Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A Day at Deloitte

It was a pleasant Friday morning. The air was crisp. As I pushed the revolving door of the Deloitte office in Chicago on South Wacker Drive, I eagerly looked forward to what the day held in store for me. I hoped to learn more about the Technology Consulting practice and the firm culture through this “Explore Your Opportunity” event.
The day began with an introductory presentation about Deloitte. Students from some of the best Masters of Business Administration Programs including Stanford, Wharton, Booth, Kellogg, Ross, and Duke listened attentively to the facts about the firm. (I also began to see how Business School Rankings matter!)
During lunch at the Townhouse Restaurant, I got the opportunity to interact with one of the Managers at Deloitte Consulting. After I finished the pan-seared tilapia, we had a session where some of the Consultants described their internship experience. We toured of a couple of the floors to see what the workplace and cubicles looked like. They have a reservation kiosk that you can use to book any free cubicles you want when you are in the office!
The Straight-Talk session with a Senior Manager and Principal was especially enlightening as we got direct answers about sticky questions around performance evaluations, mistakes past interns have made and career progression. The one-on-one session with a Director was also an excellent experience. Some of the topics we discussed included hiring challenges in the current economy, being open to explore possibilities in areas beyond your expertise, and ways to achieve a better work-life balance.
The theme that kept recurring (apart from the endless introductions!) was the traits displayed by successful interns in the past. Here is what I took away as the key recommendations: Focus on delivering quality work to the client, participate actively in firm activities including reaching out to the community, exhibit a positive attitude and continually looks for ways to make things better – qualities that would be expected from all the interns they hire from the top MBA Management Programs.
We ended the day with dinner at the Carnivale restaurant. (Interestingly enough there was a Carnivale event going on at Kelley as the same time!). Overall, it was a wonderful experience.
I spent the rest of the weekend exploring downtown Chicago with a couple of friends. The Cloud Gate at Millennium Park, and the view of Lake Shore from the Signature Lounge in the John Hancock building were particularly memorable. The Chicago art scene excites me too, and I have a lot to look forward to in the summer!

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