As an Analyst in Immigration, Megan loves being able to support people around the world. We speak to her about overcoming fear and learning to balance work and selfcare while living with a long-term condition.
How do you explain your role to others?
In a nutshell, everything I do is centred around people. As an analyst, the bread and butter of my role is processing visa applications to help people from across the globe to move to the UK. Unlike at other immigration law firms, the actual casework only makes up a fraction of what we do. We do a huge amount of account/project management, which includes compliance work, reporting, data, finance, risk, technology and much more. For me, this is perfect, because I think it turns you into a well-rounded professional. My favourite thing about the immigration work is that it’s very personal – you handle a lot of sensitive data, so you have to work on building that rapport with the client. Plus, when you get someone’s visa approved, it’s such a great feeling. You have to remember that the work you’re doing is contributing to a huge change in someone’s life. I almost cried with happiness when the first visa application I submitted was approved!
What do you think your industry will look like in future?
The immigration world is constantly changing and there isn’t one day the same as another. Most recently, the impact of Brexit has considerably increased the number of applications we process. Clients had to review their projects and more visas were needed. When the pandemic started, people didn’t really get as many opportunities for secondments or permanent moves to new locations. Now, as restrictions have eased, many firms are empowering employees to make the move by introducing “work from anywhere” policies. After years of lockdowns and restrictions, I think so many people are keen to make a big change which will increase our workload. Finally, the immigration authorities are increasing reliance on digital strategies and that will impact the way we process applications in future.
How does Deloitte foster an inclusive environment?
I suffer from a chronic health condition and I live with agonising pain which affects all aspects of my life. As someone who is fiercely independent, I can’t even begin to describe how this makes me feel. One thing that comes with my condition is fear. Fear that I’m a burden to the people around me. Fear of not being able to give 100%. Fear of being perceived as weak. This is definitely something I brought with me to the workplace when I started. But once I opened up about it, my managers made me feel so comfortable and helped me to overcome my fear and start looking after myself. I’ve felt so accepted and supported to work flexibly and remotely when needed so that I can better manage my condition.
How have you grown since joining Deloitte?
I’ve become a much less anxious person since I joined Deloitte. From the time I started taking my GCSEs right through to my degree, I felt I was in a constant state of stress and I had a fear of failure, mostly because I struggled with exams. I felt like if I failed, I wouldn’t be able to get into a firm like Deloitte and be able to reach the ambitious goals I set for myself. Even though I still have the same ambition, I feel confident in myself because I’ve made it this far and I’m surrounded by supportive colleagues.
How has your mental wellbeing been supported?
When you start out in your career, I think you have a sense of imposter syndrome. I felt as though I had to overcompensate for my age and lack of experience. Luckily my manager quickly recognises when I’m picking these habits back up and he reminds me to reign it back in. I have a really good rapport with him and he’s always checking in on my mental health and wellbeing (even when I’m not!) Our team always sends messages throughout the day to check up on each other. They’ll make a point of starting a conversation to ask how I’m doing, then we move on to work stuff. It’s a really nice dynamic and I feel safe to express any concerns I’m having.
What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
I’m absolutely obsessed with plants. It’s a hobby that started in the second lockdown and got out of hand quite quickly. I now have around 50 house plants, so looking after them has become a part time job. I try to go to gymnastics as frequently as possible – I used to do acrobatics and trampolining as a child and joined an adult tumbling class in 2020. My current skill level mostly involves attempting flips and falling on my face, but I absolutely love it. I am a huge foodie, so I try go to cool restaurants around London. Other than that, I’m very sociable, I like meeting up with friends, going to art exhibitions and love a good fancy dress party. I’m also into astrology and even consulted the cards before getting my job at Deloitte.