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Life at Deloitte

Academics Vs Experience

Francis O'Reilly, Summer Intern in Tax

When I received the offer of this internship, a dilemma played out in my mind. Should I take this opportunity, or do I want to have a summer abroad? I classify myself as a very competitive person, who always wants to succeed, and wants to be near the top.

What I’ve noticed in my first two year of college is that I cannot compete with certain classmates of mine academically. When weighing up my options for the summer period, I decided to forego any plans of going abroad, to gain an edge on my counterparts. They could beat me academically, but they would not beat me for experience. I believe that academic skills can only bring you so far in life. There must be a blend between that and experience. I am seeking to establish that blend over the next 12 weeks.

My first week here has been exhilarating.

I’ve worked in office environments before, but not in one as exciting as this one. The work that has been delegated to me has been empowering. The level of responsibility has made me feel as a valued member of the Corporate Tax team.

As I walk through the front door each morning, I relish the work awaiting me. What I have found exciting is not actually doing the work, but observing bright minded and intelligent professionals process of how they would complete the work.

I’ve already learnt skills that are not taught in college, and I hope I continue to learn more of them. 

How best to present to partners and clients, how to get work done while under deadline pressure, and how to get tasks completed as efficiently as possible as part of a team. Already, I feel I’ve gained some sort of an edge on my college compatriots. One surprising factor I’ve found in my first week here is that academic skills are not as vital as I thought they would be here.

I have felt that my academic skills from my college course have not been essential. It feels like a lot of the work I must complete requires a limited amount of academic skill, and a high level of common sense. Of course though, common sense can only come from experience. I have no doubt that they level of work will become more and more complex in the coming weeks, but the skills must be accompanied by common sense. Basic skills and habits have also been enlightening for me over the last few days.

I’ve realised that a lot of time can be wasted first thing in the morning through getting my laptop switched on, waiting for the elevator, getting a cup of coffee etc. I’ve now gotten into the habit of arriving 15 minutes early, in case something does happen that delays. I now start actually working before 9 each day and I’m not under pressure time-wise for deadlines due mid-morning. This is a simple habit to pick up but one that I only realised through the experience of working in an office environment, which is something you cannot be taught in college.

A lot of the things I have outlined above may seem basic or trivial pieces of advice, but they can only be acquired through the experience of actually working in an organisation such as Deloitte.

I’ve only been working here for just over a week, but I already feel as if I’ve gathered a wealth of knowledge and experience. Creating a balance of academics with experience is obviously an ideal situation, but until now I had not attempted to find it. Now, I’m extremely grateful for finding it, and I hope to build on it further as the weeks progress.

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