A lot of work goes into the library in order for it to offer all the services that it does, and our wonderful volunteers do part of that work. On their Day of Giving, many Deloitte employees volunteer their time to run a variety of projects in a variety of places all around the world—including the Central Los Angeles Public Library! In 2022 at Teen'Scape in the Downtown Central Library, Michelle Lee (ML), Ashley Smith (AS), and Julia Dean (JD) held a career day and an interview and resume clinic at Teen'Scape. While they waited for patrons, we asked them to respond to eight questions about their career and their position at Deloitte.
What path have you taken to get to where you are today? (Different careers that led you to your current one, internships, specialized training, etc.)?
All of them have an undergraduate degree, but none are the same subject: Michelle studied Humanities and Women's Studies, Ashley studied mathematical economics, and Julia studied Business Administration. Two of the three have earned a master's degree. Each of them had different work experience prior to starting at Deloitte. Michelle had the chance to work as an instructor in Korea! She then worked in Human Resources and Talent Acquisition before starting at Deloitte. Ashley had some internships in finance during college and was hired as a Transfer Pricing Consultant with Deloitte through her graduate program. She has been working with Deloitte since then! Julia wanted to pursue creativity. On campus, she started an arts club and living community and searched for graphic design, marketing, and arts trading roles. She loved the creative problem-solving that consultant work asked of her and was admitted into a consulting accelerator program that helped get her an interview at Deloitte. Based on the unique trajectories, it seems that there are many ways one can land a position at Deloitte.
What have been some ups and downs during your time at Deloitte?
Some aspects that Michelle, Ashley, and Julia like about working at Deloitte include traveling, collaboration, teamwork, access to mentors, and solving HR issues. All of them mentioned that they enjoy the team-oriented work that their position requires. Ashley described it this way:
"Deloitte fosters a very collaborative environment, so supervisors and colleagues are very supportive and genuinely want you to be successful. I would not be where I am today without the support and guidance of numerous mentors, counselors, etc."
Some difficulties they've encountered are the learning curve of being exposed to new environments, having to start "fresh" on each new project, time management, and managing simultaneous projects. Here's what Ashley had to say about what it takes to juggle multiple projects: "... navigating the demands of different people and projects simultaneously requires strong time management and communication skills." If you like creative problem solving and working with others, learn quickly, and don't mind multitasking, then working at Deloitte might be worth considering!
How comfortable does one need to be with technology, and what are some platforms you use daily?
Julia's response: "All of my work can be done remotely, so one needs to be very comfortable with technology." The programs used by Michelle, Ashley, and Julia are Microsoft Office Suite (i.e., Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Teams), Zoom, Skype, and Google. But don't worry if you aren't a tech wiz! Ashley thinks it is enough to have a strong understanding of the basics for these platforms, as "certain more advanced skills…can be learned on the job."
Is your career collaborative? How do you keep your relationships strong?
All three responded by saying that their career is very collaborative and that they enjoy this about their job. This could mean serving as a resource for colleagues about your particular field of knowledge—or vice versa, working with others from all around the world, dividing a project amongst team members, and being open to lending a hand or asking for help to complete the project on time, and maintaining strong lines of communication! To keep her relationships strong, Michelle finds that "... setting boundaries and expectations early helps to alleviate issues down the line." For Ashley, it's more about "... get[ting] to know people at a more personal level and to make sure you are adding what you can to the relationship, so it is not just one-sided." And as for Julia, she "keep[s] strong relationships by communicating clearly and 'managing up,' which means I do my best to inform my managers and other folks I work with of the information they need to know from me." A consultant's work is very collaborative, and strong communication skills are required to maintain strong relationships.
Describe a typical work day and your hours. What are the day-to-day tasks you’re doing?
If you want to work at Deloitte, expect 9-hour days! All three respondents said that they work 8 - 9 hours a day, sometimes more, sometimes less, depending on the stage of their current project. Day-to-day tasks include writing reports, answering client emails, participating in client calls, scheduling and conducting meetings, researching different companies/industries, preparing and reviewing economic analyses, creating resources like self-trainings or info sessions to teach others, and other deliverables to ensure employees are supported in their work. While the basic tasks of all three were similar, each had more specific tasks given their different positions at Deloitte.
Would you consider the group of people you work with diverse?
All three expressed that, while Deloitte is fairly diverse, there is room for improvement. Consulting is not as diverse as other fields, given the competitive academic backgrounds students come from and the general learning curve that one has to acclimate to. However, Deloitte is putting a lot of initiatives in place to increase diversity, such as increasing recruiting at historically black colleges and universities and providing mentorship and advocacy for women and minorities. The international nature of the work that Deloitte engages with does provide opportunities for its employees to interact with people from all over the world.
What's been your favorite project?
Michelle, Ashley, and Julia all hold different positions within Deloitte, so the types of projects they have been assigned to also differ. Michelle works as a Senior Talent Acquisition Coordinator, and her favorite project has been working on improving hiring time at Deloitte. "We do not want to lose any candidates due to a long hiring process," she said, "and so we looked at our process to figure out where we can make improvements to hire top talent." Ashley is a Transfer Pricing Senior Manager. She enjoys all her projects because "each one is unique and allows me to learn about a new company and/or industry and meet new people." For one project, she got to travel to Ireland for a week to meet a client's Irish employees and learn about their work. Julia's position is Human Capital Analyst. For a year, she has been working on a Job Architecture (think foundation of a house but for a company) project for a technology client, fixing things like their job descriptions, how they hire, how they promote, etc. "I love how collaboratively we work with our clients and that they not only consider but frequently seek our opinions. At 26 years old, I've been able to meet with Directors for my technology company client, present ideas I developed and have them approved to launch. It has built my expertise and my confidence so quickly." Due to the nature of consulting, Deloitte employees have the chance to work on projects from many different industries, giving them a broad range of experiences and knowledge.
What is the employment outlook for this career field? How much demand is there for entry-level job-seekers? How do you expect the workplace to change much in the next five years?
According to the responses, it seems as if there are many opportunities for entry-level job seekers at Deloitte. Here's how Julia put it:
"A phrase that I believe applies, and maybe a bit gauche to use, is that consultants are doctors for businesses—we fix issues businesses have, just as a doctor would fix issues that a patient has. Given that, the employment outlook in consulting is evergreen. Although the type of issues we work on may change, some declining in demand, others increasing, there will always be issues—so there will always be demand for consultants! Consulting has a lot of turnovers (people entering and leaving the industry), so demand for entry-level job-seekers is constant. You can expect this will be consistent through the coming years."
Working at Deloitte has a lot of perks: they hire people with varied work experience, you'll be given many opportunities to work collaboratively on a wide range of projects, you'll have many opportunities to use creative problem solving, many of the positions are work-from-home or hybrid, and you might have the chance to travel, and you'll be paid well! However, if diversity is something essential to you, or you're not interested in working long hours and juggling simultaneous projects, or communication isn't your strength, consulting might not be the right choice for you.
—Thank you so much to Michelle, Ashley, and Julia for offering your help to Teen'Scape and for responding to our questionnaire!