Professionals across Deloitte have been participating in a mentoring programme run by social mobility charity upReach. To date more than 50 top performing graduates from less advantaged backgrounds have joined Deloitte following their involvement in the programme. Economics student Tom Burgess will soon be one of them. Here he shares his story of a successful mentoring relationship.
When I started at university I wanted to begin making plans for the start of my career. There are so many paths open to someone with my degree - consulting, investment banking, audit and many more. It was important to choose the right one.
At that stage, I didn’t know how to go about securing a role at a top professional services firm. I attended a state comprehensive and neither of my parents work in professional services, so I was eager to learn more about the industry.
That’s when I found out about upReach, a charity that works with top universities and over 30 top employers, including Deloitte, to offer opportunities to broaden students’ horizons, help them discover different career pathways and develop skills.
upReach matched me with a mentor, Daniel Lister - a manager in Deloitte’s Risk Advisory Finance Transformation team. Daniel also studied Economics at the University of Nottingham and we are both keen musicians, so we had plenty in common.
After I attended a number of career insight days, including Spring into Deloitte, I was inspired to pursue a career in consulting. Since Daniel worked in a consulting role, he understood my aspirations and opportunities for my personal development. We created a project plan to prepare me for a career as a consultant and I used his feedback from our mentoring sessions to hone my skills.
Working through practical case studies, research projects and presentations with Daniel really boosted my confidence and prepared me for life as a consultant. I was happy to secure an internship on Deloitte’s Summer Vacation Scheme last summer and was delighted to receive an offer of a graduate role in the Strategy & Operations Consulting team starting in September 2019.
Although the official time commitment was a one hour-long call once a month, we talked, Skyped and exchanged emails regularly. The mentoring programme played an important part in preparing me to make the most of my internship and enabling me to secure my graduate role.
So would I recommend mentoring? Definitely. I benefitted a lot from being a mentee and now enjoy passing on what I’ve learnt through mentoring a school students and helping them with their university applications. As I progress in my career at Deloitte, I hope to become a mentor to the next generation of students.
Deloitte has already hired 54 graduates as a result of its five year partnership with upReach, one of the firm’s One Million Futures partners. Find out more about our partnership with upReach.