Life at Deloitte

Your first client engagement: Evan Harmony

Lessons learned when starting out at Deloitte

September 19, 2019

Deloitte professionals are constantly challenged by new projects and clients, allowing them to learn and grow professionally. The scope and depth of the work are varied and sometimes complex. But when asked, Deloitte professionals always remember their very first client engagement.

For some, it was both an exciting and nerve-racking experience, while others were confident in their abilities right off the bat. But the consensus is that it was an opportunity to grow and to learn from their team members, understand the needs of their clients, and to make an impact. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be sharing a series about several of our recent hires’ first engagement experiences from when they joined Deloitte. 

My first day on the job was a whirlwind. I remember coming in a little apprehensive and sitting in a conference room with 30 other professionals, not knowing what to expect.

That's how Evan Harmony described his first day at Deloitte back in February 2017. Today Evan specializes in the .NET Framework as a .NET developer responsible for creating online software, applications, development, and interfaces for a large military project.

It's safe to say, since his first day Evan is far more comfortable and confident in his abilities and has learned a lot along the way. We caught up with him to find out more about the lessons learnt on his first client engagement and advice he would give to newcomers. 

Evan Harmony, solution analyst, Deloitte Consulting LLP, Orlando, FL

Outside of work: You can usually find me in the gym strength training or running around the trails in downtown Orlando.

Tell me about your first client engagement. What was the scope of the project?

I am currently still staffed on the first engagement I was assigned, which is a large Navy project. We now build and maintain an enterprise-level web-application used all over the world. When I first started, I was purely a functional tester, but as soon as I could, I picked up ETL testing. Now I am currently transitioning into a .NET developer role.

Did you feel nervous?

I was extremely nervous! When we had our project onboarding meeting, we went over a very high-level the scope of the work we do and the services we provide. Some of the technologies I had never even heard of—I felt completely out of my depth.

What are some tips you would give someone just about to start a client engagement?

1.    Learn as much as possible. When you get on a new project, there will be no shortage of things to learn, whether it's how the project operates, new domain knowledge, or new procedures. For example, when I first started, I spent a lot of time learning about our testing tools and methodologies, but I also had to learn the extensive change management process that was specific to our project.

2.    Ask questions. It can be tough to get up to speed on a new project, but it's part of the process. No one expects everyone to know all the answers, least of all a newcomer. Asking questions of people who have been in your shoes is one of the best ways to learn what you need to know—and most of them expect it.

3.    Meet people. This one does not just apply to a new project, but to Deloitte in general. Growing your network and meeting people with various skillsets can be crucial to your success at Deloitte. As you build your network, you can create available resources for any new or unknown challenges you may face.

Is there anything that you know now that would have helped you with your first client engagement?

I would say, being prepared. This might be overlooked in the day-to-day of a busy work week, but it should be the easiest to remedy. Simple things like staying on top of your calendar and setting aside time to prepare for meetings go a long way toward being professional. I dedicate time before every meeting to prepare, whether that means thinking about what I'm going to say or even reading any information provided beforehand.

Read about Manan Shah's and Courtney Newcombe's first client engagements, and check back soon for more stories!

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