Life at Deloitte
Abena works in the Banking & Capital Markets team within Audit.
Please tell us your full name, grade, service line & service area/business unit, and your tenure with Deloitte
Abena Oduro. I am an Associate working in the Banking & Capital Markets group within Audit.
I have just completed my first year of the BrightStart scheme.
What attracted you to the BrightStart programme? What made you choose it over the other options you were considering?
During my A-levels, I decided that I wanted to become an Accountant and I did some research on the various pathways into the career. The BrightStart scheme stood out for me as I was given the opportunity to study a highly valued qualification with a reputable firm and be paid to do so.
Talk us through your initial induction when you joined the firm.
My initial induction was a series of workshops and talks over the course of a two-day residential stay in a countryside resort. The days would be filled with activities and workshops, and in the evenings you had the opportunity to use the facilities and socialise with the other BrightStarts.
What came as the biggest surprise when you made the move from education to the world of work?
The people I have met and worked with so far have all been really friendly and approachable and I have made some good friends within the firm.
What is the dress code and did you have to invest in a whole new wardrobe?
I did have to invest in a new wardrobe.
There are no strict or specific guidelines with regards to the work attire, however professional wear is the general dress code. Depending on your client and local office traditions, there is usually an opportunity to dress down on Fridays.
How do you structure your time working and studying? What challenges have you faced and what solutions have you found work for you?
A lot of the structuring is done for me by the learning/scheduling team.
They book and arrange your exams and timetable so I am always given time off to study or attend college.
Once my study leave is over and I am back at work, it can be quite challenging to balance work and study when working on a busy client or an engagement with an upcoming deadline as the hours can be quite long during those periods. My managers are very supportive with my studies and I am able to leave on time or even earlier at times.
I also like to create a loose timetable for myself and give myself deadlines to revise certain topics and chapters. This has helped to ensure that I cover all the topics in the modules and I have some flexibility with my revision.
What have been some the highlights of your time with Deloitte? What excites you about your work and the opportunities you see for yourself in the firm?
Hiking up the Mulhacen Mountain in Spain for the Deloitte Charity Challenge with around 70 other Deloitte staff from different departments, service lines and offices across the country. I particularly enjoy the various projects and events I can get involved in with the firm. Deloitte is an official sponsor for the BOA and Team GB so there are volunteering opportunities available in relation to the Rio 2016 Olympics.
Beyond studying towards a professional qualification, what other training, development and support have you received?
There is a structured professional development plan for everyone within the firm. There will be several professional and skill-based development courses held throughout the year. I am able to receive support from various people such as my appraiser, exam managers and engagement managers when needed.
The various Deloitte Networks can also provide support and development opportunities to staff. For example, I attended an interactive workshop held by the Deloitte Women’s Network on building and developing strong relationships to support my career.