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Kate McErlean

Job title: 
Analyst, Strategy & Operations – Financial Services Deloitte

How you became interested in a career in the finance sector?

In my final year in college, I did a lot of research into careers that would interest me and I began to pursue consulting as my top choice. I decided that it was the perfect area to gain experience and to launch my career. It is an area that consistently provides great opportunities to work with a wide variety of high-profile clients – something that is very unique to consulting and indeed to Deloitte.

How did you find the application process with Deloitte, any tips?

The application process in Deloitte is something I remember well. I was naturally nervous on the day of the interview but I was confident that I was well prepared. I had two hour-long interviews, one with a manager and one with a partner. The first one was about getting to know me and diving deeper into my skills and past experiences. These were all competency based questions that I was ready for.

Before interviewing with Deloitte, know exactly what they offer, understand their values and culture, research examples of clients and projects and most importantly know yourself and your CV inside out. Make sure you have a clear understanding of why you want to specifically work for Deloitte and why you think you would be a good fit.

Why did you choose Deloitte?  

I chose Deloitte because I wanted to experience the positive working environment which places a high value on personal development. I felt it was a company where I could prosper and grow my career. I believed a career in consulting at Deloitte had a lot to offer me as a graduate. I want to become an expert in assisting client companies to become more efficient, profitable and competitive. With inspirational managers from whom to learn and the opportunity to work with Deloitte’s leading clients, I believe I can achieve this here.

What’s been the biggest challenges so far and what did it teach you about yourself?

It took me a few months to find my feet in Deloitte. Entering a new working environment and adapting to the agile consulting way of working took me a few months to get used to. I have learned that it is important to be flexible being able to adapt to new situations quickly is essential.  

Being unsure of myself as an analyst is another challenge I face. Sometimes I find it hard to find confidence in my work due to my lack of experience. I have found that there is a wonderful support system in Deloitte with people who really care about improving your abilities. In this way I have been able to take feedback on board and develop any areas I would like to get better at and work on skills I would like to master.

What advice would you have for other students and graduates seeking to pursue a similar career path?

I would advise them to research the different service lines in consulting (Strategy & Operations, Human Capital Management and Technology) and talk to different people in those areas to get a feel for the type of work that they do.

I would encourage anyone wishing to pursue consulting to get involved in projects and case study competitions in college. This will teach you how to deal with being presented with a problem, learn how to digest large amounts of new information and understand the importance of formulating a plan to arrive at a solution.

Consulting is definitely becoming a very popular career option for graduates. As a result, the application process is becoming increasingly competitive. But I would advise others to not be discouraged by any rejections and to maintain a level of resilience. If you have a real passion for consulting and you can translate that into an interview and be yourself, you will ultimately end up where you want to be.

How do you hope to see your career developing over the next few years?

In the future I would like to further my education and do an MBA. I want to grow and prosper in Deloitte and become a leading consultant in the practice to lead the future.