Posted: 24 Feb. 2022 10 min. read

Quick-fire Q&A with Evangeline, Internal Audit

On making the move to Dublin, career progression and constant learning

Could you tell us a bit about yourself, and your time at Deloitte so far? How did you end up in your current role?

I’m originally from a city in Pakistan called Karachi. I moved to Dublin in 2017 and have been a part of the Deloitte’s Risk Advisory team since.

After completing my training contract in the Business Risk Services Department of another Big 4 firm back home, and after becoming a member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), I joined Deloitte as a Senior Consultant. I’m now part of the management group within the Accounting and Internal Controls service line.

I originally wasn’t too keen on moving - working miles away from home seemed daunting at first - but I have to say, Deloitte made it very easy and it’s been incredible ever since. Through the years I’ve experienced working on a wide range of opportunities with an amazing team to support me. No two days have been alike and I’ve seen and felt professional growth in myself, from being a part of the team to now leading and managing the team and the diverse client portfolio.

Is there a part of your role you particularly enjoy, or parts of your role you’ve found unexpectedly challenging?

I like that my role is very people-focused; you’re either interacting with a client or your own team on a daily basis. I particularly like the networking aspect of the job. The bonus of being part of a firm like Deloitte is you get to work with people who are just as enthusiastic as you are. There’s a real camaraderie, one that extends beyond the office. While it’s always interesting to meet new people, it can also get challenging at times - not everyone is on the same page as you are and people have different working styles. As I’ve progressed in the firm I’ve had various opportunities to hone my communication and networking skills and develop them further.

You also gain exposure to different businesses and industries and experience the thrill that comes with starting new engagements that are different to previous ones. All roles have their challenges, and every day is a unique day, but there’s always someone who’s been there and is ready to guide you through it.

What’s unique about the role or team you’re in?

I’d say my team are a fun bunch of people. I love the work that I do, and I particularly like that it adds value to people and businesses alike. In the service line that I work in i.e. Risk Advisory, there’s always an opportunity to lead the client to a better place than they were in before. The nature of the service we provide is not limited to just internal audit; the service caters to a wider range of advisory work. The work is always evolving in line with changes in the economic and business environment and you get to learn something new every day.

What I also find unique is that you work as a whole team in the firm; Deloitte functions as one unit. You could either be on a single engagement that’s limited to your specific skillset and service line, or you could be working on an engagement at an North and South Europe (NSE) level alongside various different locations and departments of the firm, all striving to make an impact for our clients.

 

I’d say my team are a fun bunch of people. I love the work that I do, and I particularly like that it adds value to people and businesses alike. In Risk Advisory, there’s always an opportunity to lead the client to a better place than they were in before.

 

What’s your favourite project you’ve worked on?

I’ve worked on a mix of projects, spanning across different industries and sectors. No two projects are alike; there’s always something new to learn from the organizations and their people.

One especially interesting project I worked on was a SOX Compliance review, which required me to travel to the UK and within Ireland. The main offices – where our team were based - were in the client’s production plants, and they had recently implemented a new piece of machinery that manufactured a product from raw material to finished goods in under 1.5 mins (which is impressive). The fancy part about this machinery was that one side of it was glass - so you could see the product getting made in real time, like in one of those National Geographic Megafactories episodes! It was extremely fascinating to witness.

That’s a glimpse of the nature of the work within the department. It’s not just all about the financials, documentation and reporting - we get to understand and experience clients’ business operations, see what they are proud of, and figure out how to help them achieve their goals effectively.

What are the main skills you’ve been able to develop in this role so far, and what do you want to focus on next?

At Deloitte, I believe I have grown both professionally and personally. I’ve further honed the skills I brought to the table as an experienced hire as I’ve moved up in my career. I’ve had various learning opportunities that focused both on my soft skills as well as technical skills.

One of the specific learnings I’ve had after joining Deloitte is the understanding of Business Chemistry. I believe it’s a very underrated skill; it has helped me understand people and their working styles and mannerisms over the years and developed my networking capabilities.

The business environment is constantly changing; if the impacts of the pandemic have taught us anything, it’s that organizations need to be resilient to survive these changes. This in turn has raised a staggering demand for the advisory services we provide, and I’d like to use these opportunities to enhance my skills and progress within the team even further.

What would we typically find you doing outside of work?

Outside of work, I find myself balancing my time between family, friends, and myself. Things I like to do for myself include cooking, reading a good book (I recently read the latest Dan Brown book and I think I need to travel to Spain now to  visualize it!) Sometimes I even try my hand at DIY projects.

Being away from home has been a different experience altogether, but a little family and a group of friends here in Ireland makes it easier. I spend most of my time outside of work with them, usually at a family lunch or dinner (which you cannot skip!) It keeps me grounded and I like that.

Ready to join the team?

About the author

Evangeline Alfonso

Evangeline Alfonso

Manager

Evangeline works in the Risk Advisory department at Deloitte - specialising in the provision of internal audit, risk advisory, controls assurance and governance assignments.