Each year Deloitte recruits 100 promising graduates into one of their programmes. Graduates are well looked after and are given a buddy to guide them through the process. Michael Bellingham, one of Deloitte’s recent recruits, is reaping the rewards of the programme and looks forward to a successful future in one of New Zealand’s top businesses.
Name: Michael Bellingham
Deloitte office: Auckland
University attended: The University of Auckland
How have you found your time at Deloitte so far and how does it fit in with your overall career goals?
Deloitte has been a fantastic place to start my career. Working life has been a considerable adjustment from my time at university, but the graduate programme is structured so that you are supported through the transition. If you are finding anything too difficult, there are plenty of places to turn for advice. Deloitte is also supporting me in achieving my Chartered Accountancy qualifications by paying for my tuition and offering workshops along the way. Long term, I hope to spend some time overseas and Deloitte provides a number of opportunities to do this whilst still employed.
Why did you choose accounting? What sparked your interest in numbers?
When I started university, I had no idea where my degree would end up. Along the way, I made sure I stuck with papers which spurred my interest, notably Accounting and Tax. Maths has always been something I have enjoyed, but English and Media were by strongest suits, especially in high school. I think the accounting career really stood out for me as a place where I could utilise both skills.
There seems to be a myth that accounting is all about numbers and data entry but in fact it involves a whole lot of communication skills. We spend a lot of time talking to clients and other members of the team trying to figure out the basis behind the numbers we are working with. Once this is done, we go to work with the numbers, but this is a small portion of the work we do. I spend more time reading than I do using my calculator!
What makes Deloitte a great place to work? Why do you enjoy getting up and coming to the office every morning?
The people I’m surrounded by motivate me to come to work and try my hardest. It’s hard not to step your game up when you’re working with some of the brightest people in their field. The huge range of social activities offered, also makes me want to do my best for those around me. It’s a lot easier working with others that you can form genuine relationships with that aren’t confined to the office.
What makes you passionate about your work and what key skills do you think you need to succeed in it?
The large range of clients, in terms of industry and size, makes every project you work on unique. Most importantly, I’m solving real world problems for clients from all over New Zealand and overseas. I’m passionate about the work I do because I know how much it’s going to help the clients I work for succeed.
The skills you need to succeed are endless, but to boil it down to three, I would say most important is communication skills, secondly time and pressure management and thirdly an honest and upfront demeanour with colleagues and clients.
What would be your number 1 tip for people wanting to apply for a job in your line of work?
Getting good grades at university should be at the top of your priority list, but don’t let this be at the expense of having fun and getting real world experience. Make sure you spend time doing things you enjoy and develop yourself as a person outside of the classroom. Part time jobs, hobbies and travel are essential in demonstrating your ability to juggle multiple tasks, as well as letting employers know that you’re somebody they’d like to sit beside at the office. The general rule is that good grades get you in the interview room, but a well-rounded personality gets you out of the room with the job.