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Humans of Deloitte: Bertrand Singe

Associate, Audit & Assurance

Could you tell us a bit about yourself, and your time at Deloitte so far? How did you end up in your current role?

I'm originally from Cameroon, or “Africa in miniature” as it's fondly called. I came to Ireland in September 2018 to study for an MSc in Financial Services at the University of Limerick, which I completed in September 2019. Prior to this, I had studied in my home country obtaining a BSc in Accounting from the University of Buea, as well as in Scotland where I graduated with an MSc in Investments and Finance from the University of Strathclyde.

In Deloitte, I work in the Audit and Assurance Department – Consumer, Technology and Business, based in the Limerick office. I am currently rounding the second year of my training contract and due to start as a third-year associate in September 2021.

I applied for this role through my university’s graduate/career website, completed part of the online interview, had a face-to-face interview with a director and a senior manager and got the offer for a training contract.

My time in Deloitte so far as been a healthy and enjoyable mix of challenge, learning and adaptation which I believe is essential for my qualification as an accountant as well as my personal and professional growth.

Is there a part of your role you particularly enjoy, or parts of your role you’ve found unexpectedly challenging?

I have enjoyed working largely with a group of young, enthusiastic and talented associates as well as seniors and managers who are ever-willing to assist you with challenges as they arise. I have also enjoyed exposure to different businesses and industries and the thrill that comes with starting new engagements that are more different than similar to previous ones.

I have found two things challenging – having to adapt to working from home after spending the first 5-6 months working in the office and also having to combine working with studying for an accountancy qualification.

However, the support from Deloitte has been massive in ensuring the working from home experience is effective. More so, the help and support of fellow associates, seniors and managers has been unwavering, as challenging as it has been in the current work context. This support has also been vital in helping me so far with 2 out of 3 of my professional exams through in-house revisions, generous study leave and a dedicated team assisting with any issues regarding exams and related issues.

My time in Deloitte so far has been a healthy and enjoyable mix of challenge, learning and adaptation which I believe is essential for my qualification as an accountant as well as my personal and professional growth.

What’s your favourite project you’ve worked on? 

I have been on a mix on engagements which have each had their own unique experiences and lessons. I’ll mention an interesting one in March 2019 just before the Covid-19 lockdown. It was a stud farm audit and I was assigned alongside a senior who was also on this type of job for the first time. Prior to this I had zero experience with horses! It was a huge learning curve - the manager on the job and the client had to walk us through the business and from there on we had to carry out the audit to our best ability.

Another added twist was that while we were on site (as would have been the case before Covid – lodging at a hotel close to the client site for a couple of days), we got notice of the lockdowns and that we’d be working from home. I remember us having to wrap up and rush back home and complete the audit. What’s more, my birthday fell during this same period… so the senior and I had a makeshift birthday celebration! #AuditLife

What are the main skills you’ve been able to develop at Deloitte so far, and what do you want to focus on next?

Two main skills – communication, and the ability to work as part of a team.

Every engagement is an opportunity to develop these – from engaging client contacts, managing expectations and keeping them and engagement team members in the loop of things. Clear and concise communication is vital as it saves time and gets work done effectively. The importance of this cannot be overstated.

Furthermore, I have had the opportunity to develop as a team player, helping and asking for help as needed, working towards a common goal – a sound, timely and high-quality audit.

I intend to work now on improving my technical aptitude and leadership skills as I move into a senior associate with more responsibility on audit engagements.

What would we typically find you doing outside of work?

Out of work, I’ll be hanging out with friends and where there’s music, I’m definitely not seated but shuffling my feet to the rhythms.

I also recently picked up running and I consider myself an amateur runner at this stage, averaging about 12-15km per day, 4-5 times per week.

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