Lena Aseeva

Life at Deloitte

Lena Aseeva, Deloitte Toronto

Alumni

I’m an Organization Design Consultant in Human Capital. I started my career with Deloitte Auckland, working in a small but mighty Human Capital team of ~15. I then got the opportunity to get some international work experience, and transferred to the Canadian practice just after my 2nd year of work.

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Where are you? What are doing?
I’m based in Toronto, Canada. I am continuing to specialize in Organization Design, having I’ve been lucky enough to do some travel with work during my time here so far – both cross-country (to Vancouver) last year, and to The Windy City, Chicago, just last month!

How long have you been away?
I made the move in January 2015 , during the “worst winter in 10 years”. Thanks, Canada.

Why did you choose to go there?
I wanted international experience, especially in a wide variety of industries. I had friends in Toronto already, and as the hub for large banking, consumer goods, and public sector clients, it was the right choice for me. It also helped that Jeff Moir, the HC Leader for Canada, is Hamish Wilson’s “Canadian Twin” (which of course made me far less homesick!)

What’s your favourite part about living and working overseas?
The work is really wide-ranging (industries and project challenges). My very first project here was for a luxury goods retailer. Since then, I’ve worked with law firms, banks, and an alcohol and gaming regulator. Some very interesting learning and diverse experiences coming out of all of these!

Life in North America is very exciting. There is lots to see and do, even in Toronto. It’s a city of 6M, and a melting-pot of different cultures. Toronto is also really close to other major hubs. I love to travel abroad, so the location is perfect for me. New York is on our doorstep; Europe is just a 7 hour flight.

What’s the most challenging part of working abroad?
Being really far from friends and family is definitely the most challenging – you can’t get in the car and go and visit someone when you miss them. Skype/FaceTime helps, but the time difference is sometimes tough to manage too.

Some of the things that you don’t think about when living in New Zealand become really tough living abroad. What you previously took for granted, like having a credit card with a decent limit, easily getting insurance, etc, become needlessly painful without ‘resident’ status in your new country.

What advice would you give to someone considering working overseas with Deloitte?
Have conversations – with your team back home, and with your ‘new’ team. Get people involved as soon as possible – they will all want to help the best they can. By connecting with the ‘new’ team early on, you’ll also be able to get an understanding of the type of work they do (and figure out if this matches with where you want to focus), and the direction the practice is taking over the next few years.

Scope out the location you want to live in before you make a decision too. There’s nothing worse than arriving in a new place, with all your worldly possessions, and then finding out you don’t like the city/weather/national anthem!

Most important of all, keep an open mind. Don’t be afraid to try something new. The experiences that you will get from working overseas are exceptionally rewarding, and will stay with you for the rest of your life!

Andrea
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