Life at Deloitte
Brian Rajakovich, Deloitte New Zealand
After a wonderful stint in New Zealand as a manager in Assurance and Advisory, Brian reflects on the highlights and the challenges of a secondment in New Zealand. Before coming here he was with Deloitte in Charlotte, North Carolina, for three years and gained a double degree in accounting and finance from the University of South Carolina.
How long were you in New Zealand for?
I was in New Zealand in the Christchurch office for two years and it was an incredible experience. My secondment was originally for 18 months however I was lucky enough to extend my contract to have an additional six more months in your beautiful country.
Why did you choose to come here?
The Oceania region has always been appealing to me, due to the distance, semi-isolation and the well-known beauty of the region. When I was working at Deloitte in the US, the idea of working internationally was appealing as I had never travelled outside of the US, and the opportunity was there with Deloitte being a global firm. New Zealand was advertising for an audit supervisor so I went through the process and here I am having now spent two years there.
What was your favourite part about living and working in New Zealand?
My favourite part was getting to explore the country, the culture and simply living life as a foreigner. New Zealand is incredible and I had had the opportunity to travel the entirety of it. Being there also gave me the opportunity to travel to Australia, Fiji, Thailand, Vietnam, and Malaysia which would have been far reaches from the east coast of the US!
What was the most challenging part of working abroad?
I think the most challenging part was adjusting to work and life simultaneously, and having to “start over” in regards to proving your value and skillset. The office culture was an adjustment but I think it has been beneficial to be able to adapt to the different styles and cultures in different offices.
What advice would you give to someone considering working overseas with Deloitte?
First of all, take the leap and give it a shot – no one I know has regretted the decision. We have Deloitte offices all around the world, so you should take advantage of the opportunity to travel whilst progressing in your career.
Also, don’t be afraid to be upfront about your intentions. If you’re coming to NZ, let your partners know that you would like to travel around the country and plan your trips.
In my experience, work can be flexible and partners understand that you are here for a life experience as well as for your career. Finally, just enjoy it as your two years go by quick. You’ll end up forging bonds and friendships that will last far beyond your secondment.
What is next for you?
I’m joining Deloitte Ireland but not before taking a month to spend time with family in the states. I will be joining Deloitte Ireland as a financial reporting advisory manager working under the Assurance and Advisory umbrella. The focus will be more on financial reporting consulting rather than auditing. This will be a slight change, but a good opportunity for me to widen my skill set.