Launch your Career: a recap has been saved
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Recent data shows that the technological developments in response to COVID-19 to facilitate remote working, learning and digital outreach were developed in only eight weeks. But for the catalyst that was COVID-19, these technologies wouldn’t have been seen for at least another 5 years. I’m highlighting this because this rapid development of technology is the reason I had a never-before-seen virtual programme in Deloitte. For myself, if there is one good thing that has come out of all of this, it’s the unique, informative and, eye-opening experience I had for the month of July.
Elliot Massie once stated, “We need to bring learning to people instead of people to learning.” Clearly, Deloitte see the value in this, demonstrated through the launch of their virtual programme – “Launch Your Career with Deloitte”.
Initially, I was intrigued at the opportunity of an online internship, but as with everything I do, I viewed it as a challenge to improve my adaptability and develop my skills. This program was an invaluable learning experience for me: I gained knowledge that I probably wouldn’t have through the classroom or Deloitte’s website.
This was undoubtedly the most engrossing session for me. I was introduced to a relatively new phenomenon: Business Chemistry. I took an assessment and based on my patterns of behaviour and preferences in the workplace, I learned I am primarily a Driver. I was fascinated during the session at how accurately Driver traits described me, such as loving a challenge, being competitive, and being logical and quantitative.
It was enlightening to take a deeper look into my own patterns of behaviour in relation to how others approach tasks and their own thought processes. Now that I see the differences in the defining characteristics of each cohort, I think it will better equip me when working in a team - learning how to engage each type of person can help ensure effective communication, group cohesiveness and lead us towards our shared goals. For example, I learned that Integrators can be people-pleasers, which may hinder their ability to truly voice their opinions. Maintaining open communication can ensure that this doesn’t happen.
I was pleasantly surprised by the emphasis Deloitte put on this expression. Oftentimes you can’t be sure that a company lives by the values it puts on its website. However, these values were instilled in every member of Deloitte staff I dealt with during the course of the programme. It was endearing to see the pride employees had when describing volunteer initiatives, such as painting homes in Castletroy, and working with Age Action, Suas and many more. From this, I learned that Deloitte are not only great at what they do regarding professional services, but they are an exemplar of a socially responsible company.
Not everything I learned was explicitly taught. Implicitly, I observed a very positive work environment. When Deloitte staff were interacting, it was clear to see everyone was listened to and everyone had a voice.
A positive, collaborative, and inclusive company culture was portrayed through their work relationships and the comradery between them. Additionally, it’s clear to see there is just as much respect throughout the hierarchy, whereby managers treat their juniors as equals. It speaks volumes when this positivity can even be resonated over a computer screen.
I learned the root of this culture is the emphasis on respect and inclusion, and each employee’s ability to bring every aspect of themselves to work without fear of being judged.
I loved the interactive element of the sessions, and the skills that flourished with them. Throughout the sessions, we were divided up into breakout rooms to interact with other students, so I was able to network and interact with people I’ve never met before. The additional benefit of this was that it was online, so I developed my confidence to communicate through a new platform. I feel as though I have improved my adaptability and learning agility, and am now well able to communicate just as effectively online, as well as learning about the technology used when working virtually. This is particularly important, because as highlighted in the session on the Future of Work, we are currently undergoing a rapid shift to virtual working.
I also learned the importance of my own personal brand and how to exhibit my qualities effectively in my CV and on LinkedIn. Discovering the recruiters’ outlook and tips and tricks regarding the recruitment cycle was refreshing. Overall, I feel I have developed a more pragmatic approach towards interviews, and how I reflect my best self on my CV and LinkedIn.
On a more personal level, I feel more self-motivated, focused and driven regarding my career. The programme eliminated any apprehensions I had about graduate programmes and has enhanced my confidence. It was beneficial to immerse myself in Deloitte virtually when it wasn’t possible physically - I was given an insight into the departments in Deloitte through the Business Insight sessions, and my interest in Audit has flourished even more. The session on professional education explained the exams and exemptions in great detail, which has further inspired me to study hard!
As a final word, I am delighted to have been given the opportunity to virtually immerse myself in Deloitte and am I am grateful for the new people I have networked with. I have gained skills and knowledge that will be beneficial for me throughout my whole career. I’d like to thank Deloitte and the Early Careers team for all the effort they put into the greatly successful programme.
Aoife is a fourth year Commerce student at University College Cork.