As a first-year analyst on Deloitte’s Graduate Programme in Consulting, the question that I get asked the most by family, friends and potential recruits is ‘So what exactly do you do all day?’. There is definitely never a ‘typical’ day for a Consultant (one of the things I love about Consulting is that there is so much variety!) but hopefully this post will offer some insight.
I originally joined Deloitte five years ago on their Scholar Scheme* prior to university. I undertook 8 months worth of placements in tax during my gap year and then three months of summer placements in Consulting, before returning full-time as a graduate last September. Although it can be daunting to enter the workplace straight out of school, it is also an incredible opportunity to get first-hand experience and develop a professional network early on. The Scheme has also taken me all over the UK as well as to places like the US and India! I’m a huge advocate of early talent identification schemes such as the Deloitte Scholar Scheme as I think they offer unique and valuable benefits to both students and employers – but that’s a post for another time!
Since joining full-time as a graduate, I have been working in the Project Management Office of an improvement programme for a large multi-billion pound infrastructure project. There’s at least 40 people working on it from Deloitte alone, so I have had the opportunity to work with lots of different people and had exposure to different areas of the project. I have enjoyed being able to get stuck into a long-term project and see how programmes of this scale are run and managed on a day-to-day basis.
I tend to start my day with a gym session – I know if I wait until after work I won’t have the motivation! Then it’s time for a shower and quick change before I head to work. At the moment I am based out of the Deloitte office in London, with occasional travel to the client site in London or Birmingham. The commute isn’t the most enjoyable part of my day, but at the same time I am enjoying being at home rather than on an away project as it means more time to spend with friends and family and to pursue hobbies/interests outside of work. I am lucky as well that I have a really supportive team who enable me to work from home when I need to.
Once I’m in work, my PMO team of 6-8 people will have a 30 min catch-up first thing. We’ll establish our priorities for the day, talk about any upcoming events or milestones and highlight any potential risks or issues. As I said before, my day is hugely varied – I might be producing deliverables for the client, attending client meetings, preparing reports for the leadership team or following up on any outstanding actions from the rest of the team. I’ll usually go for lunch with one of the analysts who are in the office – coming in as part of a large graduate programme means there’s a ready-made social network for you, so there is always someone to catch up with or an event/drinks to attend after work! On days when I don’t have anything, I try to head out of the office around 6pm to make the most of being at home rather than away. It’s not always possible as sometimes we are up against a tight deadline, but Deloitte are big on work-life balance and encourage us not to stay late if we can help it.
I have loved my first full-time year in Consulting and am excited to push myself more next year as I finish the graduate programme. Consulting is a challenging and demanding career choice, but at the same time immensely rewarding and fulfilling. At Deloitte, you’re encouraged to try as many different things as possible, both as a graduate and as an intern – something that is hugely attractive if you’re worried about committing yourself to a career. If you’re considering Consulting, my advice would be try to get some first-hand experience either through internships or early-identification schemes. There’s no substitute for trying it for yourself and it’s the best way to find out if you and consultancy (and which firm!) are a fit for each other.
*Please note that Deloitte have currently paused the Scholar Scheme. They will be relaunching it in 2020.