Life at Deloitte

Alysha Wilson, Deloitte Luxembourg

Assurance busy season secondment

I'm from the Deloitte Christchurch office, after working for Deloitte for 3 years I was offered an opportunity to work for 13 weeks in the Deloitte Luxembourg office to support their audit busy season.

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My absolute favourite part has been meeting new and interesting people, especially the other secondees here in Luxembourg. 

Tell us about yourself?
My name is Alysha Wilson and I am from the Deloitte Christchurch office. I grew up in New Plymouth and moved to Christchurch after year 13 to attend Canterbury University where I completed a 3 year Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Accounting and Taxation. Whilst at university I did a 3 month summer internship with Deloitte in the audit department, I was then offered a graduate position. I finished my last year of University, did a mini OE where I went to China with Canterbury University for 5 weeks and then Europe for 5 weeks. Since then I have been working in the audit department for just over 3 years now. I have just passed my last Chartered Accountant exam and graduate in May.

What have you been doing?
I am currently living in Luxembourg, a small country in Europe that borders Belgium, France and Germany.

I travelled with my partner and his family for 3 weeks around the UK before starting work at Deloitte in Luxembourg. I have spent 13 weeks here. I then head home to travel NZ for 2 weeks before starting back in the Christchurch office just in time for our busy season and winter again.

Why did you go there?
When I first started working for Deloitte I knew that an international secondment was an experience I wanted to have and was one of the opportunities that Deloitte was able to offer. After working for Deloitte for 3 years I was offered this opportunity, I originally wanted to go to London for the secondment as most secondments are in the UK. However this year the process of the UK accepting secondees was much slower due to Brexit and in the meantime the Luxembourg opportunity came up so I jumped on that. I had also heard Luxembourg was super central to travel from and provided a very multi-cultural experience with most people working there from other countries.

What’s your favourite part about living and working overseas?
My absolute favourite part has been meeting new and interesting people, especially the other secondees here in Luxembourg. They were from places such as South Africa, Malta and Mauritius. We have had an awesome time together travelling in the weekends and it was awesome to hear about their time at Deloitte in other countries and have a support network whilst working in another country which can be out of your comfort zone (it was for me). I was lucky enough to travel every weekend I was here to places such as Lisbon, Barcelona, Amsterdam, Paris, Cologne, Milan, Brussels and Bruges. I was also lucky enough to have my Grandma come stay with me for 3 weeks and we spent the weekends travelling together. Living overseas has also taught me a lot about the working environment and the accounting and legal laws in another country and it really has been a character building experience, although I will be happy to come home.

What’s the most challenging part of working abroad?
By far the most challenging part of working in Luxembourg specifically has been the language barrier, we were told that the working language is English, however French is the most prominent language used over here, although most people can speak English it is just a matter of whether they choose to or not and how good they are at it. I was also placed in the commercial audit industry team where there were a lot of French speaking employees and clients and therefore I found myself in situations such as:

  • Client meetings in French
  • Trying to teach interns who spoke very minimal English and didn’t understand my fast speaking kiwi accent
  • Audit files in French
  • Working in big audit teams where they spoke French all day
  • General day to day struggles of ordering food etc.

However this all added to the experience.

What advice would you give to someone considering working overseas with Deloitte during busy season?
An international secondment is an absolute awesome opportunity that Deloitte provides and if you get the chance to go on one I would definitely recommend. Be prepared to work just as hard as you do in NZ’s busy season, although you are in a different country the work is still pretty much the same. None of the secondees were in situations where we had to work the weekend, but late nights were not rare. We treated the weeks like sandwiches – amazing in the weekends but hard work during the week, so it was all worth it. Having a secondment in an English speaking country would have been by far easier, but this was definitely a unique experience.  

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