Posted: 26 Sep. 2018 6 min. read

Ben Slater: My brilliant first year as a BrightStart

I work in Global Employment Services (GES) and sit in the Enterprise Group team who deal with smaller clients. I am based in Deloitte’s Reading office and joined as a BrightStart and I’m coming towards the end of my first year with Deloitte and wanted to share a few thoughts on my experience so far.

Before I joined Deloitte I actually went to university for a year and found myself not enjoying the lifestyle so at the end of my first year I decided to apply to a couple of jobs and see where that went. I was offered a job at another financial services firm which I decided to pursue the apprenticeship avenue. Whilst I enjoyed my year at that firm I wanted to apply for something that would align with the degree I started in Accounting and Finance. Deloitte was a place I had envisioned I’d one day work for. After applying, I was lucky enough to get offered a place on the BrightStart scheme. Since then, I have thoroughly enjoyed my first year with the firm and it really has been an eye-opening experience into the world of professional services.

A preconception I had of Deloitte before I joined is that it would be an ‘everyman for themselves’ environment and very intense. In reality, this is far from the truth. I was very impressed with the conscious effort that team members made to educate me on a range of skills from technical points to showing me how different systems and processes work. I am fortunate to have experienced another apprenticeship scheme which made me realise how well structured this one is, and how much work behind the scenes must go into it. 

The other point I was really humbled by is the fact that you’re treated exactly the same as the graduates. You’ll receive the same responsibilities and treatment as them, which is something very difficult to master. It’s a mature approach, essentially putting the ball in your court and giving you the opportunity to excel and show what you’re capable of.

Exams play a big part in your apprenticeship life. You’re expected to juggle work and study; however, Deloitte give you more than enough time to prepare for your exams. The exams are passable if you put in the hours and it helps that everyone in the GES team has been through it themselves and are always more than happy to help with any problems you run into as well as being understanding when it comes to exam season. You’re also allocated a buddy and coach who are very useful to go to with any queries you may have.

Outside of the office I have gone on a trip to Prague with work for a Deloitte 5 a-side tournament which was a great idea, and a good way to get to know colleagues and socialise. I’ll be going next year so I guess that summarises how much I enjoyed it.

If, like Ben, you want to join the world of finance, but not sure if university life is for you, then our BrightStart schemes could be perfect for you. Discover them here.