By: Adam Hamdan, Tadarab intern, Deloitte Middle East

First Day at the Deloitte Lebanon office. Stress and worry fill my mind as a million questions cloud my thoughts: Is my handshake firm enough? Will I remember the Vlookup function on excel? Does my tie look okay?

I start to feel the sweat running down my back, but soon enough another intern calmly introduces himself to me and directs me to the audit department, my second home for the coming month. There, colorful ties and friendly smiles welcome me, making all of the built up nervousness disappear. The HR manager hands the newcomers papers to sign and proceeds to give us a tour of the office, where every employee, from junior associate to partner, greets us and welcomes us to the team. With keycards and laptops in hand, the interns scatter and take their seats in the office. There, I get started on my first task, e-learnings and online courses to finish by the end of the week!

A couple of days later, the courses have provided us with undeniably crucial information about Deloitte’s ethical policies and mission. Then, our assigned “Deloitte buddies” start giving us tasks and instructions and make sure we are up to date with deadlines and expectations. Interns quickly get familiar with the terms “proofreading, footing and cross-referencing” among many others, which mean double-checking reports for errors; and when junior associates notice empty desks and twirling thumbs they never fail to hand us thick reports, in order to put our newly acquired skills to the test!

The first couple of weeks go by quickly. They are filled with thorough work, pleasant coffee breaks, and quiet small talk often muffled by the clicking sound of fingers swiftly dancing on keyboards and calculators. When the clock strikes noon, interns and employees alike head to the second floor to enjoy their lunch break, and share details of upcoming weekend plans. On most days, my meal of choice is a cheese stuffed Mannouche from the next-door baker (a Lebanese staple that I crave all year long when I am in Montreal), and my thirty-minute span of relaxation is usually spent in the company of five wonderful interns I have had the chance to befriend.

This internship has proven that the lifestyle of an auditor is far from the slow-paced and monotonous one I had imagined. Many of my fellow interns actually got the chance to work with several companies in the span of two weeks, highlighting to which extent an auditor’s workspace can be dynamic.

Apart from the calluses on my fingertips that I owe to excessive calculator usage, I would say the biggest takeaway of this internship was the workload. I also felt as though my time in the audit department was beneficial in ways different from those I had anticipated. In my opinion, it focused as much on experience as on skill training, by nurturing my sense of discipline and work ethic.

Overall, the hospitality of the Deloitte Lebanon team has been amazing. I believe the Tadarab program is a great tool for students and young professionals who want to get a feel for the professional services world and experience Deloitte’s corporate culture first-hand!

“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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