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D.cisions magazine - Issue 2

The world is your oyster

Do you aspire to work overseas and travel around the globe? As the world becomes increasingly borderless in both the business world and the societies we live in, overseas assignments have become an important component of career progression and a key opportunity for personal and professional development. To cater to the aspirations of talent to work abroad and explore the world, Deloitte offers a wide range of mobility programmes to develop our people - one of which is the Deloitte Global Mobility Programme (GMP).

“I’ve always wanted the opportunity to live and work overseas in a foreign country and Deloitte has given me this opportunity through the Global Mobility Programme.” – Zhong Guoxiang, Audit Manager

Do you aspire to work overseas and travel around the globe? As the world becomes increasingly borderless in both the business world and the societies we live in, overseas assignments have become an important component of career progression and a key opportunity for personal and professional development. To cater to the aspirations of talent to work abroad and explore the world, Deloitte offers a wide range of mobility programmes to develop our people - one of which is the Deloitte Global Mobility Programme (GMP).

Embarking on the Global Mobility Programme journey

Last year, four Deloitte Audit Managers – Mark Koh, Zhong Guoxiang, Yeo Sheng An and Vivian Tay Shi Min – took up the opportunity to go on the GMP and embarked on their journey to live and work overseas. Mark Koh has been on a two-year secondment to the Deloitte London Office since November 2014 and is expected to return to Singapore in November 2016. Both Zhong Guoxiang and Yeo Sheng An are currently stationed in the United States (US) for eighteen-month secondments until March 2016, working in the Deloitte New York and Charlotte offices respectively. Vivian went on a six-month secondment to Deloitte Luxembourg and returned to Singapore in March of this year.

Backed by their consistent years of hard work over the years and strong interest for mobility opportunities, these Deloitte Audit Managers were selected as GMP participants and felt grateful for the chance. “I was pleasantly surprised and honoured to be given this opportunity by the firm to have a once-in-a-lifetime experience!” exclaimed Vivian. Sheng An felt jubilant to be given the opportunity as he believed that the selection process was definitely not easy, with several rounds of interviews with Partners from both the Singapore and US offices.

On top of their career aspirations to work overseas, they took up the GMP opportunity for several reasons, including the opportunity to travel, experience various cultures, gain global insights into the industry, expand their network of contacts and grow personally and professionally. Mark reflected, “I’ve always wanted the opportunity to live and work overseas in a foreign country and Deloitte has given me this opportunity through the GMP.” Guoxiang shared the same sentiments, “After working in Deloitte for 5 years, I felt like it’s a good time and perfect opportunity to step out of my comfort zone and try working abroad in a different office to gain a different exposure both on a professional and personal level, which I believe will aid in my future career development.”

An eye-opening and enriching learning experience

All four of the GMP participants agree that there are many takeaways and benefits from the programme despite the challenges of living and working overseas. Vivian, who was a Senior Year 3 under the Audit Group for Investment Funds in Deloitte Luxembourg, experienced cultural and language barriers during her time in Luxembourg. Nonetheless, she gained invaluable knowledge and exposure in the investment funds industry and learnt audit from a different perspective. Sheng An and Mark find that the programme is an eye-opening and enriching learning experience for them. Working as an Audit Manager in Banking & Capital Markets in the Deloitte London office, Mark recognises that the programme has allowed him to learn how to navigate and work in different cultures. Sheng An said, “The GMP has given me first-hand experience of working with US clients and co-workers which expands my global perspective and helps develop my interpersonal and intercultural skills.” In addition, the GMP has offered him the opportunity to build a network of relationships with clients, co-workers and fellow assignees. Furthermore, Guo Xiang values the opportunity to work and interact with many different talented professionals from diverse cultures and backgrounds and expand his global network.

Forging invaluable friendships

Working and living overseas also gives the GMP participants many opportunities to meet people of different nationalities and to build friendships which they have come to treasure. “My teammates whom I interact with on a daily basis help me appreciate and adapt to the American culture, support me through challenging busy season and as well as relaxing over drinking sessions together. I will cherish these friendships forever,” said Sheng An. In a similar fashion, Guoxiang has developed valuable friendships with his fellow GMP mates from across the world, including Spain, France, Belgium and Ireland. Forging friendships has formed one of the most meaningful and unforgettable part of their GMP experiences. As Vivian shared, “I made friends with people who came from all around the world, such as US, China, Hong Kong, Tahiti, France, Italy and many more. That was one of the hardest things to say goodbye to when I left Luxembourg.”

Travelling like never before

It wasn’t all work and no play as they also made the most of the opportunity to travel and enjoy the attractions in their host countries. Living in another country for an extended period of time has allowed Sheng An to explore the country more widely than a tourist, fully immerse in the country’s culture, as well as gain an understanding and appreciation of the host country’s work culture and way of life. “What I enjoy the most are my travels in the US! One year into the GMP, I have covered 15 different States, driven on some of the most famous and scenic highways in the country and gone on breath-taking trails in the Grand Canyon and Yosemite National Park,” shared Sheng An. Guoxiang is also hoping to explore more places in his remaining time in New York after travelling to 11 States so far. During their different exciting travel schedules, Mark and Vivian even met up together in London for a road trip, along with Mark’s family and other secondees, covering Cambridge, Leeds, Newcastle, Edinburgh, the Lake District and Liverpool in just 3 days.

Unforgettable experiences

Their GMP journey gave them an invaluable opportunity to see the world and gain new experiences as well as many interesting stories to share. “One of the highlights so far was the Manhattan skyline cruise during a five-day orientation programme held in New Jersey where we had the opportunity to meet and interact with other assignees, as well as to exchange gifts that represented the culture of our home countries,” shared Sheng An. The highlight of Vivian’s six-month secondment was the Deloitte Diversity Day, a multi-cultural Charity event organized by Deloitte Luxembourg, where the people were given a chance to represent their own countries and share their own local food and dishes. For Guoxiang, the statue of liberty cruise that he went on during the first week of the programme was particularly memorable, as this was where he met Deloitte colleagues from all over the world and appreciated Deloitte as a truly international network.

Expand your horizons

Besides the GMP, international opportunities are abound with Deloitte where our employees can expand their horizons. Whether they are looking to go on a short-term mobility project or a longer term overseas assignment, there are Deloitte offices in over 150 countries worldwide, including 25 offices in Southeast Asia, which enables our people to have fantastic opportunities to work overseas. As the largest professional services organization in the world, Deloitte really can offer more than any other firm.

Deloitte Singapore won the Singapore HR Gold Award for “Excellence in Cross Border HR Programmes” for our mobility programmes in 2014, including our Southeast Asia (SEA) Audit Mobility Program which takes our staff on cross-border assignments in the SEA region.

Mark shared that “With the GMP, you get a great deal of support from the Singapore firm, both financially and logistically, so that you only have to focus on your career there. I truly feel that Deloitte offers its people great opportunities to shine!”

For Vivian, Mark, Guoxiang and Sheng An, it has indeed been a once-in-a-lifetime experience for them to participate in Deloitte’s Global Mobility Programme!

The world can be your oyster – so where would you want to go?

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.

Click here to download this issue: D.cisions issue 2

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