Amidst the rolling hills just outside of Fort Worth, TX lies Deloitte University, a $300M, 710,000 square foot training facility built for one of the largest professional service firms in the world. No other consulting firm in the world has made this kind of investment in a professional training facility. Why? As Deloitte was looking to revamp its training programs during the Great Recession, there was an internal push for scalable, online training. However, Deloitte leadership determined that the interaction and group learning opportunities a training center provides would better represent the firm’s culture and lead to better training outcomes.
But what exactly is Deloitte University? And does it live up to the hype?
What Is Deloitte University?
In case there’s still any uncertainty, Deloitte University is not an actual university. There are no 4-year programs or degrees available here.
Instead, founded in October 2011, this facility is a place where Deloitte’s employees – from new hires to senior executives – gather to learn and develop skills. An estimated 50,000 Deloitte professionals visit the campus every year, and the firm’s goal is to have every U.S. employee visit at least once every 2-3 years.
An Inside Perspective
Because Deloitte University is exclusively for firm employees, the area is extremely hard to review without actually having worked at the firm. Of course, that’s where we come in!
With many of our team members having experienced the offerings at Deloitte University, here’s a quick snapshot of what Deloitte University does well, and where gaps may still exist.
The Good Stuff About Deloitte University
A Great Place to Meet Colleagues
Deloitte University provides employees with an opportunity to interact with colleagues they otherwise may not have met. The facility is a buzzing hub built to stir conversation and results in the exchange of ideas. In addition, this allows you to build your network beyond just folks in your office or those you’ve been staffed with on a project. This is perhaps the best attribute of Deloitte University.
The Facility Accomplishes Its Mission
Deloitte University exists as a symbol of Deloitte’s investment in its future leaders. An experience at Deloitte University gives employees a safe place to learn, ask questions, and recharge. Oh yeah, and the curriculum and quality of the instructors are world-class.
Classrooms also include top notch technology and equipment to enhance the learning experience. Instructors teach from the middle of the classroom, ensuring that no table or small group is receiving less attention. In addition, each table includes an iPad to allow for seamless access to course materials via the cloud. Finally, if someone can’t make the live training, trainees can join a live training easily via state-of-the-art teleconference technology.
Our favorite thing about the Deloitte University ethos is its focus on comprehensive learning. This includes a focus on pre-work, focused work in the classroom, and post-training follow-up.
The Perks Are Real
Going to Deloitte University is like going to a 5-star hotel (think the Ritz or Four Seasons). You get your own room and access to buffets for every meal, fun gym classes, miles of bike trails, and a large entertainment barn filled with games, pool tables, shuffleboard, and a full service espresso bar (Yes, barn). The campus even offers a wine selection that is on par with most luxury hotel properties around the world. There are no shortages of entertainment and pampering during your stay.
The Facility is Beautiful
Deloitte University isn’t just functional, it’s beautiful. The campus boasts graceful oak trees, a myriad of outdoor activities, and a large lake.
The Not-So-Good Stuff About Deloitte University
The Firm Overhypes It
Yes, Deloitte University is great. However, Deloitte University is pitched hard to potential employees as a life-changing mecca for professional training. Don’t get us wrong – Deloitte University is an amazing place – but you only get out of it what you put in. There are lots of distractions that make it a great few days away from the office, but may also make it a less-than-ideal learning environment.
Training < On the Job Experience
Deloitte University does provide best-in-class training, although we’ve heard rumblings the firm could do a better job of tying training topics to individual performance reviews. At the end of the day, any consultant will tell you that the classroom isn’t the best and quickest way to learn. A few days at the facility alone don’t give Deloitte’s employees a leg-up compared to others in the industry.
Prioritizing Your Energy Investment is Hard
Your 3-4 day professional training at Deloitte University can be a great time, but it can also be draining when you are surrounded by people from breakfast until late evening group activities. Employees who reflect positively on this experience ensured they prioritized based on their goals. Some areas of trade-offs and potential synergies are: networking, technical learning, group/recreational events, and personal time. Whatever your goals, a plan is the best way to be prepared.
Overall, the investment that Deloitte has made in the professional development of its employees is impressive. If you ever get a chance to visit Deloitte University, you’ll see why! If you’ve recently visited the campus, leave your thoughts below. Did you enjoy the experience? Would you have changed anything?