Deloitte’s Ornaith O’Reilly shares her experience of the company’s graduate programme, including the importance of a ‘buddy’ and a ‘coach’.
Ornaith O’Reilly is a recent bioengineering graduate who now works as an analyst in the robotics and intelligent automation department of Deloitte.
While she wasn’t completely sure what she wanted to do when she came out of college, she was keen to gain exposure to different technologies.
“Talking to graduates from Deloitte and other companies ultimately helped me to decide on the role. The emphasis that Deloitte puts on training and development appealed to me as someone coming from a bioengineering background, who expected a steep learning curve starting out,” she told SiliconRepublic.com.
“Coming from a healthcare background, I’ve always wanted to work in an industry that is having a positive impact on the world. Since joining Deloitte, I’ve had the opportunity to work on projects with a strong social impact,” she said.
“From working on public health projects to more recently joining a team contributing to Ireland’s response to the invasion of Ukraine, I feel a great sense of fulfilment in my work.”
While she’s still making up her mind about the type of job she wants to do for the rest of her life, she said Deloitte has plenty of avenues to explore. “Luckily, I can say that I’ve spent my first year on the graduate programme in an environment where I’m constantly learning and growing.”
‘Your opinion is valued no matter what level you are’
– ORNAITH O’REILLY
Can you describe a typical day in your role?
I currently work across two projects which gives me a lot of variety in my day.
Firstly, I work as a solution developer on an internal project using robotic process automation software – a low-code software package to build, deploy and manage software robots that simulate human actions. Typically, I spend half my day working ‘behind the scenes’ building and managing automation solutions.
Secondly, I work with a public client in a project management role. This is very client-facing and allows me to build my communication skills. A typical day could include creating and delivering presentations to senior team members or clients and reporting project progress and issues to stakeholders.
While the two projects appear very different, I really like the variety they give me and how they allow me to grow both technical and soft skills.
Have your responsibilities and workload changed as the programme progressed?
Absolutely. I work with senior members of staff across different departments in Deloitte and very senior clients daily (almost hourly). There really is a flat structure in the firm, where your opinion is valued no matter what level you are.
In the last year, my responsibilities have increased hugely. From taking initiative in client meetings to having more ownership over project deliverables, I feel constantly challenged. While this can sometimes feel daunting, there is so much support available at Deloitte that I’ve never felt overwhelmed.
How do you think this programme has made you more prepared for working life?
Since (almost) day one I’ve worked on client projects, so in lots of ways I feel like I was thrown into working life! I’m a strong believer in immersion being the best way to learn and this has certainly been the case at Deloitte.
However, the graduate programme comes with support at all levels. Firstly, I was assigned a ‘buddy’ – someone junior in the company to help me settle in.
Secondly, I was assigned a ‘coach’ – someone senior in the company, outside of my immediate team, to help guide me in my career at Deloitte. Combining this with the formal training I have received since joining Deloitte, I think that the graduate programme is setting me up for professional success.
Would you recommend the graduate programme at Deloitte to others?
I’d recommend the graduate programme at Deloitte to anyone. Coming from an engineering background, I was initially hesitant that I would feel out of depth in a consulting role or that I wouldn’t find a role that suited me.
After joining the graduate programme, the variety of backgrounds were clear – from history to medical degrees, our graduate intake was definitely interesting! Which made sense to me as soon as I started and saw that no two roles in Deloitte are the same.
This is great for somebody like me who still isn’t sure what they want to do. Thankfully, Deloitte are keen to let you explore and upskill according to your interests.
In terms of social life, coming out of lockdown and starting in Deloitte’s graduate programme was a complete shock to the system. From karaoke to escape rooms and many Thursday night outs, I’ve definitely made friends for life.
I feel so lucky to have had the opportunity to meet so many lovely people and for all the memories we’ve made over the last year.
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