Tag Archives: application process

How I got my job – Financial services, Audit at Deloitte


Source: GotCredit

Economics and Politics student Tom talks about how he landed his position in Financial Services, Audit at Deloitte.

The Role

Working in Audit in the Financial Services industry means providing advice on financial reports of banks, insurance firms and investment managers. The purpose is to inform the senior management and other stakeholders on whether the information presented in their financial information is accurate and up to date.

Deciding a career path

After finishing second year I still didn’t have any great idea of what I wanted to do after graduating. I had been rejected by most of my internship applications for that penultimate summer so I wasn’t feeling hugely optimistic! I knew I wanted to work in finance and fortunately, I managed to secure an internship with a charity in their finance department over summer. During summer, I had a look at loads of different career paths and spoke to family and friends who worked in Finance to get an idea of what would suit me. Eventually I decided that I wanted to start my career in Professional services, this refers to roles in Audit, Tax and Consultancy. Compared to banks and investment management firms, professional services firms hire far more graduates and offer better training opportunities. The prospect of being paid to take a professional qualification was an attractive one, particularly with such a competitive job market in the finance industry; it also opens a lot more doors later in your career. Deloitte offers a huge amount of training and development opportunities in all their different service lines.

Why Audit and why Deloitte?

It goes without saying that Audit isn’t exactly the most exciting job in the world! Saying this though, in your first three years you spend a lot of time in college revising for your ACA. Having spoken to friends in the industry, everyone said the same thing, ‘get your professional qualifications and go from there’. Compared to other areas in professional services, audit provides you with a breadth knowledge about every aspect of a firm, something that will no doubt be invaluable for the rest of my career. Despite part of me dreading another three years of exams, I know it will be a completely new challenge which is an exciting prospect.

My key goal was to get a job at the ‘Big 4’, particularly Deloitte. I’d attended open evenings and career talks at a number of firms but the Deloitte evening in their Leeds office really sold it for me (I would recommend going- there’s free food and booze). On a serious note though, all the graduates I spoke to seemed down to earth and Deloitte are a huge global brand, offering so many opportunities to travel or move around internally within the business.

The application process

Like most grad jobs, the application process is long and quite tedious! Professional services firms all follow a similar structure. Personal info, followed by a few longer questions about you, your experience and why you want to work there. For Deloitte, I also had to do a personality test which assessed you on areas like determination, risk taking ability and accuracy. After this, you go through the psychometric tests (numerical, logical and verbal reasoning). I found these challenging but there are so many resources to give you a hand; I would recommend using www.assessmentday.co.uk and any packs that the Careers Service have.

Interviews and Presentation

Next up was the interview stages. Deloitte was the only ‘Big 4’ firm that didn’t require a telephone interview which made the process slightly easier. For my other applications, the telephone interviews were competency and strength based. I’d recommend focusing all your answers on the firms’ values and make the most of people’s comments on websites such as Wikijobs and Glassdoor, where people talk about their interview experiences. Most of the time you can pre-determine what questions come up. Whilst the interview was taking place, I would have flash cards on my wall with brief points on for all the different potential questions.

The next stage was the Assessment Centre, once again it was a different format to the other ‘Big 4’. I was given a case study of a few different investment options and had to pick which one I would go for, given a few different situations. I then had a one on one interview whereby I was questioned on the case study and had to explain a few calculations. After this, the interview was quite casual and followed a similar competency/ strength based format. The other Big 4 interviews are slightly more formal. For PWC, you first do a written exercise, then redo numerical and logical tests and finally do a group case study.

The last few stages move along a very quickly and I was soon asked to come in for the presentation and final interview stage. 5 days before the presentation I was given a topic that I needed to prepare. You are given a fair amount of detail for what they want from you. The best advice I’d give is to draw all your points back to why your topic is vital and relevant for a firm like Deloitte and make sure you show your knowledge of both general current affairs and any news that relates to the company. After the presentation, there was about 10 minutes of questions and then another round of strength based questions, mainly questions like ‘give me a time when you have demonstrated…’


Apply early!!! Applications are time consuming and grad/ intern spaces fill up very fast.

Don’t rush applications- get people to check them.

Attend open evenings and talks- you can sign up through the Careers Centre website. Mentioning that you made the effort to go to these events and dropping some names looks great on your applications and later interviews.

Utilise friends who work in the industry to give you tips on the process and the kind of people that the firm like to hire.

If you can, enrol in the Career Development module, I can’t emphasise how much it helped the application process.

Good luck!

Making applications? Don’t forget to check out the applications information on our website, or book an appointment for further application and interview guidance.

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Tackling the Application Process & Being Open about a Disability: Part Two


In part two of our ‘Tackling the Application Process & Being Open about Disabilities’ series, we are continuing the discussion on whether applicants should be open about their disability and what makes an application stand out.

Should I be open about my disability at the application stage?

It is your decision whether and when to be open about a disability and a careers adviser can help you to explore the pros and cons, so that you can make that decision. There are some exceptions, for example, if you have a condition like epilepsy that has health and safety implications – beyond these exceptions it is up to you.

A graduate I saw recently was advised by her friend not to be open about her disability on application forms. After numerous unsuccessful applications she decided to ignore this advice and successfully applied and got a great graduate job!

Take time to write a quality application

Research complete, you can now start writing your application. Written applications come in different formats, generally it is a covering letter and CV or an application form. Here are some general pointers:

  • Application form questions are generally based on your interest in the role and organisation (commitment), competencies (skills) and personal strengths (behaviours).
  • Have you researched the organisation thoroughly enough to address your interest in them and the role?
  • Examine the job description: what specific skills and attributes are they looking for?
  • Select recent and relevant competency examples from your university life and degree, extra-curricular activities and work experience. The ‘STAR’ approach here is an ideal way of articulating your skills.
  • Quality check your letter writing etiquette – how to structure and avoid minor mistakes that will put your application in the ‘no’ pile e.g. ending your letter ‘Yours faithfully’ when writing to a named person, grammar and spelling errors. Structure, format and write your CV succinctly. You can also check our website for more information and resources on applications.

Checking before pressing send is a must! If you have a disability that affects your written communication skills (spelling and grammar) have your application checked by someone else before sending and use all the resources at your disposal.


This is now a commonly used term associated with being successful in the workplace and you will need more of this than other applicants (add link to resilience article). Legislation will support your path to employment but you cannot rely solely on it. Be persistent, curious and learn how to articulate your added value, abilities and diversity. In addition, make good use of disability services, your careers service and other support available to you.

Need further advice/guidance? Make sure to check out the resources available on our website and book an appointment to talk to us.

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Tackling the Application Process & Being Open about a Disability: Part 1


Steve Bone is a Careers Consultant at Leeds University, he supports students applying for graduate opportunities and advises his careers colleagues on inclusivity. In this blog, he highlights observations of the additional challenges faced by students with disabilities and shares advice on how to overcome these. This blogpost was originally published on Myplus Students Club.

Remember, you have something extra!

When supporting students with a variety of disabilities (both physical and unseen), what strikes me is that a positive approach to the application process is key. Successful applicants reflect on their ABILITIES and articulate these positively, alongside disabilities that the employer can make ‘reasonable adjustments’ for in the workplace.

Getting through to the application stage is a challenge; have I understated this? For prospective undergraduates who are unaware of their dyslexia, it is even tougher! So when I heard that an undergraduate, unaware of his dyslexia, had managed a successful application for an internship, I wanted to know how. Continue reading

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How I got my job – Pladis Graduate Scheme


This week Andrea, a MSc Global Supply Chain graduate tells us about how he got is graduate position at Pladis and gives some detailed advice on the application process.

Hello all,

My name is Andrea Scirè, I am 22 years old and, after having finished my course in September, I graduated in December 2016 from the Leeds University Business School with a 2:1 (68%) MSc in Global Supply Chain Management.

When I left my home town, Rome (Italy), in September 2015, I could never have imagined that, slightly more than a year later, I would be working in the UK as a graduate with pladis (the number one biscuit manufacturer in the UK and Turkey and worldwide, known for iconic brands such as McVitie’s, Godiva and Ulker). But, believe me or not, this is what happened.

In the next few paragraphs, I will explain how the Professional Development Hub of the University of Leeds Business School and the Careers Centre helped me in getting selected from over 200+ candidates applying for this graduate scheme.

Continue reading

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5 mistakes to avoid in your placement search

Saad1Saad Ali is a final year student doing an integrated masters (MEng) in Mechanical Engineering. He is also currently working part-time at Slipstream Engineering Design and has completed a number of placements throughout his time at Leeds. In this article, he shares his experience of applying to placements and advice on how to make the best of your time at university.

  1. Not spending enough time on applications

After sending numerous applications without any success, one day sat in a career’s lecture, I realised that I probably spend more time deciding what to watch on Netflix than I do my applications. My first ‘proper’ application took me 40 hours to write, it was a form with two questions for internship at Toyota Boshoku in Japan.


Visit to Kinkakuji Castle with a fellow intern during my placement in Japan


I went over it several times, and got help from my Faculty Employability team and the Careers Centre, to ensure each sentence was as concise as it could be whilst delivering my knowledge of the company and industry, and demonstrating how my skills aligned with the job role. It eventually secured me my immensely rewarding and ‘life-changing’ summer placement! Continue reading

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How I got my job: Analytical Placement with NHS England

BA Geography student Lizzie Augarde will be writing a number of posts for the blog during her placement year with NHS England, which she has just started.  In this first posts she outlines how she landed her placement and shares her tips for other students who are, or will be, seeking placements.

Hi, I’m Lizzie and I’ve just started a 12 month placement working for NHS England in the Patients and Information Directorate: Medical and Nursing Analytical Team – in short, the team responsible for managing all the data related to hospitals and patients. I have just completed the second year of my BA Geography degree at the University of Leeds and have loved every minute of it, but I’m looking forward to spending this year doing something quite different Continue reading


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How to stand out from the crowd

Sellick partnershipIn this guest post Simon Briffa, Internal Talent Manager at The Sellick Parnership, shares his tips on how to stand out from the crowd in the graduate recruitment market.

As more and more students graduate each year and with approximately 39 applications for every entry-level role, it can be increasingly difficult to stand out from the crowd. So what steps can you take to ensure you differentiate yourself from your peers in such a highly competitive job market? Continue reading

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