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Life at Deloitte

Meet Egnes Macheve

Director, Cyber Risk

Egnes began her career at Deloitte as a Junior Consultant in 2003, and was admitted to the Partnership in 2016. She tells us how a chance meeting with a Deloitte EXCO member led to the beginning of a 15-year strong journey with Deloitte, and shares invaluable advice for STEM graduates in today’s business landscape.

I studied BCom Informatics at the University of Pretoria. Initially I wasn't very familiar with Deloitte, but my friend’s dad used to work for Mike Rippon, who was an EXCO member at the time. My friend introduced us when Mike visited our township during my final year, and we got chatting about my studies and the future. He told me more about the firm, and ended up giving me his business card. After advancing through the interview process, they took a chance on me, and I got hired as a Junior Consultant in 2003. I have been at Deloitte ever since.

One of my first projects was the largest SAS 70 Audit in South Africa at the time, and I was introduced to Sidesh Maharaj, which was a career-defining moment for me. He was a Senior Manager at that stage, but he took the time to coach me and help me adjust to the Deloitte environment. He used to tell me to read through my work multiple times and make sure I was proud of everything I submitted.

That is a message which has stayed with me, and that’s when I learnt to constantly deliver quality and put the client first. Another lesson from that experience was that it doesn’t matter how high up you are, you still need to put in time to coach others.

In time, I moved up the ranks to Consultant, Senior Consultant, Manager, Senior Manager, and Associate Director. I had my son in my first year as an Associate Director. Because we generally have an understanding and supportive environment, and I have a great support system at home, I just jumped right back into it after maternity leave. I had a goal to become a Director and I was going to reach it!

There was nothing better than getting to the point of becoming a Director – I thought to myself, “This is what it has been about all these years.” I am now going onto my third year in this role, and it’s been one of the greatest achievements of my life.

I have a few pieces of advice for future graduates. The first would be to pay attention to the world we live in and do your research. You have to know what you want, show interest, and be specific about it. For example, you can’t be in an interview and say you’re passionate about Fintech, but not be able to explain Blockchain properly! Take every opportunity to tap into current affairs and improve your business acumen; this will give you an advantage when job hunting. It’s not always enough to only know what you learned at school any more.

Secondly: In the fields of technology and engineering, the sky is the limit. It’s a career path that is futuristic, in a way. Ask yourself, “What is the future going to look like, and in view of that, what do I need to do to still be relevant 20 years from now?”

Finally: I come from a very humble environment, but where you come from doesn’t have to define where you end up. It’s all up to you – you just have to want it badly enough and believe that you can do it.

egnes macheve
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