Grad blog 1 Sept15

Do you have a degree in reproductive biology? Are you interested in cake decorating? If you can bring something a little different to the mix, then Deloitte wants to hear from you!

These aren’t necessarily the most obvious skills that come to mind when looking at Deloitte’s graduate recruitment scheme; but showing your true personality can be a great opportunity to set yourself apart from other applicants. Just ask Lisa Thomson and Dean Nodzak…

Both Lisa and Dean took very different routes to a career at Deloitte. While Lisa studied accounting and finance at Robert Gordon University (RGU) in Aberdeen, Dean decided a career in Deloitte was for him after spells in banking and recruitment.

Whatever your academic background, Deloitte has a variety of opportunities suited to a broad range of people. In this blog, Dean and Lisa look back on the recruitment process and their path to success in one of the world’s leading business advisory firms.

When I grow up I want to be…

Lisa – “I knew from a young age that a career in accountancy was for me – I took it as a subject in third year of high school and decided there and then. This shaped what I applied for at university and while studying I began looking at ways I could get onto the accountancy career ladder.”

Dean – “It couldn’t have been more different for me. After graduating from university with a degree in reproductive biology, I worked in banking for a while and then in recruitment before going back to university, studying for a Master’s in accounting and finance.”

Why Deloitte?

Lisa – “In the early days before applying for jobs, I went to a lot of recruitment fairs to get a feel for the different firms. I can honestly say that the Deloitte team were the friendliest and more than willing to give me useful advice. They took a genuine interest in me. It was that, along with the swift recruitment process, which meant I only applied to Deloitte.”

Dean – “For me, it was very much the same. The speed of the recruitment process meant that from application to my first face-to-face interview was only a matter of two or three weeks. I didn’t need to apply anywhere else, and I had known from my days in recruitment that Deloitte looked like a brilliant place to work.”

What do the recruitment team want from you?

1 To see that you did your research

Lisa – “It was important to have a good understanding of the firm. They wanted to see that you were enthusiastic about having a career there; not just at any accountancy practice. They liked it if you could talk about specific things you knew about Deloitte. I found the website a really useful starting point.

2 To be yourself

Dean – “They want to see the real you. It’s easy to get nervous in an interview, but Deloitte just want to get a feel of who you are, what interests you and how you could fit in to the firm based on your personality.”

3 To tell them what else you can bring to Deloitte

Lisa – “Once you pass the online test and submit your application, Deloitte know you’re good with numbers and have the academic qualifications. The interview is the firm’s chance to find out about the extra things. In my interview, something I wasn’t expecting to crop up was that I had an Intermediate II in cake decorating. This brought a whole new angle to my interview: it showed that I was a creative person and I could bring a fresh perspective to problem solving.”

Dean – “In my opinion, Deloitte wants to employ a good mix of people. One thing I enjoyed during the process was its ‘business chemistry’ programme. It works out what kind of person you are and who you would work best with in a group. There are four different kinds of professional profiles and all great teams have a good mixture of these personality types. I found out that I was a driver, which meant I like logic, systems to be in place and I have leadership skills and a focus on goals.”

Some myth-busters from the graduates themselves

1 The interview process is terrifying

Dean – “When I went through the process, my first face-to-face interview was with a manager, who asked me a series of situational questions. They want to know of a time when you’ve had to use skills like leadership, team-work or problem solving, and usually look for two examples of each. For my second interview, I was asked to present to the partner on a chosen topic. That instantly made the experience a lot more relaxed, and allowed them to see what I was interested in. After the interview, the partner told me about their journey and how I could achieve the same.”

Lisa – “There are several parts to the interview process that can seem scary. I think the perception and the reality of a partner interview are two very different things. I walked into the meeting expecting to meet a terrifying partner who would grill me on my knowledge of absolutely anything and everything to do with the financial services industry. But I came away having had a really good discussion, allowing me to see how a career in the industry could progress. While I had to show my motivations and knowledge of the company, there were no pitfalls or ambiguous questions. I genuinely left the interview feeling really positive about the company and its leadership team.”

2 You will be pigeonholed with no chance of change

Lisa – “It’s so important to be yourself in the interviews, as the firm is really good at placing you in divisions that best suits your personality and career goals. I was placed in the audit team which I really enjoy.”

Dean – “If you’re allocated to a practice that you realise isn’t for you, there are plenty of opportunities to move around the firm. Deloitte is very accommodating and will do its best to switch you to where you feel you can do the best job. Making sure you get the most out of your career is really important to the firm.”

Look out for the next instalment of our graduate blog series where we see the process through the eyes of our recruitment team – coming soon. In the meantime, find out more about Deloitte’s graduate scheme or get in touch by leaving a comment in the box below. You can also tweet us on @DeloitteScot.

You may also be interested in:

Myth-busting a career in accountancy: it’s not all about numbers.
What would I tell my graduate self?
Business chemistry test.

Dean Nodzak

Dean Nodzak - Senior Associate, Audit

Dean graduated with an undergraduate degree in Reproductive Biology at Edinburgh before going back to university and qualifying with a Master’s degree in Accounting and Finance from Napier.

Dean has been part of the Corporate Audit team at Deloitte from September 2014. He is now a Senior Associate and is currently studying for his ICAS qualification. When he is not studying, Dean enjoys playing golf, cricket or watching football.

Lisa Thomson - Eyes to Camera

Lisa Thomson - Assistant Manager, Audit

Lisa studied Accounting and Finance at Robert Gordon University and as part of her studies, completed a 12-month industrial placement with Deloitte before returning as a graduate to the Audit team.  

Lisa recently qualified with ICAS, having been awarded the Primrose-Scott prize. Outside work, Lisa enjoys spending time with family and bowling, where she recently made it to the last eight in Scotland’s national championships. 

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