Insights

Top tips for successful graduates

D.cisions magazine - Issue 1

In this article, our staff share with you their top tips and advice to help you make that right choice in terms of choosing your employer and make the successful leap from graduate to top talents just like them.

Inez Lau Kuan Ling

Degree and University: Bachelor of Accounting, NTU

Designation/Function: Senior, Assurance & Advisory

Year that you joined Deloitte: 2013

Hobbies: Zumba, singing, finding good coffee

Deloitte and you

Q. What is your background?

I took an Accounting degree in NTU and participated in the summer internship in Deloitte during Year 2 of my university days.

Q. How did you get hired to work in Deloitte?

I was given priority offer and accepted the full time position at the end of my internship stint with Deloitte.

Q. Why did you choose Deloitte?

It was due to the friendly work culture in the audit group that I was assigned to during my internship days!

Q. What is your current role?

Being a first year senior, I am expected to be the team in-charge for the engagement team. I am also expected to guide the associates on the engagement fieldwork, manage the managers’ expectations of deadlines and assist the managers in resolving any problems that are faced in the field.

Your advice to undergraduates

Q. What advice would you offer to undergraduates in terms of career choices?

If you are looking for a job that offers you exposure to more than one industry, audit is definitely the profession for you.

Q. What advice would you offer to undergraduates who want to pursue a career in Audit?

Perseverance and willingness to learn. A manager once told me, “The key to surviving in audit is to have stamina.”

Q. What can one expect when working in Audit?

Audit is not a bed of roses: long working hours are definitely required during the peak period. However, going through the grind and learning together with the engagement team is what makes you more resilient.

Q. What is the best part of your job?

Learning about how auditing and accounting concepts are applied to different industries, from

oil and gas industries to education institutions.

Q. What should one be prepared for when entering Audit?

A steep learning curve (with guidance of course) and super awesome team mates.

Your Deloitte experience

Q. How is it like working in Deloitte?

It is like an extension of university life, where there are seniors to guide you when you encounter problems and peers to fall back on when the work gets too stressful.

Q. What do you like about Deloitte?

Its people. The strong mentoring system within Deloitte ensures that there are always people whom you can look for when you encounter problems at work.

Q. What is your happiest moment at work?

Achieving personal milestones at work, such as good gradings.

Q. What are some of the opportunities that Deloitte provide?

Deloitte has provided me challenging work through exposure to different industries. In addition, there are various firm-wide initiatives ensuring that we play hard while working hard.

Q. What are some of your memorable Deloitte experiences?

Taking part in the various firm-wide initiatives such as Inter-Departmental Games and volunteering at SEA Games 2015.

Sean Tan

Degree and University: Bachelor of Accountancy, NTU

Designation/Function: Assistant Manager, Assurance & Advisory

Year that you joined Deloitte: 2011

Hobbies: Reading, swimming, cycling

Deloitte and You

Q. What is your background?

I was initially offered a Business Degree course with NUS. A couple of months prior to the start of my university course, I had the chance to talk to different people from various industries as I was working as a Contract Recruitment Consultant. I realised that I could connect well with people from the Accounting industries, and that was when I decided to change to an Accountancy course with NTU. I never looked back since.

Q. How did you get hired to work in Deloitte?

During my time with NTU, I was selected by Deloitte to join their Summer Internship in 2010. I enjoyed myself during my internship and I was given a priority offer at the end of it to join as a permanent hire. I took up the offer without hesitation and I joined Deloitte officially as an Audit Associate in 2011.

Q. Why did you choose Deloitte?

When I was in NTU, there was already information going around describing certain attributes of each of the Big 4 (you know, those talks you have with friends over lunch at school canteens or in between the walk from the lecture hall to tutorial rooms). I must say, I was really attracted to how Deloitte was being described, so I made Deloitte my first choice when I was applying for internship.

Q. What is your current role?

As an Audit Assistant Manager, the main highlight of my job is that for every audit client, there will always be different things to do and to look forward to. In a nutshell, I am involved in the planning, execution, oversight and wrap-up of audit engagements that are assigned to me.

Q. How do you think Deloitte is different from the other Big Four?

Nurturing and family-oriented! I believe that’s what sets Deloitte apart from the other Big Four. I’ve personally benefited from the mentor system at Deloitte. We have very caring mentors who are willing to go the extra mile to guide and help junior staff on both work and non-work related matters. We have official mentor outings and lunches which provided opportunities for everyone in the mentor group to check-in on one another in a non-work environment. In fact, just last month, I attended an Archery Tag game with my mentor group and it was really an enjoyable experience!

Your advice to undergraduates

Q. What advice would you offer to undergraduate in terms of career choices?

Well, I’ve been in your shoes and I know it’s going to be tough trying to decide your career path. Back then, I didn’t want a desk-bound job that’s just 9 to 5 going through the same assigned work routine daily. That was why I chose Audit. Every single day will always be different from yesterday as we try to resolve issues that arise during our Audit. We also move on from client to client, resulting in a refreshing change in environment periodically.

Q. What advice would you offer to undergraduates who want to pursue a career in Audit?

Be versatile and humble. The long list of Accounting and Auditing Standards are definitely mind-boggling and to top it off, they are constantly changing and improving! As an Audit Professional, you need to keep abreast of the latest changes and updates to Accounting and Auditing Standards. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and don’t be afraid to make mistakes. At Deloitte, we have a strong mentor system and frequent Technical Update Sessions to guide our Staff through these changes.

Also, don’t be afraid to work hard. A partner in Deloitte once told me, “Be an ocean liner, not a sampan (flat-bottom wooden boat)” and it struck a chord with me. I paraphrased what the partner actually said – “ocean liners are huge ships that travel long-distance maritime routes that are sometimes dark and choppy. Unlike sampans, which are only capable of travelling short-distance sea-paths, ocean liners take on more challenging routes in search of their destination”. So the bottom-line is, don’t be afraid to grind through tiring and challenging assignments. The end result is definitely worth your effort!

Q. What can one expect when working in Audit?

I’m not going to hide it from you: the rumors are true. One can expect long hours, stressful deadlines and demanding clients. But at the same time, you will also gain trusted friends, experience very strong job satisfaction and progress through a defined career path. Oh, the annual salary increment is something to look forward to as well!

Q. What should one be prepared for when entering Audit?

Be prepared to work hard. But of course, learn to enjoy your work.

Your Deloitte experience

Q. How is it like working in Deloitte?

With the changing business landscape, more and more accounting and audit issues surface each day. More often than not, there is no one-size-fit-all solution to all the issues that we face during our audit engagement. In such a challenging context, Deloitte has a strong support base in the form of fellow peers, managers, partners as well as our technical department. For instance, when I face a road block at the client’s, I can often reach out to my managers to seek advice. The audit partners often engage us as well. I’ve had partners approaching me about my career plans and making sure that the firm’s arrangements for me are in line with my career aspirations.

Q. What do you like about Deloitte?

I’ve been with Deloitte for 4 years and seen how the firm tries to constantly improve by introducing new policies to better engage its employees, to provide a better working environment, to reward those with good work performance and to strive towards the work-life balance that many hold dear. I think that’s important, especially for the younger generation. I also like that we are generally a closely-knit bunch within each Audit Group. Forging strong friendships with fellow peers in Deloitte is probably my biggest reward yet.

Q. What are some of the opportunities that Deloitte provide?

Deloitte provides a Southeast Asia Mobility Program that allows its employees to apply for a temporary stint at one of the Deloitte practices within SEA. I’ve got friends who have been selected for short-term secondments to the KL and Bangkok. They have made new friends overseas and gained insights into how companies in these regions function.

Q. What are your career aspirations and how does Deloitte support you in achieving it?

I’ve always wanted to gain overseas working experience because I believe that will expand my horizons. So far, I’ve travelled to Myanmar, Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia. Next up, I will be travelling to Shanghai, Korea and the States! Working for a short period of time in the States has always been one of my career goals. I believe having working experience with US GAAP audit clients will allow me to become an all-rounded Audit Professional (i.e. to have experience dealing with SFRS, IFRS and US GAAP). Deloitte has the Global Mobility Program which sends selected individuals to the States or UK for a period of 18 months. I’ve voiced out my interest for the program to my managers and partners and I will work hard towards that goal.

Lee Zhi Siong Daryl Linus

Degree and University: Economics, SMU

Designation/Function: Senior, Tax – Transfer Pricing

Year that you joined Deloitte: 2013

Hobbies: Gym, swimming, watching movies

Deloitte and you

Q. What is your background?

I was previously undertaking the path of an Actuarial Science student, with a

Bachelor of Science in Economics and 2nd major in Actuarial Science in SMU.

Q. How did you get hired to work in Deloitte?

My educational background gave assurance to my employers of my analytical skills in statistics and economics. I felt that communication of my honest expectations of the job to my employers during my interview was very important so that neither party’s expectations were too far-fledged from reality.

Q. Why did you choose Deloitte?

Deloitte is a reputable company with clients operating in various industries, and it made sense for me to begin a career in Transfer Pricing through exposure to a diverse set of clients and their operating models.

Q. What is your current role?

I am a Tax Senior under Deloitte Singapore’s Transfer Pricing team. I assist taxpayers (corporations) in assessing that their related party transactions are made at arm’s length.

Q. How do you think Deloitte is different from the other Big Four?

Deloitte had a reputation of being “approachable” relative to the other Big Four, with a better emphasis on the growth and development of its employees.

Your advice to undergraduates

Q. What advice would you offer to undergraduates in terms of career choices?

Try not to be too absorbed into trying to find lines of work aligned exactly as per your course of study. Try instead, to look for jobs which require skills developed through your course of study. For example, Actuarial Science for me required a lot of hardcore mathematical/statistical computations on Excel, which I developed through my internships. As such, Excel skills became a major marketing point for my job search, and even more so than my educational background on Actuarial Science. Remember, career success is not limited to landing a job in a fixed role, but doing well in roles requiring a good application of your skills.

Q. What advice would you offer to undergraduates who want to pursue a career in Tax?

Do give this a shot if you are keen in applying abstract concepts onto real-life operating models of various clients, and if you like a balance of number-churning and report-writing. Writing skills and a sharp eye for details are a plus.

Q. What can one expect when working in Transfer Pricing?

Since Transfer Pricing is not taught in detail in schools, the initial part of employment presents a lot of on-the-job learning opportunities.

Q. What is the best part of your job?

Nice colleagues. The team is very supportive and cohesive, hence it is easy to get guidance from managers and even our partner.

Q. What should one be prepared for when entering Tax?

In recent months, due to guidance released by IRAS, Transfer Pricing has become a hot topic among many companies. Hence, one should be prepared for a fast-paced learning and working environment (i.e. many clients, many assignments).

Your Deloitte experience

Q. How is it like working in Deloitte?

It is nice to work for the world’s biggest professional services network, to serve clients which are reputable and well-known, and to know that the work you do has a lasting impact on these clients.

Q. What do you like about Deloitte?

The work environment is very supportive, yet professional at the same time. My managers and partners have been key to guiding me on professional development, to be able to convey technical Transfer Pricing knowledge to clients in the form of reports.

Q. What is your happiest moment at work?

Team lunches to celebrate birthdays, promotions, and welcoming new joiners.

Q. What are some of your memorable Deloitte experiences?

Department outings such as trips to Universal Studios and go-karting.

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 1

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