Seven lessons over tea

By Joyce Tan

Business Analyst | Human Capital Consulting

Coffee chats (or tea in my case) are a big part of the culture at Deloitte. It’s easy to see why – they’ve allowed me to get to know the awesome people around the office, and I’ve learned a tremendous amount from every chat. I’d love to share some of the great advice I’ve received, in no particular order:

1. Take ownership of your brand

“It’s fine (and encouraged) to try different things, but have a sense of what you’re interested in; don’t say yes for the sake of it. If you put your hand up and let people know what you want to do, they’ll try to help you make that happen.”
-Serena Nguyen, Business Analyst

“Pick one or two things that you want to be known for, especially things that you’re naturally good at. It can be something as simple as having awesome graphic design skills or being an excel whiz. Once you associate your brand with a specialty, you quickly become the go-to person whom people will think of and tap into whenever they encounter problems that require your area of strength.”
-Matthew Cheuk, Business Analyst

2. Get clarity

“Get clarity before starting your work to prevent re-work and help you deliver. Don’t spend hours on a task when you were only expected to write a few bullet points! Ask for some time with your manager to storyboard together. Ask for past examples. Ask how long this task should take a new hire, and how long it should take you when you’re a year into your role.”
-Jodi Baker Calamai, Senior Manager

3. Client work is #1

“Although it’s important to get involved in practice development opportunities outside of your client work, remember that client work is your number one priority. Ensure you have a firm grasp on your client delivery before committing to other non-client related activities.”
-Senior Consultant

4. Make time for yourself

“If you have personal priorities that help you find work/life balance, like going to the gym every evening, make it known! Your project leadership and team will do their best to accommodate what’s important to you if they know what your priorities are.”
-Erin McCowan, Consultant

5. Bring solutions

“If you’re stuck, try to articulate how you’re approaching the problem (e.g., what information you’re missing, how you would analyze it). Bringing something for people to react to will make it easier for them to help you.”
-Minh Nguyen, Manager

6. Think beyond

“As you do your work, be proactive in thinking beyond the task at hand and consider the implications. For example, as a new Business Analyst, you might be asked to take meeting minutes or consolidate client interview notes. What insights can we learn from the meeting or interview? What’s the ‘so what’?”
-Hannah Yardley, Manager

7. Focus on learning, not your next promotion

“Many people get caught up in thinking about how to get to the next step of their career as soon as possible. They’re constantly worrying about whether they’re standing out from others. What we’re really looking for from new grads is intellectual curiosity – do you ask good questions? Do you seek out knowledge? Make it your goal to learn as much as possible.”

Joyce graduated from the Schulich School of Business with a major in Accounting and Organizational studies. She is currently a business analyst in our Human Capital Consulting practice.

Did you find this useful?