The concept for ‘Snagging six figures’ was created after we had readers writing in asking for advice about how to use their degree and current job status to launch into a different industry or career. We know that no one career story is the same, but telling the stories of others can challenge, inspire, and shape your own. We are ask every interviewee in this series the same six questions:
- Why did you pick your course?
- What was your course experience?
- What was your first job?
- What did you learn in this job?
- What was your next step?
- What is your advice?
From: A graduate at Deloitte Private into Banking.
Salary: From $70,000 at 24 to $112,000 at 29
The Working File: Why did you pick your course?
Joey: I did a double degree, a B. Arts, and a B. Commerce. I picked this combination because I loved history at school and knew that politics would include modern history themes. Though, my parents were worried about me leaving university with an arts degree alone, so I went for the double.
The Working File: What was your course experience like?
Joey: I didn’t want to become a politician, but I wanted to study politics (ironic to some). But in my opinion the purpose of studying politics is about understanding the forces that interact people, communities and businesses. It is incredibly interesting, and I think that understanding that is far more valuable than just for a career in politics. For example, I learnt what kind of policy and politics mediates our relationship with China, the United States or Europe and then how this impacts upon investment decisions for businesses.
Another example, I did a subject where we looked at the root of the problem in the Middle East and how this effects businesses and trade and politics. In my opinion, political science cares about questions that we don’t often hear about in our everyday life, but that underpin everything we do.
I found commerce the perfect partner to my arts degree, because I learnt the technical knowledge that supported the social political theory. (Sorry, that sounds so wordy).
I majored in commercial law. Which is niche but within this umbrella you learn about tax law, employment law, mergers and acquisitions. I found this more interesting that finance or economics; but if I did my time again, I think that a finance major would have been stronger.
I wouldn’t recommend studying political science as an isolated degree. Personally, I think specialisation will limit you in finding a job once you finish university.
The Working File: What was your first job?
I started working in Deloitte Private. To get a job you need to go via the grad program, which in my opinion, it is impossible to successfully navigate if you haven’t done a summer internship with them- though, HR will disagree with me…You need to go to summer internship event lunches that the university is hosting and walk around the stall shows and expos and meet the people there. Sometimes the people they send to these events are the ones that will interview you on the panel.
It wasn’t till I finished university and applied for my role at Deloitte that I realised the value of the combination. Employers want to see that you have analytical skills and knowledge that is transferable. The arts element of my has given me the most valuable foundation for addressing real world problems outside of theory.
They asked me in my interview why I picked my combination specifically, and I told them that my double degree in arts and commerce was kind of like a ‘marriage between the old and new’; giving me context to business decisions of the past and a practical understanding of business functions. A tip I have is that you should not tell anyone that your degree combination or choice was ‘for no specific reason’. I think that you need to sell your interviewer in that you’ve always planned to get this job specific job in the end; and that every internship or work experience step was an considered tactic to get there.
‘Case interviews’ are also part of the process of getting a job at Deloitte. They give you a scenario and you need to assess and provide an answer on it. The interviewer will provide an overview of a ‘client’ and a ‘problem’. I think are looking at how you process information, how you approach problem solving and whether you have any unconscious bias.
The Working File: What did you learn in your first role?
My graduate time was really, really beneficial. But the environment is tough. There are a lot of people keen to prove themselves. I think people who managed their work privately and quietly are more popular with senior staff, so my advice is to keep your head down, work hard and build relationships organically. You can’t go into every project transactionally and think that you are going to ‘get something’ from it.
The Working File: What was your next step, and how did you land the six figure salary?
I was working across a business restructuring project after my rotation finished. Basically it was our job to work out how a business would operate overseas. On one side it was really, really numbers heavy. While on the other side there were lots of interviews with staff working there – collecting their opinions, summarising this into reports.
After three years there I wanted to move client side. Primarily because I started to doubt the role of consultancy in a big a business. I felt like I was working in research rather than in business, but I know this is just because I was junior. I wanted to get into banking, but I had a commercial law major and a politics degree.
I decided that my skills would best work in banking. I learnt is that no one really questions your objective to move from consultancy to client side. Moving from banking to consultancy and vice versa is actually really common.
The Working File: What is your advice?
Consultancy and banking is absolutely NOT a career that you can ‘fall into,’ unless you are relying on nepotism. You need to be networking, applying for internships and summer programs from the time you leave university. You also need to be getting distinctions at university.
If you are reading this at 24 and think, “I have no hope,” – my experience is just from Sydney. I am not too sure if it is as competitive to get your foot in the door in other locations. Maybe try there, and try transfer back.
The concept ‘Snagging six figures’ was created after we had readers writing in asking for advice.
Do you want to submit your story, or have a suggestion of someone you want featured? Email us: email@example.com