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Hi, I'm Mae.

Tax Analyst, LGBTQ+ advocate and ukulele player, London

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My journey so far…

I grew up in Southern India before going to boarding school near Delhi. By the time I moved to St Andrews in the UK for university in 2018, I was already used to travelling and being away from home. It’s also fair to say the extreme weather in Delhi – including the cold winters – prepared me for Scotland!

From an early age I’ve known I was bisexual, but it was a taboo in India and I struggled with internalised homophobia. When I got to the UK, people were so open-minded, it really helped me to accept myself the way I am. I felt like I could talk about my sexuality for the first time.

After university I chose to apply to Deloitte. I was struck by the firm’s values which aligned to my own - it seemed like an inclusive place to work, with lots of focus on learning and development, which is also important to me.

I knew very little about tax, but after completing the Summer Vacation Scheme, it felt like the right path for me. I had a conversion interview for the graduate scheme and joined the firm in 2022. I chose the Reading office because they have a close-knit team. I find big cities a bit too fast-paced, and having that comfortable environment helps me to thrive.

"Helping young people feel like they can be themselves is really important to me, which is why I volunteer as an LGBTQ+ ambassador in schools. I also love to learn, and that’s something I get to experience every day."

Work that matters

I’m a Tax Analyst for Global Employer Services, working in the Payroll and Workforce Management team. We help our clients make sure they’re remaining compliant in relation to payroll when their people move to different countries to work. We deal with so many different countries and systems that there’s always something new to discover, and I’m always learning. I love that we’re supporting clients when their people make big life transitions and experience working overseas. Moving abroad can be stressful, and the payroll support we offer makes the transition easier. I enjoy helping people simplify complex challenges, it’s really rewarding for me.

Outside of my main role, I’m an ambassador for Just Like Us, which is a charity that works with schools across the UK to ensure that young LGBTQ+ people can thrive. We get trained on how to empower and educate students, and I’m able to use my own experiences to better deliver my message. The charity is officially endorsed by Deloitte as part of our 5 Million Futures Programme, a societal impact initiative to support better futures for people in the UK. I’m able to take time out each month to go into schools, which has been a really great experience.

Highlights from my week

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
We had a meeting with one of our clients to discuss our ways of working. We came up with a charter on how we can all work together to keep things running smoothly. I travelled to London and went into a school to talk about how your religious beliefs and sexual identity can co-exist. I’m spiritual now, but I grew up Hindu, and I really enjoyed getting to share my personal experience. We have been part of a big new implementation project and we finalised everything ready for payroll, which was a great achievement for the team. As part of my role I’ve been learning to develop and deliver new software. I managed to build a new data tool that worked really well. I got positive feedback from my manager which was great to hear. I worked from home, which gave me the chance to do some cleaning and meal prep in between meetings. I went to the gym after work to wind down for the weekend.

My weekend looks like

I really like singing and I’ve recently been learning the ukulele. It’s a great way to calm my mind after a busy day. I also love dogs and use the app, Borrow my Doggy, to spend time with other people’s pets on the weekends. When I’m chilling out in the evenings, I enjoy cooking a lot- especially Indian dishes that I’ve been missing from back home.

3 things I've learned

Trust your instincts

As a graduate, tax seems very technical and working with clients can be daunting at first. It takes time to build your confidence, but it’s important to learn to make your own judgments and feel empowered by your own decision-making skills.

Slow down

A lot of people want to get results quickly, but I’ve learnt you also need to take moments to slow down and reflect. I try to remember to congratulate myself on my progress and understand that I can’t learn everything overnight.

Have empathy

Life can be so fast paced; we don’t always get the opportunity to see how something might impact others. I think it’s important to reflect on issues that are happening at work and in the world, to see how they’re affecting colleagues and people that you love.

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Mae's book recommendation

The Devil You Know by Dr Gwen Adshead and Eileen Horne

"Dr Gwen Adshead is a psychologist who used to work in Broadmoor hospital. She fictionalises people she’s worked with to try and understand what has caused people’s issues, and how it led them into crime. The book is about understanding people’s stories and extending empathy. While these are extreme cases, it’s a good example of how we can learn from people’s stories to understand their perspectives and why they might behave in certain ways – something we can bring into our conversations about inclusivity which is really important to me"