By: Miguel Al Haddad, Tadarab intern at Deloitte, Middle East

When I was first accepted as an intern at Deloitte Middle East I couldn’t be prouder of myself. I even remember how I hit the gym for 3 consecutive hours just after I received the phone call from the HR department. I thought that a healthy brain needed a healthy body. And to be honest… I’ve been the healthiest and happiest lately!

The environment at Deloitte is every person’s dream: Helpful & joyful employees always here to make you progress and learn. It’s far from being “a simple internship”; It’s more about developing a strong personality, gaining confidence and maturity. It’s about facing the real world and not only studying abstract books and formulas.

To top it all, I’ve been selected to participate in the Deloitte Middle East International Virtual Program where I got the opportunity to be part of a big project, meet new people, acquire new cultures and new visions. What I like the most about my internship is that I’m given real, significant projects. I’m expected to behave professionally within my team and managers. I’m expected to communicate properly. I’m expected to tackle projects with enthusiasm, and present my work/findings to my team. That balance between treating me like a full-time employee and a student concurrently creates a highly effective and focused learning environment.

One of the challenges I faced during my two month internship is adapting to this new lifestyle. Instead of waking up at 10 and going to a few classes per day as I had as an undergraduate, I’m here sitting at a desk working from 8 to 5. Furthermore, I handled specialized accounts and financial statements that demand skills, time and hard work.

One of the most important things I gained from my internship is the ability to adopt key audit concepts I previously learned only theoretically, in practice in the audit field. This includes knowing how to fulfill tasks that are relevant to my desired career path and sharpening the skills that I already possess. This internship was an opportunity to test out all the skills that I developed in college and see how they are applicable in the real world, especially when I was selected to participate in the DIVE Middle East international virtual program where I worked with people and experienced different cultures.

My advice for a high level internship like the Tadarab program:

First of all be professional. Always be on time for work, and if possible try to get to your office 5 minutes earlier to get settled and organized to start your day. Secondly, maintain a positive attitude: A professional attitude is a positive and motivated one. Demonstrate to others that you have the skills and knowledge to perform your duties and responsibilities. Focus on being honest, reliable and a positive hard worker.

Furthermore, communication is the tool of success in your internship. Ask for feedback, act accordingly and focus on learning from this constructive feedback and using it to improve the way you do things at work.

Moreover, support your colleagues as much as you can. You share the spotlight with them. Take time to show others how to do things properly, and lend an ear when necessary. Listen carefully. People want to be heard, so give people a chance to explain their ideas properly. Be pleasant and respectful to your coworkers.

Finally as I leave, I want to thank everyone here at Deloitte who has helped me. This has truly been a great learning experience and I’ll be forever indebted to those who gave me a hand here. Hopefully everyone comes out from his internship with as much as I did. Thank you all, until we meet again!

“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).

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