Embracing Uniqueness: Getting the most out of your application process

It was not until I was asked in my Deloitte Partner interview what it is that ‘isn’t on my resume’ that I let this part of me out, and having seen Deloitte from the inside now, I know that played a core part in why I was hired. Everyone in the building has their quirk, and that quirk is amplified by the energy that resonates throughout the workplace.

When I was younger, my unashamedly glamorous Auntie was visiting our family home and she made a comment to me that the mirror in our bathroom was ‘cruel’; something about the fluorescent lights illuminating, too well, her aesthetic imperfections? I didn’t really understand the concept. This was, until, I opted into a similarly revealing act where I was forced to explore my imperfections, make sense of qualities about myself that I’d prefer to ignore and, ultimately, face reality.

Graduate applications (or, given the work load, I’d often refer to them as GradAPP5001). These, paired with our penultimate and final year of university, internships, volunteering and maintaining our extracurriculars made for an arduous and, at times, seemingly unforgiving few years.

In saying this, while the process into the Operations Consulting Team at Deloitte was by far one of the toughest, it was also one of the most fulfilling applications that I completed. I was pressed to engage and reflect on what I care about most, who I was as a professional and who I was as a person. All of which, I have continued to build upon in my first 6 months at Deloitte.

What do I care about most? I chose Deloitte because of their incomparable Social Impact and Health team.

I have always had a pulsating passion for the environment, health and human services on both a national and international scale and it’s no secret that Deloitte are transformative in this space. Where my professional experience had mainly been in the NFP sector and my academic experience in sustainability, I wanted to be able to make an impact on a large scale. I have been able to flex this from day one as part of the DeloitteASSIST team. I have played a core role in supporting the design and deployment of DeloitteASSIST, a voice-enabled hospital call bell solution, in hospitals around Australia. Outside of this engagement I have had the opportunity to contribute to the national health and social impact ecosystem by organising internal training sessions, attending networking events with thought leaders and supporting the development of our go to market strategies in these industries.

As a professional, I have learned that I work best in collaborative teams, with a pen in my hand and when I have a core understanding for the purpose of the deliverable I’m contributing to.

Deloitte understands and respects uniqueness. They have developed an internal tool that rigorously analyses our ‘Business Chemistry’ through a series of questionnaires that we are encouraged to complete as early as possible. This tool enables us to appreciate diversity of working styles and leverage individual strengths to deliver a collective outcome far greater than the sum of its individual parts. It has allowed me to focus on my strengths as a professional as well as know how to best communicate and collaborate with people of different styles.

As a person, Deloitte has taught me to respect my uniqueness, employ a flavoursome work-life balance and always dream bigger.

Defining my brand has always given me incredible anxiety. My undergraduate degree was at the Conservatorium of Music and I continue to work outside of business hours as a professional musician, I have an insatiable interest in cooking and wellness that I project through a food blog, I am a proud member and supporter of the LGBTI+ community, sometimes I feel that I work for the sole purpose to save up money for my next overseas adventure; and the ramble can continue for however long you let me. When applying for graduate roles, I didn’t know where all of this fit. It was not until I was asked in my Deloitte Partner interview what it is that ‘isn’t on my resume’ that I let this part of me out, and having seen Deloitte from the inside now, I know that played a core part in why I was hired. Everyone in the building has their quirk, and that quirk is amplified by the energy that resonates throughout the workplace. There are prosperous internal networks to support inclusion and diversity as well as wellness and work-life balance that I have had a great time being involved with.

In short, the transition from university to the professional world is a tough one and it is made all the tougher by the journey of self-discovery that we unavoidably endure throughout the application process. My one piece of advice to future graduates is to use this process as a chance to look into the ‘cruel’ mirror (despite what my auntie has to say about them) and embrace this opportunity to reflect on what makes you unique. I have all the faith that this will allow you to find the perfect company, as I have, that implores you to embrace this and achieve things beyond your wildest expectations.

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