Deloitte Tax Analytics

Inspired leadership

Where can studying systems engineering and tax law take you? For Wilke van Zelst, it led to a place in the Working Student Program and a consulting career in the Tax Data Analytics practice at Deloitte Netherlands. "I saw an open job posting on the Deloitte Netherlands website and applied," says Wilke. "At the interview, the recruiters said that my engineering and tax law background were a fit for their Tax Data Analytics practice."

Wilke was hired and, while she was completing her Master's Degree, she worked with Jan van Trigt, who was then Tax Analytics leader for Deloitte Netherlands. "I helped him with client and university recruiting projects, and he invested time in me," she says, "not just training, but also conversations about my career and providing feedback and advice."

Leaders who take the time to help her develop the skills and capabilities to further her career continue to inspire Wilke to succeed. "When a partner I admire offers me a chance and the guidance to take on something new," she says, "it sticks with me and gives me the confidence to take on that opportunity."

Now a senior consultant, Wilke puts her tax and technical skills to work to guide multinational clients through a complex and changing tax environment. Working with advanced technologies and analytics tools, she helps clients to optimize their data and gain insights into and more control over their tax and compliance position in all the markets in which they do business. "Clients often only see numbers and graphs. I help them analyze those numbers—find the story in them—and reach conclusions," she says. "It's exciting to talk to clients about their data, what it means, and how to fix what is not working in their best interests."

Projects for large multinational clients get Wilke crossings borders. Day trips between London and Amsterdam are business as usual, as are project phone calls with colleagues and clients in Europe, Asia, and the US. Then, there are the trips to Asia or the US for client meetings and professional development sessions like career milestone and training programs at Deloitte University in Dallas, US, and the annual week-long "summer school" with her entire team.

When Wilke was still at university, she knew she wanted to work at a large global organization where she would have a chance to get inside a lot of different kinds of companies. That's one of the reasons she chose Deloitte Netherlands. The other reason is the people who, she says, work well together, inspire her, and have contributed greatly to her success. Now, she is paying it forward. "It's automatic. You get advice and pass it on," she concludes. "You're taught at Deloitte to help others go further, get the most out of yourself, and go for quality. It's a nice feeling to do that."

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