Tell us about your career path at Deloitte. How has it evolved?
This picture was taken at the Americas cup Village main stadium in 2017. Funnily enough, Deloitte paid for the tickets, and all the people in the picture either work in the Bermuda Audit division for either the Insurance or Funds industries. The whole island was enjoying the hype that comes along with the world’s largest and most prestige sailing competition that summer, and lucky enough I work for a firm that sponsored a day out at the village for everyone in the office (prime example of work life balance).
During my four years of studies, I attended various vacation programs offered by the Deloitte graduate recruitment program, became great friends with the Pretoria recruitment team, and along the way, played my part in convincing my fellow students Deloitte was the way to go.
Come 2013 unfortunately I did not start my job at Deloitte Johannesburg. Instead I applied for the Academic article clerk program, which is a 1 year secondment, where the top university students apply to SAICA (the South African Institute for Chartered accountant) to work in Academia for your respective University and to complete your training contract at your respective firm in 2 year rather than 3. The just of this decision however is that Deloitte had to give their approval that they would allow this, which luckily they did.
After my year at the University of Pretoria acting as an assistant lecturer in the universities Auditing department, I finally started (five years after signing the contract, I was finally on my way to Qualifying).
During my two years at Deloitte I was exposed to the most interesting clients and industries imaginable. I attended Stock counts at gold refineries, synthetic diamond manufacturers, and cigarette production plants; audited retail, packaging, mining and alternative payment solution clients. I had the privilege to work on both IFRS and GAAP clients and even become SEC accredited - which at the end of the day, opened up a new door together with Deloitte’s JIT program.
Two years and all my qualifying exams passed - and having met my requirements for hours and competencies - I applied for an 18-month Secondment to Bermuda rather than going on JIT for four months like most of my friends.
Life on the island was absolutely amazing. Having come from the big city, being able to slow down (and I mean this literally, as the speed limit is 35km/h) made all the difference. Bermuda gave me the opportunity to experience jet another industry ”Insurance”, work on SEC listed companies, gain exposure and experience in integrated audits and controls testing, while also experience living on a paradise island first-hand.
I did not only fall in love with the island... I also found love, and let’s just say, my 18 month plans did not end at just that. I am currently one of the new managers at Deloitte CBC having been promoted nine months ago. I have the privilege of working in both the insurance audit, and our risk advisory departments, where I get to work with highly effective/motivating people, and learn every day.
How do you feel that you've been able to make an impact while working at Deloitte?
Being such a large firm, Deloitte really does have the ability to make an impact that matters... and we do. Collectively and individually. As part of Deloitte’s IMPACT Day, we reach out to various charities in the community. On the island we have helped the local schools, cleaned up damage left by hurricanes, donated our time to food programs, as well as providing tutoring services to developing kids.
Deloitte supports charity programs through sponsoring their employees to take part in various walks and runs all over the island.
I have personally had four Warwick academy students job "shadow" me to help provide insight as to what we do in our profession and to inspire future auditors.
Additionally, ss part of my portfolio, I serve a number of Local charities where we donate our time in order to provide them with the assurance needed by third parties (usually banks) to continue operations.
What has been most interesting, challenging and surprising about working for Deloitte?
Interesting – I would say it's Deloitte’s diversity, and the people that you get to work with. I learn something new almost every day about different cultures.
Challenging – providing high quality professional services on high performing teams. This statement is not just a slogan Deloitte uses lightly. The teams I have worked with truly have some of the best and hardest working people I have ever seen. We motivate and help each other to give excellent service which is truly challenging to sustain.
Surprising – how people have a misperception of the accounting and auditing profession. We actually have great people skills, as we deal with clients on a daily basis, and interact on so many levels (face to face meetings, skype/ conference calls) emails etc. we are all sociable diverse individuals (and not just boring quiet people that wear grey suits to work everyday).
How has Deloitte invested in you as a leader, helping you to grow?
Deloitte’s mobility program allowed me to move halfway around the world, experience new industries as well as learn from extremely motivated and intelligent people. Deloitte has a learning culture and does a great job at developing their employees not just through learning courses (online or classroom courses) but also by sending seniors, managers, directors and partners on continued development as well as providing us with opportunities to continue their studies if you want.
The CBC office I work in is quite a small office, and as such cross collaboration between departments allows us to learn, develop and grow in quite a unique way (if you compare us to big offices like Johannesburg or New York).
Lastly, Deloitte also invests in us as leaders by providing endless opportunities where we have to take leadership positions. Whether that be as part of your engagement team as the lead senior role, the manager leading the team, or with your interactions with clients and third parties.
What has been your favorite part about working for Deloitte?
First and foremost I would have to say... the people. I have made some of my best friends in the workplace. Other industries and jobs tend to have an outlook that you go to work every day but that you don’t socialize. Having worked at one of the Big 4 accounting firms, my outlook on that is completely different. Working at Deloitte is all about relationships and the people that you work with tend to become a big part of your life. That might be because we tend to go through periods where we work long hours, but I also think that it is because of Deloitte’s culture.
Secondly, I love the fact that people know what Deloitte is. When someone asks me where do I work I almost never have to explain what we do. People recognize the brand and the reputation, and it feels good to be able to represent that, knowing that the hard work pays off.
Lastly, I love the mobility, and what that means for me as an employee. Deloitte has offices all around the world. My friends who started out with me in 2014 now work in Australia, Amsterdam, Canada, as well as Switzerland and I was able to end up on a paradise island.