Every year thousands of graduates take on the stage with excitement – and a little fear – to set out on rewarding careers. Last year, I lived that very moment, and stood there, amidst the laughter of other graduates, tears of proud parents, and happiness of gratified professors. Let the games begin! About to cross a diamond-shaped field of four bases, I stood there getting ready, heart-racing fast, words stumbling in my mouth, fully focused on hitting the pitcher’s ball and beginning my journey.

That journey started as an intern at Deloitte Middle East, in Brand and Communications (B&C), and I have to admit I was a little apprehensive on entering the field. It turns out this apprehension was unnecessary as I received support from committed people who made sure to share their expertise and enhance my knowledge and skills. With such a corporate culture, it was easy to fit in and begin my development trail; after all you can never win a game without teamwork.

Two months down the road, I learned so much in a short time frame. The “Tadarab” internship program was my ticket to applying creativity where possible, challenging myself to work outside my comfort zone and commit to set deadlines. I took part in various projects that taught me how to analyze data, compare statistics and prepare comprehensive strategies. In addition, I got the chance to improve my interpersonal, communication and presentation skills by completing several e-learning courses and online workshops, as well as through live interactions with colleagues.

After completing the internship, I did not reach the end of the field; Deloitte gave me the opportunity to begin a career at the firm. Being an intern was definitely an advantage that assisted me throughout the past year.

With the present dynamic culture, I built a sense of belonging to more than just a regular job. Here the fostering of professional development, broadening of know-how and giving back to society are part and parcel of my new career. Now I am fully confident that I will not only be able to hit the pitcher’s ball, but hit an actual home-run.

By: Lana Shahbaz, associate, Brand and Communications, Deloitte Middle East

“Tadarab” is a Deloitte Middle East talent development program that offers selected college students real-world experience and valuable learning opportunities. It exposes interns to actual work assignments and development through access to over 50,000 eLearning courses. An intern goes through an induction program (Mini Ahlan) and is assigned a buddy for the duration of the internship. Deloitte has received numerous awards in the last few years which include Best Employer in the Middle East, and the Middle East Training & Development Excellence Award by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW).

The views and opinions expressed herein do not represent nor reflect those of Deloitte. Deloitte shall endeavor, as reasonably as possible, to screen such information which is obtained, to the best of Deloitte’s knowledge, from reliable source. As such, Deloitte cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information featured nor the validity of the opinions and/or analysis and interpretation expressed herein. Opinions, conclusions and other information in this interview/article which have not been delivered by way of the business of Deloitte are neither given nor endorsed by it.

This article contains general information only, and neither DTME, DTME affiliates nor any of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited member firms are, by means of this article, rendering any accounting, business, financial, investment, legal, tax, or other professional advice or services of any nature whatsoever. Information included in the article is not a substitute for such professional advice or services, nor should it be used as a basis for any decision or action that may affect your finances or your business. Before making any decision or taking any action that may affect your finances or your business, you should consult a qualified professional adviser. None of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, its member firms, or its respective affiliates shall be responsible for any loss or damages whatsoever sustained by any person who relies on this publication.