lot more fun than I expected – it’s a lot more about general business skills than number crunching; my colleagues are from a wider range of backgrounds than I thought; and the atmosphere is more challenging than I expected - if you join TS, be ready to be pushed outside of your comfort zone.
5. Do I need to have done a [summer placement]/should I do one? If you do one it will hugely aid your application. But, if it’s too late to apply for a placement, don’t be put off applying for the grad scheme – I and many of my colleagues got the role without having done a placement.
6. I’m a foreign student studying in the UK - will Deloitte sponsor my visa application? There is no easy answer to this one unfortunately, as it depends on the specific circumstances. I suggest looking here: https://mycareer.deloitte.com/uk/en/university/apply-now/work-permits. If you are unsure of your right to work in the UK without a sponsorship from Deloitte, I suggest that you check with the UK Border Agency website.
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.
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...
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
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 https://www.deloitte.co.uk/mondaybriefing
And of course, we'll have another in our series of Economics & Employment blogs to share shortly.
Thanks for clicking. Every month the economics team here at Deloitte look at significant economic trends from the point of view of the recruitment marketplace, and we are then able to share the resulting blog post with you. Number 1 is below.
The phrases ‘wage squeeze’ and ‘income inequality’ have been at the forefront of policy debates in recent months, both in the UK and abroad. The head of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde, recently warned global politicians that “in far too many countries the benefits of growth are being enjoyed by far too few people.”
Falling wages and rising inequality are in many respects very different issues – wages could reasonably be expected to fall at the same time as the gap between rich and poor narrows – yet they are often talked of in the same breath, to describe an environment where a large proportion of the workforce have experienced both real and relative declines in wealth.
In the UK, a number of common powerful factors have created this environment for middle and low-paid workers.
Inequality has been on the rise across much of the West since well before the financial crisis and, in the case of the UK and the US, since the late 1970s. Secular trends such as technological progress, globalisation, the expansion of financial markets and the decline of unions have reduced the relative value of unskilled labour and bolstered the returns to high level skills and to capital. In much of the world labour's share of GDP has shrunk and the share going in profits have risen. This trend has clearly been a factor in constraining wage growth for many low and middle-income earners and at the same time contributing to widening inequality.
In this sort of a world, expertise, education and experience are at a premium. The most conspicuous examples are in the financial sector but this process has been at work across the economy. Since 1978, real incomes for UK doctors have risen 153%, for lawyers 114% and for quantity surveyors by 65%. Over the same period, incomes for fork lift truck drivers have fallen 5% and pay for unskilled production line workers has dropped 3%.
Such inequalities reflect, in part, widely differing levels of educational and training achievement not just across social groups but across generations. Recent OECD research came up with the alarming finding that that England is the only country in the developed world in which adults aged 55-to-65 outperform those aged 16-to-24 in literacy and numeracy tests. This fact may help explain why, since 2007, the number of under-24s in work has shrunk by almost half a million even as the number of over 55s in work has increased.
A more recent trend has occurred since the global financial crisis, which has caused a major squeeze on consumer incomes. Whilst real incomes actually rose during the recession, in 2008-09, they have since fallen as the economy moved back to growth. Since 2010 consumers have had to contend with falling real incomes, above average inflation, rising taxes and a squeeze on state benefit. Real incomes have fallen as a result, and have fallen for the longest period for 50 years. (The paradox is that all of this has occurred in an environment where the UK economy has created more than a million new jobs.)
The good news is that the worse of the squeeze on incomes in the UK is probably past. Our strong suspicion is that 2014 will be the year that average real earnings start to rise again. Indeed most economists now expect an improved labour market – with increased competition for labour – and lower inflation to deliver increases in real incomes over the next five years. The Bank of England forecast growth of 2.75% in average earnings in 2014.