Technology in Deloitte careers blog
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 you need to put your spy hat on and decrypt a message.
Already solved the #4TechChallenge for this month? Here’s a bonus question to keep your mind in challenge mode:
In Forensic Technology complex problem solving is a large part of our day-to-day work.
Paying homage to our fondness of brain-teasers, we’re launching a monthly Forensic Technology Challenge - a new series of logical, analytical and coding problems that put into practice the STEM, finance and technology skills essential to our work.
Zoyah Ahmed from Forensic Technology who attended Target Jobs IT’s Not Just For the Boys event shares her recollection of the event below.
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.
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.
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.