Life at Deloitte

James Kendall

Consultant, Consulting – Finance ADA

James is a Consultant in our Consulting, Finance ADA team based in London. He joined Deloitte in August 2011 after completing his undergraduate degree in Biochemistry, followed by a Ph.D. in Physics, both at Leeds. During his time at Leeds he studied abroad in Singapore and was an active member of both the university’s tae kwon do and SCUBA diving societies.

What do you like most about your role?

I’ve really enjoyed engaging with our clients and challenging how they run their businesses. It’s fascinating some of the approaches that they develop over time, some for very valid reasons, but we get to work with them to help define the processes that they’ll use for years to come. My last role had me travelling with the client to South Africa, Australia, Canada and the Ukraine, to explain the new processes that were going to be rolled out for sales, trade promotions and accounts receivables. The travel was amazing, but I also really enjoyed running the workshops.

What didn’t you know, but wish you had known when applying to and joining Deloitte?
The importance of networking – there are some amazing opportunities at Deloitte, but getting involved in them is a combination of being in the right place at the right time, and knowing the right people.

What aspects of your degree do you feel support you in your role and success at Deloitte?
My science degrees have certainly helped me to approach a problem and develop a solution in a clear and logical manner. This is of great use when gathering business requirements and turning them into a design, or when testing and resolving defects. The skills I’ve learnt outside of the classroom have been pretty important too – my time as SCUBA diving instructor has helped to develop my teamwork and management abilities, which get put to use on a daily basis.

What qualifications are you working towards and what support are you getting?
Since joining Deloitte I’ve completed CIMA’s Certificate in Business Accounting, and started on the path to becoming a certified SAP Application Associate. Next year I’m planning to sign up for the full CIMA qualification. The firm’s been very supportive in these efforts, both at leadership levels with sponsorship of the qualifications, but also my peers and appraiser who’ve provided guidance on what the different qualifications entail, the commitment required and how they will benefit my career going forwards.

What work do you get involved in on a day to day basis at Deloitte?
The work we do in ADA varies depending on the phase of the project we’re in – I’ve run design workshops, conducted testing, produced reports, and presented findings to senior client stakeholders. The common theme running throughout these is that I’ve always been working in a team and learning new things – whether it’s a quirk of the client, best practise for a business process, or a way to be more effective in my role.

How do you deliver or contribute impact, leadership and innovation in your role?
At Deloitte we’re encouraged to engage with the practise and its leadership. I’ve been leading a small team helping to define a new proposition that we can take to our clients. It’s been really interesting to have the opportunity to work on something that will help Deloitte generate more business in the future. In addition to this I’ve been working with ADA leadership to help them understand how we can better support the Analyst community. I started at Deloitte as an Analyst, so it’s nice to be able to give something back.

What social, society and CSR activities have you been involved with at Deloitte?
Each year the firm holds a charity dragon boat race. Each of the competencies in the firm enters a team; we have an amazing afternoon of racing and finish with a BBQ. All great fun – but the really important bit is the fundraising. The past few years we’ve raised in excess of £100,000 each year. This money is split between Deloitte’s National Charity Partners – the Alzheimer’s Society, Mind, and Prostate Cancer UK.
I’ve also taken part in charity events with people from work that Deloitte has also been excellent in providing matched funding for. The past two years we’ve taken part in a charity challenge – the Snowdon Push – that saw us racing to the top of Mount Snowdon with a wheelchair user in aid of the Back Up Trust.

How has Deloitte played a role in your long term career goals?
When I left university I was looking for a challenge. I wanted a career that kept me on my toes, stretched me, and had me learning for years to come. Working in Consulting at Deloitte has definitely delivered on that – I’ve worked with some of the UK’s biggest companies, travelled round the world, and helped them make decisions that will determine how they operate for the next 10-20 years. The opportunities that you get at Deloitte definitely open doors for your future career, and there’s a number of different career paths as you rise through the ranks – whether that’s you wanting to lead programmes, develop a detailed knowledge of one of the packages we implement, or focus on the business processes themselves.

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