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Global Internship Program
Ashley's African experience
“You’re going to Africa? For accounting?” This was the general response I received when I shared the exciting news with friends and family that I had been selected to represent the Deloitte US firm’s Chicago office as an international intern in Deloitte Southern Africa’s Johannesburg office.
“You’re going to Africa? For accounting?” This was the general response I received when I shared the exciting news with friends and family that I had been selected to represent the Deloitte US firm’s Chicago office as an international intern in Deloitte Southern Africa’s Johannesburg office. It wasn’t until these interactions that I realized what a unique opportunity I had been offered. Four weeks of working literally on the other side of the world in one of the fastest growing global economies? What an adventure!
My internship rotation was a dynamic learning experience that stimulated my growth both professionally and culturally. Daily interactions with Deloitte member firm professionals and South African clients expanded my social awareness and ability to work with different types of people. An initial barrier was the fact that I was American with an accent. I had to build trust with my client and audit team to ensure that I was there to work hard and provide the best professional service I could. This humbled and challenged me in a new way. It pushed me to step out of my comfort zone and truly commit myself to my work, which benefited my development tremendously.
Simply living in a different country for four weeks opened my mind to other ideas, foods, and ways of life. I was not expecting to gain so much in so little time in South Africa. During that month, we did it all. The activities ranged from petting a wild cheetah in Kruger National Park to climbing Table Mountain in Cape Town to participating in Pub Trivia Night with Deloitte Southern Africa’s Johannesburg professionals. I felt that after these experiences, I was truly immersed into South African culture.
The most impactful takeaway from my time in South Africa is the constancy of the “Deloitte” brand. The distance between the Chicago and Johannesburg offices is nearly 9,000 miles, but the quality of professional service, integrity of Deloitte professionals, and the focus on corporate citizenship are one and the same. I look forward to maintaining contact with the South African professionals I have met and our paths hopefully crossing again in the future.
I am so thankful for the Deloitte US firm’s Chicago office, the Global Internship Program, and Deloitte Southern Africa’s Johannesburg office for providing me the experience of a lifetime. The Global Internship Program is an invaluable program that is cultivating culturally competent young professionals who can efficiently adapt to the ever-changing global marketplace. My horizons have been opened thanks to the Global Internship Program and I cannot wait to see what the future holds.
Home office: Chicago, USA
Host office: Johannesburg, South Africa
Education: University of Notre Dame, Accounting major