The Covid-19 lockdown forced many organizations to cancel or postpone their Vacation Schemes, Internship and Graduate Schemes. However, some organizations did not allow the pandemic to stop their schemes and decided to move them virtually. It was a delight to see that organizations went as far as delivering laptops, merchandise and goodies to their interns. The Boar Finance decided to share the virtual experience of these interns and interview Alexander Ray, a Tax Consultancy vac- schemer and graduate job offer holder at Deloitte.
Alex tells us about the beginning of his journey at Deloitte and why he decided to go for Tax Consultancy at Deloitte: “I had an interest in Deloitte as opposed to the other members of the Big4 because of how friendly the people I had met from Deloitte were prior to the scheme had been. This was reaffirmed over the course of the scheme as my mentor was absolutely amazing and really went the extra mile to give me a great experience, e.g. setting up a zoom call with a partner from the office I had applied to, who was also incredibly friendly. I’d recommend anyone to apply to Deloitte because of this. I also realised over the scheme how much Deloitte invest in all their employees through team-building days out to training courses, secondment opportunities and a great emphasis on mental health and taking care of yourself. Tax consulting interested me because it is very orientated on solving problems for a range of clients. I didn’t like this idea of being an auditor – I’d prefer to work directly with clients.”
Deloitte did not allow the pandemic to disappoint its schemers and decided to make its scheme adapt to the unprecedented circumstances
He goes on to explain the application process and advises future applicants: “The application process was very straight-forward. It was two rounds of online assessments followed by an interview with someone from my office. After the scheme, to progress onto a graduate scheme it was just an additional partner interview. I’d advise anyone who reaches the interview stage to really think about questions such as ‘why Deloitte?’ and ‘why this service line?’, and really do your research about the firm and the service line. On top of that, it is largely about competency-based questions so think back to times you’ve displayed leadership, teamwork, faced a challenge and went out of your way to learn something new.
“Deloitte did not allow the pandemic to disappoint its schemers and decided to make its scheme adapt to the unprecedented circumstances. Alex tell us that ‘Deloitte replaced their traditional in-person vacation scheme with a mentoring/webinar/session-based programme called ‘open doors’. This consisted of being paired with a mentor from the office/service line I was in (tax consultancy in Newcastle), meeting them weekly over zoom, and attending a range of online sessions which involved networking, meditation, presentations by different individuals from the firm and interactive sessions (for example, looking at a typical tax problem).”
His two interviews went well because he was well prepared and built up a good rapport with the interviewers
When asked how he felt when the internship moved online, it’s clear that although he had a positive experience, it wasn’t exactly as he would’ve wanted it. “Obviously, I would have preferred an in-person internship, but even so, going into the experience with the mindset of wanting to learn as much as possible and make the best out of a bad situation helped me make the most of it.” These are wise words we should all listen to during the current situation.
Finally, we asked Alex for some of his tips for interviews for Vac-Schemes and graduate roles and he said that he believed his two interviews went well because he was well prepared and built up a good rapport with the interviewers. Expanding on this, he says: “I can’t emphasise enough how important building rapport with interviewers is, they’re not just looking at whether you’re technically good, but whether you can work well with other people, and importantly, assessing whether they want to work with you. For anyone going into an online internship I’d really encourage them to make the most of it, reach out to people, and learn as much as possible. Also, get used to meeting people over video-calls, it is a very new experience.”