This morning I walked into the Minneapolis Deloitte office for my final partner meeting of my summer in the Premier Student Program. I checked in at reception and was asked to take a seat in the waiting area. As I sat there, my stomach churning with excitement, I realized that I was sitting in the same chair I sat in while waiting for my first Deloitte interview in February. I had come full circle, and today was the day I would be given the opportunity to start my career.
Career. Woah. What an intimidating word. It’s bigger than a job. A career is what people build over years and years of experience. It’s something I’ve aspired to for a long time: to have a career that I’m passionate about, that excites me, and that allows me to reach my full potential. But until now, that’s all it was: an aspiration. While I’ve wanted this magical, mystical thing called a career for a long time, I never had a good idea about what that meant for me. I always sort of knew I could do anything I wanted and probably be successful. I knew that with my various interests, I would most likely be content in a lot of different fields. But that’s not what I really want, to be content and moderately successful. What I want is to have something that inspires me, something that ignites my inner flame.
This summer, I took part in two different accounting experiences. One was the PSP program with Deloitte and the other was an accounting internship through UnitedHealth Group. Both allowed me to see parts of the audit process, both gave me a good sense of the difference between Public Accounting and Industry Accounting, and both helped me discover my passion.
I get so excited when talking about Audit. It’s crazy how it can tangibly change my mood and make me almost giddy. It’s an exciting feeling to find a career that I’m genuinely excited about. It’s also an exciting feeling to know that not only am I going to be good at my job, but also that my personality will fit with my job so well. Here’s why:
Over-analyzing everything is essential. Auditing is in the details. I’m someone who doesn’t miss the details, like at all. I’m almost impossible to surprise. Ask my dad or ex-boyfriends. Yes, I can see you scheming. And yes, I’m sorry I ruined it… I’m also someone who tries to anticipate what everyone is thinking. If you know me, you probably don’t need much convincing to believe that over-analyzing is one of my strong suits 🙂
Identifying and mitigating risk are the key components of an audit. The main job of an audit team is to explore a company’s financials and processes and basically imagine up all the ways that mistakes could occur. Then, they build strategies and controls that help make sure those mistakes either don’t happen or get caught before it’s too late. I already do this in my own life. No seriously. If you ask my friends, I’m constantly saying, “Well, what if this happens?” or “What if so-and-so does this?” I pre-plan my life sometimes (sometimes a good thing, sometimes not so much). Let me illustrate with an example.
Situation: I need to get somewhere (grocery store, Minneapolis library, etc.) from Augsburg and I don’t own a car. This means I will have to take a bus.
Identifying the Risk:
- It’s possible I will fumble around with my money while getting on the bus and embarrass myself.
- It’s also possible I won’t know what bus to take or where to get off.
Mitigating the Risk:
- Buy a GoPass so I can pre-load money and never get stuck without bus fare. The GoPass will also make me look less like an amateur bus-rider.
- Download the Transit app on my phone so I can always figure out what bus to take and when to get off.
Identifying more Risk:
- It’s possible my phone may die while I’m out and about and I could be stranded without knowing my way home.
Mitigating the new Risk:
- Buy a portable battery charger for my phone and keep it in my purse at all times.
I could keep going…but I won’t. Because now I think you understand the insanity of my brain. I can’t shut it off. But what I’ve realized is that I get to do that for a living! I’m already amazing at risk management, now I just need to practice on big fancy financial documents.
Auditing isn’t a one-office job. My workdays will be different all the time. While I’m a creature of habit, I don’t want to be stuck in the same desk with the same people day after day for years on end. With auditing, I’ll be assigned to various clients from various industries, keeping not only the subject matter diverse, but also the people I interact with on the client side and on my audit team as well. I’m pretty sure it will be impossible to be bored.
Auditing is a social game. At it’s most basic level, an audit is about looking at a company’s financials and giving them an opinion on whether they are up to standards or not. So a lot of the time, the client looks at the auditors as some kind of adversary. Not in all cases but in some, the client contacts, who auditors work with directly, are abrasive because you’re “passing judgment” on them and their processes. You also may be taking time away from their regular duties when you need information from them. What I’ve started to realize over this summer is that one of the things that makes a good auditor is the ability to connect with someone and allow them to see that you are someone worth trusting and respecting. I think that’s something I try to do in every aspect of life. I hope I can continue to be transparent in my working life the way I am as much as I can in the rest of my life.
You know what else I’m excited for? AIRPLANES. Depending on my clients’ location, I may travel a lot. I AM SO EXCITED. You really don’t understand. They’re going to ask for my industry and travel preferences at some point, and I’m going to be that girl that says, “Send me everywhere!” It’s going to be fun.
After a summer of finding my passion, this morning, I sat in the office of an audit partner from Deloitte, one of the top four accounting firms in the world, and do you know what he did? He offered me a job. I am so blown away by the fact that, before I’ve even started my senior year of college, I have a job offer. Not only that but I have a job offer at a company that is prestigious AND the company connects on so many levels with my vocation. I could write a whole blog post just about the reasons I fit at Deloitte, but I won’t do that now. I just have to say, it’s finally clear to me that I am who I am for a very distinct reason. The parts of me that sometimes seem neurotic are the parts of me that are (hopefully) going to make me a great auditor. I’m so excited I’ve found where I belong. And I’m so excited to start this adventure in a year. Deloitte, here I come!