Deloitte Staff Derek Wong
D.cisions magazine - Issue 6
“I always believed in fate. I chose Deloitte for my full-time career because they were there for me before I became a Commonwealth Games Medalist and two-time Olympian.” Derek Wong, Audit Associate, Deloitte Singapore
My badminton journey I started playing badminton when I was seven years old due to the influence from my parents, who both represented Singapore in the sport. I was inspired by my father, Wong Shoon Keat, who won the 1983 SEA Games Gold Medal in the Men’s Singles Individual event.
Growing up, I played badminton regularly and it was after my 'O' levels that I began my career as a professional sportsman. It was not an easy decision – I consulted my parents, teachers and also seniors that I looked up to. But once I made that decision, I was determined to never look back.
I like the adrenaline and the mental challenges when competing in international scene.
Badminton is a sport that requires a lot of physical, agility and mental training; it builds my competitive and resilient mindset, which pushes me to seek continuous improvement in everything I do. These characteristics allow athletes like me to contribute to the community and society.
My sports journey, like any athlete, consisted of many ups and downs. One of my lowest times was when I could not train on a regular basis while serving my National Service (NS).
Although the time away for my national obligation was a life experience that I do not regret, going back to full-time training after my NS was extremely tough. It was all worthwhile in the end when results started to show in competitions and it gave me the strength and motivation to train doubly hard and strive for even better results.
All this while, I kept a quote from Roger Federer’s in mind: “I fear no one, but respect everyone” and apply this to sports and work. From 2011, I reaped the rewards of my hard work and discipline and achieved some of my proudest accomplishments in my badminton career.
Deloitte’s ignite support
Apart from the support from my family, friends, teammates, and the Badminton Association, Deloitte also played a big part in helping me achieve success on both the regional and world stages. The firm has given me more security to pursue my sporting goals without worry, helping me to excel in my sports and career transition from professional sports to the working world. Deloitte started supporting me even before I won the Silver medal at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. Their belief meant a lot to me and brought me to where I am today.
In 2014, Deloitte offered me a part-time working experience in the Clients & Markets Team as a Research Analyst through the Deloitte Ignite Programme, a special programme for both current and retired elite athletes that offers flexible internship and employment opportunities with the organisation.
I am thankful for Deloitte’s tremendous support and the arrangement of a customised work schedule that allows me to work from home and around my training schedule. I think that the Deloitte Ignite Programme is a good platform for athletes who want to make sure they are prepared for their career after sports. This in turn allows athletes to commit a hundred per cent of their energy and focus in the sporting career they are currently pursuing and excel in it. I like the working environment in Deloitte, although everyone works hard, they also find time to interact and bond with colleagues from different departments during their break time or after work. There is a staff lounge with a café, a pool table and a foosball table for staff to relax and enjoy some time away from their desks.
The sporting environment in the firm also appeals to me greatly as it shows the emphasis of work-life balance in Deloitte. It was a new experience for me to play badminton with my colleagues at corporate challenges, instead of playing with my teammates that I’m so used to. Being part of the Deloitte family has also introduced me to a new world outside of badminton and my life skills have improved markedly.
My transition to a career in Audit
I always believed in fate. I chose Deloitte for my full-time career because they were there for me before I became a Commonwealth Games Medalist and a two-time Olympian. I am thankful to the family at Deloitte who supported my smooth transition into the company. One may ask, “Why Audit?” Given that audit is one of the main functions in Deloitte, I believe that joining the audit team will allow me to understand the company better.
Although it will be busy, the experience will broaden my perspective on how I can balance work and life. It has been a month since I joined Deloitte. The core Audit trainings during my first two weeks has equipped me with the technical knowledge and skills required to perform in my role on the field. I will also be enrolling into the fully sponsored Deloitte-ICAEW programme which will provide me with the route to obtain the Association of Chartered Accountant (ACA) qualification. I am glad that I had the opportunity to pursue my sports career for so many years but I am now ready to excel in my new career in audit and work towards my goal of being a partner in Deloitte.
Badminton is in my blood and I plan to keep coaching badminton outside of work to groom the next generation of shuttlers. This sport has taught me a lot about discipline and the limits that we can push our minds and bodies to. The lessons in excellence, resilience and determination from sport have also helped me in the world outside of it, and I have been able to apply these lessons in my work with Deloitte.
Another lesson I have learnt is never to take support for granted – it is because of my family, friends, teammates and my supervisors and colleagues in Deloitte that I am able to dream so big and come so far.
D.cisions is our quarterly magazine which provides undergraduates with tips, advice and success stories to help them take their first crucial step in making the right choice for themselves, in terms of choosing their employer - one where they will fit in and aligned to their values, interests and priorities.
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