Meet our People - Ross O'Neill

Graduate in Consulting

Why did you choose the Deloitte Graduate Programme?

A number of qualities initially grabbed my attention. When I began researching prospective employers, the reputation of Deloitte globally, along with the seemingly endless list of industry leading clients initially grabbed my attention. However, if I am being honest I don’t think this is what really drew me to work here - I would have to say it’s the people that drew me here. Throughout my university experience I had the chance to meet a lot of Deloitte employees,and I was consistently blown away by their approachability, candid nature and general craic.

Although the firm’s eminence was in no way a hindrance to my potential application, I knew that the people I would eventually work with day to day would largely dictate my experience.

What did you study in college?

I studied Business and Law in University College Dublin.

With this Graduate Programme are you now working in the industry of your choice?

This is a slightly difficult one to answer, purely because I am still unsure of what my industry of choice is! However, based on this indecisiveness, I would say this programme is definitely the perfect fit. The variety of projects I work on provides me with insight into a range of industries and sectors. Eventually, I hope that the penny will drop and I will find the industry I want to specialise in; however, until that day, the more variety I can get the better.

What were your first impressions and how easy did you find it to become integrated at Deloitte?

The Graduate Programme makes integration in Deloitte extremely easy. Your first two weeks in the firm are spent on an induction programme with all other new joiners. During this two week period, you’re afforded the opportunity to get to know your new colleagues through various workshops and induction activities during the day, but also through a number social events and nights out. This integration is obviously important to make friends and make working life more enjoyable; however, you soon begin to realise that these relationships also form the basis for your internal network upon which you will consistently rely for professional support and guidance.

Can you describe a typical day in your role?

This is always the question that a consultant struggles to answer! It is next to impossible to describe a typical day as I am quite sure there is no such thing as a typical day. As I look back on my last two years, there are certainly times when routine emerges, however this is usually short lived. In my 24 months I have worked with 5 different clients and with each role my typical day has changed drastically. A few commonalities that can be found on any of my past roles, has been a great atmosphere among the Deloitte team and a high achieving work ethic to provide great service to our clients.

Have you ever felt daunted by the level of responsibility presented to you while working in Deloitte? If not, why do you think that is?

No, I have never felt daunted by my responsibilities. However, there have been many times that I have felt nervous or a bit stressed. At the end of the day, starting a graduate programme means moving into an environment that is completely foreign to you. The challenges and demands of professional life will always push a graduate out of their comfort zone from time to time. I think this is even magnified within a high performance environment like Deloitte, as you are held to a higher standard. I have never found these challenges daunting however, because whenever they are presented to you, so are the necessary supports. Whenever you are asked to step up, you will be given the guidance and resources to enable you to succeed. Additionally, if you ever do feel over stretched, there is always someone to reach out to for help.

What do you feel makes a good leader in Deloitte?

For me, a leader is someone that will work for the team and inspires you to do the same. This can be done by anyone, from an intern in their second week to a partner 20+ years with the firm. This view is held throughout Deloitte, in fact we use the phrase ‘leaders at all levels’ to encourage all our people to lead.

What is the social life like while working at Deloitte?

The social life in Deloitte is great and this is especially true for those who join as part of the graduate programme. During your two week induction, there are a number of nights out and events organised to facilitate getting to know your intake on a social level. Even after the induction period, as you settle into normal routine, you will find that you’re never too far off a social event. From the sports and social committee, to team or department wide activities there is always something going on.

Do you feel you have managed to achieve a good work-life balance within Deloitte and if so, what steps have you taken in achieving that?

Yes, I would like to think that I have. I think the best way to achieve a strong work-life balance is to manage your time effectively. If you have commitments outside of work, stick to them, but, by doing so, ensure you are not neglecting your responsibilities. For example, if you play a sport and have training on Wednesday evenings then absolutely leave Wednesday early enough to make training. However, if you know you have a certain amount of work to get through, then perhaps come in early that morning to ensure it all gets done.

What makes Deloitte stand out as an employer?

It was Deloitte’s people that first attracted me here, and the people are what still stand out to me today. The personalities, friendships, support and guidance offered by the people here are what keep me here, and are what I always point to as Deloitte’s greatest strengths.

What impact do you feel is made to the working environment by the diversity within the team at Deloitte?

I think Deloitte and our clients benefit hugely from the range of people and backgrounds we have in our team. Purely from a team dynamic and personality mix perspective, it is always fantastic to hear the spectrum of opinions and insights which a diverse workforce brings.

However, the benefits of our diversity are not just limited to the softer sides of business. I believe that the client service we provide is bolstered by the diversity of contributors. When a problem is presented to a team of Deloitte practitioners, all members will hear the same issue, but will present a vastly different interpretation and proposed solution. This breadth of opinion challenges all of our preconceptions and forces us to think critically about the problem at hand.

The result of this critical thinking is a more rounded solution and a ultimately a better service provided to our clients.

Have you been involved in any of the Deloitte CSR activities?

I have been lucky enough to have been involved in a number of the firm’s CSR activities. Every year, on what we call Impact Day, hundreds of Deloitte employees partake in charitable work with a number of different organisations. Last year, I volunteered painting and decorating buildings with Clúid Housing who offer social housing services. In addition to this, I am heavily involved in the ‘Analyst Christmas Challenge’ which is a fundraising challenge run annually within consulting. Over that past two years alone, it has raised close to €30,000 for a number of extremely worthy causes. I can honestly say that my involvement in these wonderful initiatives has been the most rewarding part of my time in Deloitte to date.


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