Life at Deloitte
Assistant Director, Restructuring Services, Birmingham
After graduating from Bristol University with an English Literature degree, I joined Deloitte in 2005 as a graduate in the core Birmingham Audit team. As well as the ACA qualification, my training in audit gave me a rich experience of a wide range of audit clients from large PLCs to smaller traditional manufacturing businesses. It also allowed real client responsibility from an early stage, plus the chance to lead and develop junior colleagues as an audit field manager. After qualification I moved over into the Restructuring Services (RS) team. Here I specialise in advising businesses and stakeholders (such as lenders and pension schemes), particularly where there is an element of financial distress. I have had the opportunity to work on travel firms (holiday operators and coach hire businesses), retailers, automotive manufacturers, care homes operators… a real variety. Since joining RS I have taken a career break to go travelling plus had two periods of maternity leave. I now work a 4 day week. Deloitte’s agile working policy and the support of the RS leadership has enabled me this flexibility whilst still having the opportunity to further my career.
What work do you get involved in on a day to day basis?
Every job I have been involved in is different: there is always a new aspect to consider and learn from. However – broadly – I advise stakeholders to distressed companies. A bank might have approached us to assist them in determining how best to work with an underperforming customer – a company who has breached covenants or is expecting to run out of cash. I could be on conference calls or at meetings with the bank, the company, private equity investors, lawyers. I could be out at the company’s premises or in our office, working through the company’s financial information and asking questions of management in order to assess key drivers of the financial performance and position. I could be working on my own or in a team with colleagues from Birmingham or across the country, depending on the requirements of the engagement. I could be working with other service lines such as tax, audit or Deloitte Pensions, or with industry experts to consider complex matters.
What do you like most about the office and region that you work in?
The team. As well as being a fun working environment, the Midlands RS team is comprised of experienced, professional and helpful colleagues who are prepared to go out of their way to encourage and support other team members.
What is your top tip for working in your industry?
Network. Get to know other professionals, for example lawyers, bankers, agents and accountants. This will be hugely helpful in terms of industry awareness and finding potential work opportunities for the firm when getting more senior
What social, society and corporate responsibility activities have you been involved with at Deloitte?
I have participated in several community days: overhauling a community garden, repainting a facility for learning disabled adults and maintaining an industrial heritage centre. This was a great chance to support local causes at the same time as getting to know people in other service lines in the firm. I have also been involved with running the Deloitte regatta, a 2 day sailing event on yachts from Port Solent. This was a lot of fun plus a great chance to meet people from other offices.
How has Deloitte played a role in your long term career goals?
I believe the training and experience I have had within Deloitte has given me a fantastic basis for a career in accountancy, whether within the firm or in industry. I have worked with businesses in many industries and gained stakeholder / people management that would be very transferable.
What advice would you share to others considering a career in your industry?
There are a lot of opportunities for people who are prepared to go the extra mile to seek them out and make the most of them. Tenacity and determination are good traits to develop. However, team work will always be important too.