Life at Deloitte
Perspectives from our people
"I saw this move as an opportunity to specialize in an industry, while also getting to enjoy the benefits of living in paradise!"
Audit Senior Kierra Smith tells us why she joined Deloitte in Bermuda
Kierra takes a moment to share her experience and perspectives
Why did you decide to go apply to an opportunity to work abroad?
Living and working outside of the United States had always been an aspiration of mine. I love travelling and experiencing new cultures. While working for Deloitte in Chicago, I knew I wanted to stay with Deloitte but felt like it was time to take advantage of the global opportunities available within the organization.
Why did you choose Bermuda?
I first learned about Bermuda while I was in Chicago; a senior from the Bermuda office had a secondment assignment on my engagement team, and she had nothing but great things to say about the island. We kept in contact, so when I made the decision to pursue a global opportunity, she was the first person that came to mind. She connected me with other professionals in the office here, including a Senior Manager and Partner, and after learning more about the culture of the office and the island from them, I felt like it would be a good fit. I was really attracted to the active lifestyle that the island offers, as well as the sophisticated economy that exists here with the reinsurance market. I saw this move as an opportunity to specialize in an industry, while also getting to enjoy the benefits of living in paradise!
What attracted you to join Deloitte?
I started with Deloitte as an intern in college and started full-time as soon as I completed my undergrad. One of the biggest influences in my decision to start my career with Deloitte was because of the vast opportunities that are available internally – including the opportunity to do what I’m doing now – live & work abroad! One of the many benefits of being with a large global firm like Deloitte, is that they have offices in almost every major city around the world. That also means that you have a large, diverse network of resources to leverage.
How did you find the transition and support provided?
When I started in March, it was not a typical in-take date, so I was the only new hire at that time. I was concerned that it would be difficult to get to know people in the office. However, before I moved, I received an email from an on-boarding “buddy” full of helpful tips, and she even set up time to meet for brunch with a few other Deloitte colleagues the Sunday before I started. It was really nice to be so welcomed right away! There are a lot of expats in the office and most people have been in your shoes, so no one hesitates to give you advice to help you through the transition.
What is the work like in Bermuda?
I work in the Reinsurance group of the Audit & Assurance function, which is an entirely new industry from what I used to work in. The work is challenging and very industry-focused. Each person has their own cube or office, so it is nice to have your own space to work. When we are at the client, we are typically in a small to medium sized conference room. On the public engagements, there is a large emphasis on control testing and risk assessments, which is a theme I have seen carrying over from my time with the U.S. Firm. In terms of hours, those will vary depending on what clients you are on, and the timing of the year. However, generally speaking, I have found it much easier to balance my work life with my hobbies and interests outside of Deloitte.
What are the main differences between working in your home office and Bermuda?
Because I am on one of the public engagements, the work in Bermuda is very similar to the work that I was doing in the United States in terms of the expectations of delivering audit quality. The biggest difference is the dynamic of the teams. As a senior, you may or may not have an associate that you are supervising, so you have to be more proactive in seeking out opportunities to develop your coaching skills. However, because it is a small office, it is really easy to get involved outside of your standard client-service, either on special projects or internal initiatives.
Describe what it is like living in Bermuda so far?
It is so picturesque... Sometimes when I look around at the ocean, the palm trees, the boats, I can’t believe that I actually live here! Living on an island in the Atlantic, does have some drawbacks; for example, there is limited (and expensive) shopping on the island, and you don’t have the variety of restaurants and shops that you might be used to. However, those are sacrifices that I have found to be worth it in exchange for the lifestyle you can have here. I’ve absolutely loved being able to go outside and do something active every day!
Favourite moment to date?
Joining one of the local “bands” and participating in the Bermuda Heroes Weekend Carnival with two of my friends (who I met through work).
Worst moment to date?
Before I got my bike, I thought it would be a good idea to walk from Smith’s all the way to Spanish Point for a Sunday morning SUP Yoga class. Two hours later, I can tell you that it was NOT a good idea… but at least I got to savasana in the ocean when it was all said and done!
I would encourage anyone who is interested in working abroad, to connect with as many people as you can in the office to find out what it is like to live and work in that desired location. I felt like doing so gave me the perspective I needed to make the leap!