By Stephanie Hitti, Tadarab intern, Deloitte Middle East

The comfort zone, as defined by Lifehacker, is a “behavioral space where your activities and behaviors fit a routine and pattern that minimizes stress and risk”. Our comfort zone is a  neutral state; a place where stress and anxiety are minimal, where we know what’s coming next and therefore can plan accordingly. However, everyone knows that interesting and challenging  experiences don’t always happen in our comfort zone.

Being part of Deloitte Middle East’s Internship program – Tadarab – was a great opportunity, the kind that doesn’t happen twice. It was a new journey to explore, a new challenge to face and most importantly a new comfort zone to overcome. On my first day, I was both excited and nervous but a very friendly welcome was enough to make me feel comfortable. As part of the Tadarab program, every intern should have a buddy that guides them and helps them during the internship; since I was doing my internship in the Human Resources (HR) Department, I was fortunate to have the HR manager as my buddy. Getting the chance to work with an HR manager with more than 10 years of experience was a huge deal, but I was amazed at how humble and supportive she was. Despite her busy schedule and huge workload, I can honestly say she was there for me every time I needed help.

During my first days, I was dedicated to completing my mandatory e-learning courses after which the on-the-job work started. I was in direct contact with employees and potential candidates as appropriate; Through Tadarab, I was exposed to the different HR functions, from recruitment and selection to employee relations  learned to organize, and pre-screen CVs; support during the testing phase  and work on employee files.

Perhaps the most exciting part of my experience was  attending an interview with a potential candidate accompanied by my Tadarab buddy, It is this  specific experience that I knew that Human Resources was the right career for me.

At university, we learn about HR practices (recruitment, training, motivation…) and their importance on employee performance from an academic perspective. My internship at Deloitte gave me the chance to see how these practices are applied in real life and their impact on employees..

As the close of my internship approaches, I consider myself  fortunate to have been a part of Deloitte Middle East’s Internship program. This experience taught me the importance of stepping outside my comfort zone where one gets challenged with  the unfamiliar and unknown. So to my next challenge… here I come.

“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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