Have you just received an offer to become a Deloitte intern? Congratulations! However, the real hard work begins now. Big consulting firms like Deloitte utilize summer internships as a method to select the students who fit within their culture and have the qualities that will make them successful future consultants.
It may sound daunting but have no fear – the majority of interns actually receive return offers. Deloitte spends considerable time and energy in recruiting the right candidates for these Deloitte internships. So if you’ve made it this far, you likely have the chops to work there full time. To equip with you some knowledge before you embark on your journey, we present our Top 10 Tips to keep in mind during your Deloitte Consulting summer internship.
Deloitte Intern Tips
Deloitte Intern Tip #1 – It’s a Sprint, not a Marathon
Eight to ten weeks may seem like a lot, but we promise you your Deloitte Consulting summer internship will go by very quickly. As a Deloitte intern, your goal should be to maximize your experience. Mainly, impress your colleagues in every way you can. This means staying late to work on perfecting your deliverable and going in early before your colleagues arrive. In short, go the extra mile in everything you do – it will pay off.
It may sound tiring, but think of the work at your internship as an investment for your future career. Once you are working at the company full-time, you can then focus on maintaining a healthy work-life balance. (As work really does become a marathon), but for an internship, you want to race to the finish line.
Tip #2 – Don’t Underestimate Yourself
You were selected to work at Deloitte for a reason. Out of the thousands of applicants, you were the one who passed the several rounds of interviews and tests to get to where you are. Though you may not have as much of a consulting background, there are times when inexperience and a fresh perspective can be an advantage.
If you have an idea to change a process in a workstream or think you should speak up during a meeting, do it. Of course, you should be thoughtful when you speak. But even if you make a mistake, you’ll have learned more from the mistake than from your silence. Also take comfort in the fact that even the most experienced consultants can be wrong. Thus, in most scenarios, your team will be understanding and impressed that you are speaking up and contributing.
Deloitte Intern Tip #3 – If You have to Choose, be Accurate over Fast
During your internship at Deloitte, good work prioritizes accuracy. While the best-case scenario is to be quick and accurate, don’t do a half-hearted job in the name of speed. Consultants will be happy to provide you with more opportunities (and a better review) if your work is consistently on target. There is often an unnecessary pressure interns put on themselves to complete their assignments extremely quickly. However, if the work submitted by an intern is consistently faulty, experienced consultants will know that they need to check the intern’s work with a paranoia that everything must be checked extremely thoroughly. Trust us, working with an undependable intern is not fun!
On the other hand, if an intern’s work is consistently accurate, as time goes on, your team will learn to trust your work and not worry about spending egregious amounts of time checking. Especially at first, go through your assignments slowly and accurately, and build that speed over time.
Tip #4 – Look to Take the Initiative
There will always be plenty of opportunities for you to take on additional and more interesting work. This is only as long as you are producing good results. Remember that you’ll likely be working with seasoned consulting professionals who have been working in consulting for several years, if not decades. Working and advancing in the same industry provides new challenges but also involves a lot of repetition.
At the start of your internship, try to take on the easier additional work. For example, things such as taking notes during meetings or even getting the right coffees for your teammates. As you build your reputation, look for opportunities to take work off of your team’s plate by taking on additional workstreams or participating in internal initiatives. All of these extra efforts will come into play during your final review.
Deloitte Intern Tip #5 – Always Maintain a Positive Attitude
Though having a positive attitude is popular advice, this tip can’t be overlooked. There will be times when you may be given grunt work or assignments that aren’t intellectually challenging. The key to having a positive attitude is humbling yourself and understanding that no work is beneath you. Especially as an intern, keep in mind that you do actually have a lot to learn.
All experienced consultants have had to deal with work they don’t want to do. In fact, almost every job includes a component that people don’t enjoy doing. At Deloitte, by working on everything you do with a positive attitude, your team will be happier working with you and more inclined later on to provide you with more challenging assignments.
Tip #6 – Focus on Developing Relationships
In all likelihood, it will be the relationships you build that will be the most valuable takeaway from your summer internship at Deloitte. Generally speaking, the people at the firm are extremely nice, smart, and driven. Most will want to take an active role in your career development. As an intern, you are essentially given a pass to reach out to almost anyone at the firm. You should definitely take advantage of the opportunity. Ideally, make it a goal to speak with at least one new consultant every week through the phone or over coffee.
Building out your network will help you engrain yourself in the firm’s culture. This can be leveraged in the future in ways you can never predict. You never know at the time, but a great coffee chat during your summer with a partner can lead you to landing an interesting project when you join Deloitte full time. Simply put, the more people you know at the firm, the more people you have to help you in your future career.
Deloitte Intern Tip #7 – Respond Quickly to Emails
Consultants like to get their projects moving as quickly as possible. As an intern, one of the most basic things you can do in order to help contribute to your project is responding quickly to any messages directed towards you. You’d be surprised, but communicating quickly via email can instantly send a good first impression to your colleagues. This helps you build the essential trust you need in a strong team.
More specifically, responding quickly means replying to emails the moment after you read them. If additional information is required (i.e. if you’re unsure how to respond), then you should immediately ask whoever you need to get the right information in order to reply. In very few circumstances should you ever let an email sit in your inbox without a response for more than a few hours during normal business hours.
Tip #8 – Get to Know Your Client
A large part of a consultant’s job is making sure the client is happy. This means many things beyond just delivering a solid work product. In fact, the key to success as you make your way up the consulting career ladder is the ability to develop strong relationships with clients. A lot of this simply means getting the client to both like and trust you.
It’s never too early to start searching for the next partners at a consulting firm, and Deloitte is no different. Your return offer won’t be based too heavily on how much a client likes you. Although, the more you are able to show that you can develop client relationships, the more bonus points you will receive. When provided the opportunity, grab coffee with members of your client’s team. Spend the time to get to know them. Word travels quickly. Any positive interactions with your clients will eventually find their way to the consultants you work with.
Deloitte Intern Tip #9 – Never Hesitate to Do the Right Thing
Deloitte prides itself on being not only a challenging place to work but also an ethical company. If you ever find yourself in an environment in which you are facing an ethical dilemma, trust your gut and morals and always do the right thing. Do your best to ignore any pressure from your team because ultimately, the firm and senior partners will have your back if you do what’s right.
At times, doing the right thing won’t relate to a difficult ethical situation but instead more work. For instance, if you see or hear about a peer who is struggling during his or her internship, lend a helping hand or ear. You never know when you’ll be the one who is asking for help. Though it may be difficult or challenging at the time, if you find yourself consistently doing good for others, your efforts will eventually reward you.
Deloitte Intern Tip #10 – Don’t Forget to Have Fun!
And last but not least, the last of the Deloitte internship tips. We know going through a consulting summer internship can be filled with pressure and expectations. However, if you find yourself filled with anxiety as you get yourself out of bed and don’t enjoy the internship, you probably also won’t enjoy the job full time either. As simple as it sounds, oftentimes the first step towards having a good time at work is understanding that it is possible in the first place.
As you start your journey as a new consultant, do your best to take your work seriously and perform well, but don’t necessarily take yourself too seriously. Let your personality shine as you interact with your team and the client rather than being robotic and saying only what you think people want to hear. You’ll find that being your true and authentic self will make it easier for you to enjoy your time as a Deloitte intern. For more information see Deloitte’s webpage on Deloitte Internships.