Life at Deloitte

Career Journey: Reema Mulchandani

How a stint in hairstyling helps an advisory professional provide client services

Reema Mulchandani has never been short on bravery. It’s what has helped her take major leaps throughout her career and to learn as much as possible at every step. It’s also the key ingredient in the journey that has taken her from working in finance, to human resources, to hairstyling, and now in business analytics.

For some people, it’s pretty straightforward; they start with school and know exactly where they are headed in their career. But me, I had to explore. Now I see all of the skills I learned at different phases of my career help me do my job well.

— Reema Mulchandani, senior consultant, Risk and Financial Advisory, Deloitte & Touche LLP

Stress test

At Deloitte, Reema is a part of the model risk management team, with her primary clients being large banks. Reema helps them assess and prepare for the risks they face. Think: data breach, market volatility, recession. They’re the kinds of threats that represent real challenges to financial institutions, and they translate into assignments that require enormous trust between Reema and her clients. Building trust comes easily to her, thanks—in part—to her time working as a hairstylist.

Listen first. And second and third.

Having studied finance in school, Reema entered the professional world via a startup. Using her knowledge on organizational behavior from school, she established a human resources department for the company from scratch. Next she trained as a hairstylist, and worked in salons serving the Bollywood industry.

These roles taught her the value of careful listening, both to someone’s actual words and to their implicit needs. It turns out, those very skills are essential when you’re part of a team that advises some of the biggest banks in the United States about the vulnerabilities in their systems. That type of conversation takes no small amount of finesse. The skills like intently listening to clients and interpreting their expectations are valuable skills that Reema learnt during her hairstyling experience and continues to learn at Deloitte.

Looking for trouble

In model risk management, Reema and the Deloitte team are charged with testing model components that banks use to determine the capital they should hold in reserve. Then the team validates the model components, runs tests, finds potential issues, and offers recommendations to mitigate risks. She admits that while finding vulnerabilities is important, she has to be absolutely on point and back up her findings with strong evidence when communicating to clients. It’s this type of pressure that motivates her, especially since so much of her experience has prepared her well for delicate conversations. Next, Reema is looking forward to managing projects herself and continuing to learn the business aspects to augment her analytics background. It’ll take some bravery, once again, but she’s up to the challenge. 

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