What Deloitte Seeks In An MBA Hire

30 Rockefeller Plaza Deloitte's New York Headquarters

30 Rockefeller Plaza
Deloitte’s New York Headquarters

There are two types of companies: Stepping stones and destinations.

Clearly, Deloitte falls into the destination category. Ranked among the most desirable employers by MBAs, the company has something for everyone. Operating in the professional services space, graduates can immerse themselves in such areas as banking, health care, energy, biosciences, national defense, manufacturing, real estate, and even entertainment. Few firms recruit as many MBAs as Deloitte. When MBAs land those coveted spots, they’re joining the best-and-brightest, with Deloitte boasting alums ranging from CEOs to governors (not to mention a world poker champion).

But it isn’t necessarily what Deloitte does that attracts MBAs. It is how they do it. At Deloitte, new hires don’t sit back and wait their turn. They jump in and contribute immediately, guided by top line leaders on best practices and cultural mores. In other words, the expectations are high, says Patty Pogemiller, Deloitte’s Director of Talent Acquisition and Mobility. “We expect that they’re going to walk through the door ready to apply what they’ve learned through their MBA program and helping to solve the biggest business problems our clients are facing.”

And there’s plenty of opportunity to do just that. According to Pogemiller, Deloitte will hire approximately 500 full-time MBAs this year, not counting another 200-250 interns. Based on early projections, she anticipates that next year’s numbers will increase, with the majority working in project teams as senior consultants in Deloitte’s human capital, strategy and operations, and technology practices.

So where does Deloitte look for talent? Just about everywhere, actually. However, most hires originate from the top 40 global business schools, according to Pogemiller. Generally, these schools have turned out the strongest communicators and leaders in recent hiring cycles (and maintain strong alumni bases at Deloitte). In particular, Deloitte focuses on MBA programs that are strong in international business and possess diverse student bodies. What’s more, they concentrate on schools with specialties that align with the industries they serve.

Pogemiller herself has spent over a decade at Deloitte. A Tippie MBA, Pogemiller joined Deloitte after ending her relationship with Arthur Andersen in the aftermath of Enron. After looking closely at the other professional services firms, Pogemiller chose Deloitte based on the caliber of people she met there. “Deloitte was the organization where I felt they did right by the Andersen employees they were taking on,” she reveals. “I had built relationships with the HR people who were involved in all of these transactions. I actually felt like the corporate culture was most similarly aligned with what I liked about Arthur Andersen.”

Since then, Pogemiller has worked in operations, serving as the HR leader for consulting before becoming Deloitte’s national leader for acquisition and mobility, covering both undergraduate and graduate institutions.

So what does Deloitte look for in potential hires? What should candidates expect during the interview process? And how can MBAs stand out in their early days at Deloitte? In a wide-ranging interview with Poets&Quants, Pogemiller tackles these questions (and many more).

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