Life at Deloitte

Gemma Rhodes-Cheong

Associate, Financial Advisory, Transaction Services, London

I have been with Deloitte since I was 18 years old as part of the Scholar’s Scheme, and worked for seven months in the Audit practice in the Newcastle office before graduating from The London School of Economics last summer with a BSc Hons in Accounting and Finance.

As part of the Scholar’s Scheme I had the opportunity to carry out placements in different sectors within Deloitte during my university holidays, which is how I first came to work in Transaction Services (TS). My interest in TS stemmed from an interest in both business and M&A activity, which is why I chose to apply for two placements in the department, during the summers of my first and second year of university. During my placements I was able to gain a broad understanding of what work the department is involved in through proof reading reports and getting involved with the marketing teams to help with Business Development. I was also fortunate enough to do a placement in Restructuring Services, another Financial Advisory department where I was able to see the ‘flip side’ to the work done in Transaction Services, as they provide assistance to financially distressed firms.

What work do you get involved in on a day to day basis?

On a day to day basis my work in the office is quite varied depending on whether or not I am assigned to a project. When on a project my role within the team can begin with take on procedures and go right through to carrying out the underlying analysis of data and drafting slides to go in the final report as well as attending client meetings. When not assigned to a project, my work can range from helping to proof read final reports for other project teams, to carrying out Business Development to help the firm to win more work. I also spend about five months of the year in college where I am studying for the ACA, which is a lot like school as you attend classes from 9am-4pm with the rest of your year group and have homework in the evenings!

What do you like most about the office and region that you work in?

As London is one of the world’s biggest financial centres, working here has exposed me to some of the biggest and most exciting transactions in the marketplace. Furthermore as a lot of my work involves Financial Services firms, such as banks, it is the place to be! London is also a fantastic place to live with so many iconic museums, theatres and bars right on your doorstep!

Why your industry?

Upon starting my graduate role I was fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to join a project within Financial Services (FS). Having never done any FS work previously it was fascinating to get involved on a project right from the start and as there is so much going on in the industry at the moment there is always something to get involved in!

What is your top tip for working in your industry?

Ask as many questions as possible to help you learn as much as you can from everyone as it will be invaluable for you in the future.

Which personality traits or skills aid success in your industry?

Being versatile, having a positive attitude and being willing to learn.

Talk us through the most exciting project that you have worked on

My most exciting project so far was a project involving writing two reports for a £1bn deal this year which made the headlines of the Financial Times (it is always exciting to see something you are working on in the press). The project was fascinating because it involved the merger of two of the largest competitors, which will change the face of the industry in which they operate.

What social, society and corporate responsibility activities have you been involved with at Deloitte?

One of the advantages of working at Deloitte is that there are so many opportunities to get involved in social events. The societies Deloitte have range from sports teams to a choir and there are always individual team events/drinks being held which you can get involved in! The firm is also very active in the community, for example throughout my time here I have been able to take part in community days where we have got involved with local charities and even the ice bucket challenge.

How has Deloitte played a role in your long term career goals?

Deloitte is playing a vital role in my long term career goals, as not only is the firm helping me to study for my ACA qualification, but due to the size of the firm and its international presence, working here is giving me the opportunity to meet and learn from people from all over the world as well as working with companies that also have an international presence.

What advice would you share to others considering a career in your industry?

Be proactive and take advantage of any opportunity you are given to learn. Deloitte is a great place to learn from some very experienced people, especially in TS as we have a lot of senior staff, and everyone is always happy to help you learn so take advantage of that! Also, having a positive attitude will be invaluable.

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