Minal Deshpande

Life at Deloitte

Career Journey: Minal Deshpande

Leadership goals realized

Minal Deshpande is a dynamic leader and a subject matter specialist, well known for her invaluable inputs, leadership, and consulting skills. She has been with the organization since 2002 and has served on several leadership roles. She is passionate and actively involved in roles such as sales, capability development, delivery, and empowerment and career growth of women.

1. What were some of the factors that led you to pursue your career at Deloitte?

I was a part of the first batch to be hired for Deloitte Consulting India Private Limited. Before joining Deloitte, I was an analyst at a product engineering organization that was shutting its operations. I was interviewed and selected to join Deloitte as a Senior Analyst. That is how I began my journey at Deloitte 20 years ago and what a phenomenal journey it has been.

2. In your own words, how would you describe Deloitte’s distinctive culture?

I am extremely proud to say that Deloitte is an organization that has a people-friendly culture. We always have the freedom to learn and grow and that’s what makes people stay with the organization. Throughout my career, I have been given opportunities and challenging assignments. These have been the foundation of my growth in the organization. I believe, this is what has kept me motivated. This is a philosophy that I follow within my team as well to give people opportunities and help them grow through these opportunities. The best part about Deloitte's culture is the support system. We have a coach-based culture at the organization, there are always coaches, mentors, and sponsors to help and guide you, in case you ever need a helping hand. They stay invested in your growth and set you up for success through coaching conversations that help you achieve your career goals.

3. Tell us about your career path at Deloitte (How long have you worked for Deloitte, how has your career evolved?)

I joined Deloitte as a Senior Analyst and currently, I’m a Consulting Leader. When I joined Deloitte, Deloitte Consulting India Private Limited was a new organization and that gave us a lot of opportunities to work on a vast array of projects. When I became a manager, there was only one career model at that time. I was asked to spearhead the definition and implementation of a new career model at the organization. Even though it was a unique opportunity as a manager to work on, I was in two minds while considering this as it had never been done before. While relaying this feedback to one of the other leaders, a Senior Leader shared a valuable piece of advice that I recall to this day. He said to me, “You can either do something new and different or stand in a queue doing what everybody else is doing.”

That statement was an eye-opener for me, and it changed my perspective on the issue. I took up the challenge, reached out to people to help me build this model and I’m proud to say it is still a successful career model in the organization. My growth has been in alignment with this career model and it has helped me break barriers and achieve a lot of firsts at my organization. I was the first specialist manager, first woman Leader and this has been my career path at Deloitte.

4. What is one of the most memorable moments in your career at Deloitte so far?

My leadership promotion was the most memorable moment for me. I have been able to achieve a lot of firsts in the organization and I’m quite proud of that. With each barrier that I broke, it felt like a high point and a huge accomplishment. To become the first woman Leader, it took a lot of support from my family, my own will, and my ability to take risks and navigating challenges to get to where I am today.

5. How has Deloitte supported you in your career journey?

The organization values its people and supports us during life’s ups and downs and I truly appreciate that. There is a diversity-oriented approach towards work-life balance, and I have seen it in action. My personal growth happened while I started working at Deloitte. I am happy to say that the organization has supported me throughout my milestones. An example of this support that comes to mind would be when I was on an important project before my son’s birth and after completing maternity leave, I was given the flexibility to settle down and join back based on my comfort level. I have always witnessed leaders who show empathy and have the conversations that set us up for success. This helped cement my faith in Deloitte’s culture supporting my career journey.

6. What’s one piece of advice would you give the 18-year-old version of yourself?

The advice I would like to give the 18-year version of myself is, never stop learning. Continuously learn and evolve, keep yourself updated on skills. Technology is an ever-changing field and I have had to constantly reskill myself to stay up to date on what’s happening in the market. Be open and learn and be strong in what you do. The other piece of advice I would give myself as well as other young professionals, there are many different working styles people bring to the table, be open to these different working and leadership styles. In a diverse workforce, everybody’s working style should be accepted and respected, this will help in bringing in a varied thought process as well as innovative solutions to the table.

7. How do you prioritize your well-being outside of work?

At times you must prioritize what’s most important at that particular time frame, whether it is your family, career milestones, or asking for help and leaning on your support system. It is your choices and priorities that shape your personal and professional life, and one should not ever regret these choices. Over the last few years, I have become more conscious about my well-being and have developed a routine accordingly.

8. What is one piece of advice you would give to someone interested in joining Deloitte?

The most important piece of advice I would like to share is—invest in meaningful relationships. It’s been 10 years since I became a Leader and this journey has taught me the importance of having people whom you can trust and open your mind to. Nothing compares to having a support system to help and guide you through your career journey. It takes a village to make a person successful, thus you should focus on developing mutually beneficial relationships with people and investing time in them.

Minal Deshpande
Minal Deshpande

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 she is associated.

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