Life at Deloitte
Our people: Jonathan McMillan
Associate in Risk Advisory - Internal Audit
Why did you choose Deloitte and in particular, Risk Advisory?
I wasn’t sure what exact career I wanted when I was studying at university, so I attended as many graduate recruitment events as I could to get an idea for what options I had. I liked the sound of both consulting and external audit, but after looking into my options I found that internal audit would provide me with the structure and technical elements of audit with the added variety of work that consulting entails.
Deloitte as an employer stood out to me at first because of how friendly and knowledgeable all the staff I interacted with were, it really seemed like a team I wanted to be a part of. In terms of work life balance during the summer months staff have the option to leave at 2pm on a Friday if they work their hours up during the week which is great for having extra flexibility to enjoy the summer while it’s here!
Describe your day-to-day role in Risk Advisory
Internal Audit is pivotal in helping businesses with risk management and improve their processes, controls and governance to enhance their performance. This is a very broad remit meaning that a graduate working within Internal Audit will find themselves working throughout the entire business with staff at every level. A graduate trainee within Internal Audit is typically responsible for carrying out the audit fieldwork. This means working at the client’s premises typically with one of your more senior colleagues.
There is a lot of client interaction required within Internal Audit as your primary role is to determine if a certain process is functioning correctly within the business and the only way to really get to grips with that is to interview and observe the businesses staff to build up a picture of the business processes. Once we have a good idea of the processes in place we design a range of ‘tests’ to see how well the particular businesses processes are functioning.
As a trainee develops, their role will expand to include the planning of audits and reporting of audit findings. Although the core role stays the same, I can genuinely say that there is no typical day within Internal Audit as the great range of clients and audits mean that every day has a different challenge.
What further learning opportunities are available to you now in Risk Advisory?
The most obvious example is the opportunity to study for a professional qualification, in my case the ACA, a globally recognised accounting qualification through Chartered Accountants Ireland. Deloitte really go above and beyond to support your study as well; with a generous paid study leave package, additional revision classes. Also, with such a large intake of other trainees and more senior staff who have already completed the qualification you always have someone available to help you out with tricky topics you are studying.
As well as an external qualification Deloitte has a comprehensive internal development programme with a structured learning and promotion track for graduates. This ranges from the technical aspects of your job to a variety of useful business skills such as presenting, managing client relationships, report writing and many more. The vast majority of learning opportunities are from on the job experience. With such a wide variety of clients and types of audits there is always a lesson or two to take away from every audit.
Why would you encourage graduates to consider Risk Advisory as a career?
I honestly don’t know many other jobs where you are able to make an impact on such large organisations and senior staff at such a junior level in your career. You will be constantly challenged in a good way, it is not the kind of job that after a few years can be ‘mastered’. You will work in a constantly changing and growing field, with a great team of colleagues who are keen to see you succeed and support your growth both professionally and personally. I have learned so much in my first year here and would definitely make the same choice again if I was deciding where I wanted to start my career.
Read more about our Graduate Programmes in Risk Advisory.
Name: Jonathan McMillan
Department: Risk Advisory- Operational Risk: Internal Audit
College Attended: Queen’s University Belfast
Course Completed: Politics, Philosophy and Economics
Professional Qualification: Currently studying for the ACA with Chartered Accountants Ireland
Joined Deloitte: September 2016