Posted: 31 Jan. 2023 6 min. read

Carving a career with ‘cheer’leaders

Manika talks about her dream role and work/life balance

Manika Agarwal joined Deloitte US-India Offices (USI) in 2011 as a business technology analyst. In this piece, she reminisces about her decade-long career at USI. She talks about the support of her leadership during the key milestones in her journey from being an analyst to becoming a manager in the Mergers & Acquisitions and Restructuring practice in Consulting at USI. On the personal side, Manika anecdotes her parenthood as a pet parent and a mother while putting forward three suggestions for those looking to build a career with Deloitte.


How it began

After completing my degree in computer engineering, I wanted to pursue a career in Consulting. The desire to accelerate my learning curve by working with different companies and industries led me to join Deloitte.

I started my career with Deloitte in 2011 as a business technology analyst and worked as a developer for two years. That was when I realized I wanted to develop my skill set beyond writing code.

I candidly expressed that to my leadership, who encouraged me to pursue MBA. With the recommendations and support of my leaders, I went on to pursue my MBA degree.

Return to Deloitte

I returned to Deloitte in 2015 to the Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A) practice as a consultant. Since then, I have worked as a tenured manager with more than 15 large and mid-sized Deloitte clients, across three industries and the M&A life cycle in the US, Europe, and Asia.

At Deloitte, I have worked with some of the brightest minds and helped solve complex client challenges undergoing M&A activities.

Because of my educational and professional background, I was always inclined toward information technology (IT). When I let my leadership know about this, they were happy to help me grow in my area of interest. They ensured I took proper training and provided the appropriate opportunities and exposure to become an M&A IT Specialist, which is what I am today.


Why Deloitte?

At Deloitte, I have the privilege of working with people with diverse talents from whom I learn new things every day. I also have incredibly supportive leaders with whom I can be honest and transparent. Having worked at USI through the years, my personal experience has led me to trust my leaders to support me to the best of their abilities, both professionally and personally.

Deloitte has many employee-friendly organizational policies that enable me to deliver my best at work.


Down memory lane

There have been many memorable moments throughout my journey at Deloitte. They range from celebrations with my team and participation in Impact Day events to onboarding-related training and fun activities.

But if I must choose one, it would be traveling to London with my team for a 10-day project workshop in 2017. I got the opportunity to network with my teammates and clients while exploring the city for the first time. 

Another one close to my heart is an instance from 2012, during my first year at Deloitte, when my parents received a note for the first time from our erstwhile practice leader, citing my outstanding performance. This is one of the fondest and proudest moments I can remember from my professional career at Deloitte.


Becoming a pet parent

Since the beginning of my career, I have always been on the go. It was partly because of the pandemic, when we were all bound in our homes, that I took advantage of the opportunity to finally realize my dream—I adopted a dog.

When I rescued and adopted Tootsie, a German shepherd, in June 2020, it left me feeling proud and joyful—a cherished personal achievement. It was a step toward realizing my dream of rescuing 100 dogs during my lifetime.

To drive this agenda, I actively volunteer for pet shelters and groups to ensure rescued dogs receive the care they need through adoption or fostering. I also actively donate to provide care for rescued dogs in dog shelters.

I have rescued at least 20+ dogs to date, and I hope to continue doing my best.

Embracing motherhood

When I became a mother in 2021, Deloitte gave me the flexibility to pause and restart work at my own pace.

I informed my project lead about my pregnancy, and he ensured I prioritized my health. Colleagues in the organization told me about all the benefits that the organization provides for new mothers like me.

During my maternity break, my peers checked in regularly on my well-being and stepped in while I paused work.

Motherhood is a huge personal milestone and, without a doubt, a difficult phase. Deloitte always enabled me to communicate my priorities transparently with my leads, teammates, and clients.

The support of my leaders and the confidence of my mentors and role models, who were all invested in my success, reassured me every time I faced a challenge. These are the reasons why my journey of motherhood has been productive, special, and memorable.


The way forward

I have three suggestions for those looking to start or build their career with Deloitte.

  1. Firstly, be bold, own your career, and reach out to your leaders. You define your career and pull the essential levers to get you where you want to be.
  2. Secondly, network with the fantastic talent pool we have and learn from the experiences of some of the best in the business.
  3. Lastly, be open to learning new things every day.

The diverse set of people I have had the opportunity to work with has been the most exciting aspect of working at Deloitte. I meet people from different cultures, personal and professional backgrounds, age groups, sexualities, and ethnicities. Their rich points of view, drawing from their experiences, make me a happy practitioner at Deloitte. I feel I am a better individual, professionally and personally, because of the people I have met and worked with at Deloitte.


At Deloitte, Manika Agarwal works as a manager in the Mergers & Acquisitions and Restructuring practice in Consulting at Deloitte USI and follows her dream of rescuing dogs.


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