When it comes to professional services and consulting, what are some of the biggest misconceptions that students may have about your organization (and your industry)?
As an industry, with professional services, and consulting in particular, one of the things that students think is that there is a flexibility issue. For employees today, work-life is important to them. One of the things we recognize is that employees have unique work-life needs that change over time. What we have tried to do is have them feel like they have control over when, where, and how they work.
One of the things we try to think about in this field of professional consulting is, ‘what does it mean in terms of their ability to conduct their life?’ We talk about what that’s like and how they will be able to work virtually as needed or as appropriate and being provided with technology and processes that enable our people to work virtually no matter where they work.
We’ve always had this mobile workforce whether you work on-site with clients or telecommute. And it’s something we do very well. I think our culture encourages our talent to own their careers. In that regard, they can decide on the type of work-life that they want in order to be happy and successful.
That’s one of the things that people come in thinking that, ‘This is just what I’m going to have to deal with’ by working in this type of industry. But that’s the misconception: There are actually things they can control. And there are opportunities for them. So it’s not just going to be just awful for a number of years before they proceed up the ladder.
What are your expectations for entry level MBAs? What are your most successful new hires doing to hit the ground running and quickly add value?
One thing they need to know about Deloitte is that we operate in an apprentice culture, where our new hires are working side-by-side and are mentored by our partners, our directors, and senior managers…the top level individuals in the organization. Our new hires are really encouraged to take on as much responsibility as they can while still delivering results for our clients. You don’t want them in over their head, but you want them scratching it. So the alignment of this model would be to work with more senior individuals and they need to be comfortable with that.
Our exceptional hires are really those who are very intellectually curious. By being so, they typically will contribute immediately in a meaningful way by asking strong questions, getting engaged in the problem we’re trying to solve and not just sitting back.
We are hiring from what we feel are the best-and-brightest from the top institutions. We expect that they’re going to walk through the door ready to apply what they’ve learned through their MBA programs and helping to solve the biggest business problems our clients are facing. And all of that means that we want them to be curious, contribute immediately, and don’t stand back and watch what’s going on. Just roll up your sleeves and get in there and be comfortable working closely with the senior members of their engagement team, who are there to help them.
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