Spending a summer in Risk Advisory

Emily Aherne

Joining Deloitte

Q: A brief summary of how you became interested in a career in RA
A: The work involved in Risk Advisory is very varied. No two projects are the same and this appealed to me, as I enjoy being challenged in my role. Furthermore, there are many different facets of Risk Advisory; Internal Audit, Regulatory Compliance, Corporate Governance and Cyber Security. As I was unsure of which particular area I’d like to pursue, being a Co-op in the Risk Advisory Department gave me the scope to gain a vast array of experience across these areas.

Q: How did you find your Deloitte interview? Any tips?
A: I was extremely nervous for my interview with Deloitte. Not only was it my first professional interview, Deloitte was also my preference for Co-op placement. However, upon completing the interview I realised I had no reason to be apprehensive. The interviewers were so welcoming and instantly put me at ease.
My advice would be to be yourself. Academic achievements are important, but so too is personality. The interview is your chance to show you would be a good “fit” for the organisation. Also, research the company to find out about their Corporate Responsibility projects, Wellness initiatives, Employee Recognition schemes, Global Mobility programmes, etc. This shows you have done your homework and are aware of the benefits of being an employee at Deloitte.

Q: Why did you choose Deloitte?
A: Deloitte is renowned for being one of the world’s leading professional services firms and I was eager to work amongst people who are experts in their field. I knew that gaining work experience in Deloitte would improve my employability and provide me with a platform to launch my career. Furthermore, one of my friends had completed a Co-op placement with Deloitte and had only positive things to say about the experience. They emphasised how Deloitte really appreciated their people and invested in their development. This aspect of Deloitte’s organisational culture really appealed to me.

Q: Why did you choose to pursue a Professional qualification
A: I originally chose the route of professional qualification, as I was aware that the qualification is very highly regarded and can often act as a fast track into a senior management role. However, during my placement I enquired about the feasibility of gaining some experience in the HR function. I always enjoyed the HR modules I had studied in college and was eager to gain some first-hand experience. Deloitte were so kind as to accommodate my request and I gained experience with the HR Employer of Choice team and the HR Learning team.

My time in the Risk Advisory Department provided me with an abundance of invaluable skills which will certainly benefit me in my career. However, despite thoroughly enjoying my time in the Risk Advisory Department, in the long term I don’t think a career in Risk Advisory is the right fit for me. During my time in the HR department I really engaged with the work I was given. I had no previous experience in a HR role and was curious to find out what it entailed. All staff members across the department were more than happy to answer my numerous questions about their roles and tell me how they came to have a career in HR. Their work fascinated me and this helped me reach the conclusion that I would be suited to a career in HR.

Q: Your biggest Challenge and what did it teach you about yourself
A: Whilst on Co-op at Deloitte you are treated as though you have entered the firm as a graduate and are given a great deal of responsibility in preparing professional documents and liaising directly with clients. At first the prospect of this seemed quite daunting and I was unsure if I would be able to perform these tasks to a professional standard. However, with practice this became easier and my Managers were always more than happy to help if I had any questions or concerns. Over the course of my six months at Deloitte I’ve learned to have more confidence in my abilities in the workplace.

Q: What advice would you have for other students and graduates seeking to pursue a similar career path?
A: For students wishing to pursue a career a professional qualification, I would advise to find out what college modules give you exemptions from exams. This will ease the stress and workload when you’re a Trainee. For students wishing to pursue a career in HR, I’d advise speaking to someone in a HR role. A career in HR differs vastly to a career in accounting, in that there is no hard and fast route of entry. Nearly everyone I spoke to in the HR department came from a unique background and had a different undergraduate degree. Therefore, I would advise speaking to someone who is in the role you want, as this will give you an insight into the necessary steps to achieve your career aspirations.

Q: Where do you see your Future Career?
A: After my final year of my Bachelor of Commerce degree in UCC, I hope to go on to pursue a Masters in Human Resource Management in Michael Smurfit Business School. Following this, I hope to gain a role in an area related to HR. I would also love to experience living and working in London.Q: What is the best thing about working in Deloitte?

A: That they genuinely support their staff in all aspects of their personal and professional development.

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