Posted: 12 Apr. 2023 5 min. read

Will the real you please (do) stand-up?

“For anyone who has ever felt like they couldn't choose between a love for journalism, a passion for stand-up comedy, and a career in corporate communications, I'm here to tell you that you don't have to. Here’s my ‘Life at Deloitte’ story about embracing all three and how it led to some interesting and exciting experiences.” Pratyush Patra, Internal Communications, Deloitte US-India Offices (USI)

When I first joined USI, I was apprehensive about how my personality would fit into the corporate world. I had spent almost a decade as a journalist. And being strongly opinionated and having a dry sense of humor are what I felt were almost expected in the media circle. But in the corporate world, things were ought to be different—at least my preconceived notion made me assume that I would have to be serious and mean only business. I thought to myself, “What if I was not able to bring my authentic self to work?” 

But I was pleasantly surprised when I started working in my current role with the communications team at USI. My excessively enthusiastic personality was welcomed with open arms. I tapped into the freedom to express my mind. Here, the work culture is based on the belief that when employees feel comfortable being themselves, they are more engaged, motivated, and productive. Backed by Deloitte’s Shared Values, professionals are encouraged to share their opinions, ideas, and feedback honestly, and respectfully. 

When I made the transition from a career in media to corporate communications in a professional services organization, I was thrilled to discover a journalism-style internal initiative designed to help employees improve their research, content creation, and presentation skills. It was like meeting an old friend in a new city. I didn’t think twice before nominating myself and at the end of the year, I was rewarded for my efforts. Very recently, my love for poetry also came in handy as it helped me win a songwriting contest organized by DU: The Leadership Center in India.

But one of the most exciting moments for me was when I had the opportunity to perform stand-up comedy at an office event in front of my fellow professionals. I always wanted to try my hand at stand-up, but I never imagined that I would be able to do it along with my job. My seniors and peers recognized my talent and provided me with a platform to showcase it. Performing that stand-up sketch with stage fright was no laughing matter (pun intended). But it was also incredibly fulfilling. It was an opportunity for me to challenge myself and step out of my comfort zone. This experience taught me that it is possible to be successful in a corporate environment while remaining true to who you are.

originalPratyush Patra presenting stand-up comedy on stage

It is not necessary to sacrifice your personality or sense of humor to be taken seriously in a professional setting. Embracing your authentic self can be a tremendous asset. It allows you to connect with people on a deeper level, foster relationships, and ultimately be more successful in your job.

I feel when employees in an organization are encouraged to be their authentic selves, they are more likely to be creative, innovative, and bring fresh perspectives to the table. This is because they are not afraid to think outside the box and suggests ideas and solutions, which can lead to a breakthrough. I can only thank Deloitte for creating an inclusive workplace where everyone feels valued and respected, regardless of their background, beliefs, or fondness for banter.

Pratyush Patra

About the author:

Pratyush Patra is an assistant manager at USI who supports external marketing efforts for one of Deloitte’s businesses. He hails from Delhi but is currently based in Hyderabad.


The views expressed here are of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of his current, former, or future employers or any organization with which he is associated.