Monday, 25 September 2017

Summer Placement: Deloitte

Jack Cundall, SELA Cohort 2016

All engineering projects operate within a business environment. If they do not make sense financially then they will not go ahead. Therefore, it is essential that a leader understands the whole of the business and not just the technical side. This is not usually taught on an engineering degree, which is why so few CEOs are engineers by background.

My placement was with Deloitte, which is not an engineering firm but a professional services firm. They provide advice and services to companies across many different industries, including engineering and technology companies.
I worked in the Financial Advisory department, working as part of a team which was project-managing a proposed merger between two colleges and assisting with the preparation of a business plan for the merger.

I attended meetings with key stakeholders and helped record, communicate and track key actions which were needed for the project to stay on track. This gave me valuable experience of how to present myself in front of a client in a professional setting as well as how to effectively manage a project.

The project itself helped me understand how change is managed and implemented in a business and all the different areas which need to be considered for this to be successful. It was interesting to see how a master vision could be filtered down into what buildings and facilities would be needed, what staff would be needed, how to get funding, and how this would meet the needs of the local community and all of the stakeholders involved.

I also received online training on risk management including deciding which clients to take on, and what information should and shouldn’t be shared. This will help me exercise good judgement which is one of the SELA foundational attributes. An awareness of risks as well as the legal and political context of a project are important but often overlooked.

In conclusion, I learnt how many different parts of a business work in a way that I wouldn’t have been able to learn in a classroom. I learnt how complex projects are managed and how to work with many different people from different sectors to achieve an end goal.

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