Almost everything I learned as a Deloitte intern
Hi, good morning, good afternoon or good evening, depending on what time you are reading this. I wanted to take this time to give all of you a wealth of information I have collected over the summer through my summer internship at Deloitte.
A quick summary before we get started, my name is Jude and as an incoming junior this fall, I had the tremendous opportunity of interning at the downtown Chicago, Deloitte office doing a rotation in Audit and Tax. The program I was in is called the Deloitte Discovery Internship. This blog encompasses almost everything I have seen, experienced and learned while I was at Deloitte. So bear with me as I walk you through this. Let’s get started!
The most important step
Getting past the interview is the most important part when it comes to the internship. Because so many qualified candidates apply for the same spot, the demand is high and the supply is low. So, how can you differentiate and stand out? Few key pointers:
- No dead fish handshakes, please! Make it firm, look the person in the eye and acknowledge him or her. You’ll make a hell of a good first impression.
- Do the basics. Know a solid overview about the company; such as the amount of employees, what services they provide, number of offices, key features, annual revenue etc. This shows you have done your homework – if you know the industries a particular office serves, or some of their bigger clients, that gets bonus points!
- Fail first. By this I mean, interview for other jobs just for the sake of getting experience at interviewing. I did this about 6 months before I got an interview at Deloitte, and I failed miserably at each and every single one of them. Sometimes I would get nervous and start stuttering, just go blank while answering questions and I even went to an interview wearing a hoodie. And let me tell you after I got out all the bad habits out of my system, I performed at my best when it came down to the most important interview.
- READ. Seriously, read a book a month, you have no idea how much this helps. Consider books like autobiographies, personal development, psychology, and business literature. The goal is to add value during the interview, provide insight and give a different perspective to the discussion. If you do this you already ahead of most people. (Recommended books: How to win friends and influence people, Misbehaving: the making of behavioral economics, cosmos, the lessons of history, Elon Musk).
- This goes along with my previous point, stay current with the industry news. Quick story; during my interview I remembered about a video I watched about a CFO in a local company who was involved in a scandal. I brought this point up during the interview, and it just so happened that the Audit partner who was interviewing me used to have this company as a client. He went on to speak about this topic for the next 15 minutes while I just listened and acknowledged. Remember, add value to the interview.
The freedom to choose
When you get accepted into a program and that leads to an internship opportunity, Deloitte gives you a lot of flexibility to decide. With the Discovery Internship Program, the qualified applicants are able to choose which services lines they wanted to pursue; Audit, Tax or Advisory (a selective group got consulting as an option). Plus, they also give you the opportunity to decide which city you would like to work at (If space is available). This maybe not true for particular internships that were specifically advertised to a specific office or service line.
You don’t know Sh*t!!
Yeah, this is a true statement. You literally will not know any of the software, auditing procedures, way taxes are paged, compliance, etc. as you get started. But, here’s the good thing; the company expects you to know nothing. What you learn in school and what happens in the real world are worlds apart in similarity (side note: Deloitte highly prefers that you maintain a 3.3 GPA). Now, school is necessary too, because imagine the client service partner asks you to bring him the P&L statement from the engagement. What is that you ask? It’s the profits and loss statement. So, if you didn’t have the basic understanding to figure out that it’s also known as the Income Statement, you might want to consider reading the textbook.
Benefits on top of benefits
- Corporate card: All Deloitte interns get a corporate Amex card for certain expenses. This card is especially beneficial when you travel. You can use it for your Uber, food and to book a hotel. Now just keep in mind there are certain rules and limitations which dictate the cards usage. For example, there is a $30 cap on the amount of food you can purchase for the day when you’re traveling.
- Free gifts: Deloitte loves to shower their interns with gifts. During my time here I have gotten a couple of nice gifts. Such as an Amazon Fire Tablet, an Apple TV, a Samsonite backpack, gear, and apparel.
- Scholarships: Deloitte has certain programs that provide scholarships that help pay towards your schooling. The program I am currently in is called the NextGen Leaders Program. Each year you’re in school and have committed to Deloitte while in this program, you get a scholarship. And by scholarship, I mean a nice check that you put into your checking account.
- Free lunches: Deloitte has a program where anybody who is a full-time employee can take you, the intern out to lunch and Deloitte covers the charge. It can be anyone who is on your engagement team, your advisor, coach or whoever. How awesome is that! This is an incentive for you to get out there meet a couple of new people. Especially, if it is a summer internship because people have time to go to a nice sit-down place and answer your hundred and one questions. If it is a winter/spring internship meaning in the busy season, then it’s the opposite.
- Competitive pay: Deloitte has the resources and infrastructure to pay its interns a similar wage a first-year employee would get. This was certainly very attractive to me because being a sophomore it is difficult to find internships with good pay.
- Deloitte University (DU): In 2011 Deloitte opened its new $300 million training facility located in Westlake, Texas. This is where Deloitte hosts all of its training and seminars for its employees and invited guests. Everybody who interns at Deloitte is invited to go here at least once. This facility is absolutely amazing; it consists of 800+ bedrooms, a world class dining room with different menus every day, a state of the art work out facility, the latest technology, entertainment locations and let’s not forget a FREE Starbucks. Click here to read an article written about DU by Bloomberg.com.
Company’s greatest asset
Deloitte’s greatest assets are its people. When you start here you’ll hear a lot about this on how Deloitte values its culture, the way they build relationships with their employees as well as their clients. It is honestly a people business. For an example let’s say Deloitte is looking to provide audit services for one of the fortune 500 companies. Deloitte just can’t walk up to their office provide the lowest bid and expect to win the client. It takes upwards of almost 3 to 5 years of relationship building to be able to really get to know the executive level individuals and to make them feel comfortable enough to let us Audit them. Having the big Deloitte name will get us the meeting with the client, but it will not help close the deal.
Be the ethical person
Being in a professional services firm, interns are exposed to a variety of confidential client information. Such as Social Security numbers, tax ID’s, bank account statements, retirement accounts etc. So, it’s important you keep this information safe and for your own eyes. Refrain from snap chatting your workspace or showing off how many work papers you have on your desk. I know… it’s cool to show off to your friends that you’re a hot shot professional now, but don’t do it in any way that will reveal confidential information.
- Also, another important point is to record your hours accurately. At Deloitte interns record their own hours by stating which project they worked on and for how many hours. This way Deloitte can accurately bill the client for the work done. Don’t be charging overtime so you can that extra $100 on your next paycheck. Your employer can cross check this information if necessary. Be ethical!
I’ll end this blog with a question: If you did get an internship offer from Deloitte where would you intern and what service line?