Tell me a bit about how you started at Deloitte? I joined Deloitte about 8 years ago through a cadetship with Assurance & Advisory in Western Sydney. I came in straight out of high school, having no idea what an audit was, so I got to learn a lot as I worked through my degree and on the job as a cadet. Why the Western Sydney office? At the time I didn’t even know Deloitte had an office in the Parramatta CBD. I was going to do my degree at Macquarie Uni and I was living in Castle Hill, so the Western Sydney office made a lot more sense in terms of convenience and travel, and where I expected my client base to be. It’s interesting because 8 years ago, Parramatta was a very different place and I think if I was coming in cold from university, like many other graduates, I might have been enticed by the CBD because of the perception that there’s more going on there compared to Parramatta. But knowing what I know now, Western Sydney was the best choice for me. How come? Because it’s a smaller office so you get the best of both worlds. You get that big firm experience with all of the training, support and networking opportunities you’d expect to get at a firm like Deloitte, but with that small office vibe – where everyone knows each other and it’s quite a close-knit culture. What else do you love about working in a smaller office? A lot of people think a smaller office means less opportunity. But I’ve found it’s the exact opposite. I’ve had the benefit of being involved in initiatives like the 2016/17 National High Flyers Program, I’ve attended leadership programs, was part of GenNext – a Western Sydney (WS) junior executive committee where I got to attend and present at a two day WS Partner Conference, and I set up and coordinated the communication strategy for our Audit Transformation team – which has received a lot of attention from our other Australian offices. I’m now on my second Advisory secondment because I explained to my Counselling Partner that I wanted to get some broader experiences outside of Audit. I’m 100% certain I wouldn’t have gotten those opportunities if I was at a bigger office. I’m not seen as a ‘resource’ here. My Partners know who I am, what I’m interested in and where I want to take my career. What I think is unique about the Western Sydney office is the breadth and availability of these opportunities. What’s impressed you most about working in Western Sydney? The first is that the Partners are very approachable and they really are invested in how engaged and happy we are. I think when you watch shows like Suits or something you get this perception of what Partners are like – but here they’re really personable. They’ll say hi to you in the lift, ask you how you’re going. It helps to take that formality out of things. It’s certainly the case with my own Counselling Partner who’s mentored me for the last 8 years. I feel like I can be completely open with him. I can be open about anything from where I want to go with my career through to if I’m having any grievances at work or if there’s something personal going on and I need to take some time off. Being comfortable enough to talk like that is really important. What’s something people might not realise about working in Western Sydney? Our office is located in Western Sydney, but our client base is all over Sydney and NSW. I’ve worked everywhere from Newcastle and Campbelltown through to Frenchs Forrest and the Sydney CBD, with the odd trip to Melbourne. The geographical range is massive so you get exposure to a lot of different client types and really get to build your network across Sydney. Not only that, but because my client base is predominantly made up of large multi-nationals, we also liaise a lot with other Deloitte member firms around the world, including Japan, the UK, Germany, and the US. Lastly, why should people reconsider working at Western Sydney? It’s an exciting time to be in Parramatta. My friends are used to me going on my tirade but I’ve already seen so much change since I started! I know there’s this perception about Parramatta and ‘The West’ but with all of the investment going into the area, the new stadium coming in, all the high rise residential units, the new restaurants and night-life hotspots, and the Centennial Square redevelopment – it’s changing and I know it’s just going to keep growing. You really need to look at things with a 5-year lens. If you look at the trajectory of the area, from 5 years ago, to now, and imagine what it will look like in 5 years’ time, the opportunities are really exciting! Want to join our team in Western Sydney? Apply for a job now!