A young woman with long dark hair smiles at the camera while sitting on a yellow couch with cushions either side against a wooden wall.
Sanjana Pai. Image: Deloitte

‘I’ve honed my technical skills but also my management skills’

7 Oct 2021

Deloitte’s Sanjana Pai discusses her experience on the graduate programme and how it helped her develop both her hard and soft skills.

Sanjana Pai graduated from the University of Limerick with a master’s degree in business analytics after studying telecommunication engineering in India.

She now works as an analyst in tax management consulting in Deloitte, having joined the company as part of its graduate programme.

She told Siliconrepublic.com that her role is the ideal combination of taxation and technology and that the company’s programme has helped her develop both her hard, technical skills and her managerial skills.

“It’s super exciting to be a part of the process of designing, selecting and implementing tax software for both direct and indirect taxes for global and local clients,” she said.

‘I applied because I wanted to work on significant transformation initiatives with top-tier, global clients’

What drew you to Deloitte when you were seeking work as a graduate?

The whole culture at Deloitte is what made me interested in working for the firm. The amount of support in terms of learning and growth they have in place for their employees is excellent. Deloitte has initiatives such as Deloitte University to empower learners and leaders to go beyond business.

What expectations did you have before you began the programme?

I knew I would be working with clients all around the world and would be learning a lot from them, and in the process, I would meet amazing people and make a lot of friends across the firm.

What duties and responsibilities were you given initially?

I was onboarded into a project straight after the induction and was involved in building the wireframes for a prototype profit reviewing dashboard.

This involved weekly meetings with the client to finalise the model. With the help of experienced consultants, I completed phase one of this dashboard.

The team members were considerate and arranged multiple calls to walk me through the terms and technologies used in the assignment.

Did the scope of your work change as the programme progressed?

As I became more familiar with indirect tax analysis, I was given more responsibility to drive the client calls and meetings. I’m 10 months into the programme and have already been designated as the project’s primary, with a lot of help from my senior supervisors.

I’ve worked with a variety of data tools to automate and analyse tax patterns for some of our top clients. It felt great to run the workflow and analyse months of data in a matter of seconds.

Can you describe a typical day in your role?

I like to start my day by checking my schedule to ensure that any upcoming calls or meetings are front of mind, and that any required preparation tasks are completed beforehand.

Then, I usually answer my emails while I’m still fresh. After that, I usually spend the rest of my morning completing the tasks I am assigned.

I have a check-in with my colleagues in the afternoon to make sure we’re on track with the assignment we’re working on and to prepare for the next day. I spend most of my time creating interactive tax dashboards and automating tax functions for our clients.

How do your responsibilities compare to more experienced employees?

It basically depends on the level of knowledge of the subject. My tasks are designed to fit my skillset. Every day, several team catch-ups are held, ensuring that there is always enough assistance delivered.

Do you feel more prepared for working life after completing this programme?

Yes. I’ve honed not only my technical skills but also my management skills – I’ve participated in pitch meetings led by partners and other senior managers, which has shown me how to run a client call/workshop. Deloitte has given me confidence and helped me recognise my own capabilities.

Why should someone apply to the graduate programme at this company?

Deloitte is a portal to many opportunities, and its diverse client base allows you to get expertise in several sectors. I applied because I wanted to work on significant transformation initiatives with top-tier, global clients. Many of our clients are very well-known names, and it’s a privilege to work with them and learn about their operations.

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