Life at Deloitte
Apprentice Finance Assistant - Milton Keynes
What attracted you to the Apprentice programme? What made you choose it over the other options you were considering?
A number of things attracted me to the apprenticeship scheme. It was a mixture of not wanting the debt of university whilst still getting the qualification I want – let alone being paid to achieve the qualification – and wanting to really challenge myself in a working environment.
Although the university route is the preferred option by most people, I feel that sometimes this can be taken for granted and university can be used in the wrong way – piling on debt and doing you no favours.
With the apprenticeship scheme, I can still visit people at university and elsewhere and enjoy my personal life just as much – if not more considering I have a lot more money than all of my student friends.
What came as the biggest surprise when you made the move from education to the world of work?
Biggest surprise was how relaxed and welcoming the environment of the office was. How, even though you need to have a sense of professionalism about you, you can still have that moment of discussing the football scores on the weekend or who you think should have been evicted from I’m A Celebrity last night etc. and as long as you are getting your work done, people encourage this.
How do you structure your time working and studying? What challenges have you faced and what solutions have you found work for you?
Truth is I haven’t faced any challenges in that respect as of yet as Deloitte have set out times during the week for us to study, away from our teams, for our respective courses. This is a great help and it allows us to get our job done but makes sure we have time to do our studies. When we join we are set a “Home Team Leader” who will act as your primary “go to” person with any issues you may have. We are also assigned a mentor who acts as just another person you can talk to about anything you need to – college, potential worries, annoyances etc.
Describe your work environment. Are you office based or do you move around and spend time working on site with clients?
I’m office based in Milton Keynes. I have, however, worked in our London campus for a couple of months which was very much client-facing. I still, however, have not been on a client site.
Who do you work with day to day and how would you describe your relationship with them?
I’ve been in roughly 10 different teams since joining Deloitte and all have been friendly and bubbly. All have been eager to help me learn and progress. My relationships with past and present team members are great. Being in so many different teams has really got my name out there and has really helped build relationships all the way across the firm. I can’t walk to the kitchen without someone stopping me to ask how I’m doing…!
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?
Some highlights are interfirm team building sessions, our very own Deloitte football team, and mentoring year 11s at a local secondary school through their GCSE years. Also, I put pride into the work I produce as I have put my all into every bit of it. I have received recognition for the work I produce on multiple occasions and this adds to the effort I put into it as I always want to better myself in any way possible.
What excites me about work is that every day will be different. With the apprenticeship scheme you move around so you get to see every aspect of the firm and this allows you to get a full understanding of what Deloitte really do. The opportunities I see for myself are never-ending. There is success story after success story after success story here and the potential you can reach with the firm is sky-high.
How has your life changed since joining Deloitte? Are you still living at home, or have you moved out? If so, how have you found that transition?
I still live at home but working here has helped me to get closer to getting myself onto the property ladder. It has also helped me to get through my qualifications and will do further for the next few years and has pushed my career to the next stage. It has also helped me to buy my first car and get myself a credit rating.
How do you feel you’ve grown since joining the Apprentice programme? And what have been your greatest achievements?
I feel as though my behaviour has changed and can adapt when it needs to in the correct way. I feel that I can still be the same goofy 18-year-old around my friends outside of work but I can now also be the “professional businessman” when needs be in an office/meeting environment. I feel more confident as I have proven to myself and others that I deserve to be here and am not out of place because of my age. I have also proven to myself that I made the correct decision when choosing the apprenticeship route to where I want to be and could not be happier with where my career is heading.
What advice would you give someone considering the apprenticeship scheme?
Contrary to many people’s beliefs, University is not the only way to get to where you want. If you get the opportunity through an apprenticeship, go for it. Many people going through University – for one reason or another – end up dropping out of their University or end up not getting a job in their favoured field. With the Deloitte Apprenticeship Scheme, I am learning the same as what I would do at University, through AAT, whilst gaining life skills and experience in the ‘working world’ with a very well respected company.