Interview with Yasmeen Salah, Graduate at Monitor Deloitte
Name: Yasmeen Salah
Company: Monitor Deloitte
Sector: Strategy Consulting
What did you study and when did you graduate?
I studied economics and French, and graduated in 2014.
What inspired you to apply for the role you’re in?
I wanted to join a corporate firm and learn more about strategy. I was keen on gaining exposure to a wide range of sectors and industries, rather than a specific focus right after graduating. I also wanted a job that includes travel, with a relatively short span (roughly three to four months) of project duration at a time.
How long have you been working at Monitor Deloitte?
My internship was around two and a half months, and I have been working at Deloitte full-time for just over a year.
How did you apply for the role? Which steps did you have to take?
I interviewed with HR for the internship, took online tests (maths and English), followed by a case interview with a manager. After my two and a half month internship, I had one more case study interview, with a manager and a senior consultant present.
What do you think helped you get the role?
My internship at Deloitte helped show my capabilities as a consultant and my fit for the job. It showed the members of my project team at the time how I performed and adapted to the requirements of the project, without previous consulting experience.
Have you got any tips for the application form? What about the interview?
It is important to come to the interview prepared. Go through case interviews from ‘Case on Point’, for example, or other published case interviews from similar consulting companies. Speaking to consultants who have gone through the interview process is also helpful for useful general tips and advice. I spoke to consultants who advised me on the importance of some of the behaviour, composition, and presentation components during the interview, and how that is factored into the grading, rather than purely focusing on the case study answers.
What can graduates expect from a role at Monitor Deloitte?
Graduates can expect that a job in consulting will expose them to a range of different industries through the different projects they will be assigned to. They should expect to work with different people, whether internal, in the form of a team member, or external, in the form of the clients they are working for. The job is never mundane and is quite unpredictable. It requires a lot of hard work and flexibility as clients can be demanding. At a consultant level, graduates should expect to carry out a lot of research tasks to support hypotheses and recommendations. They should also expect that most of the work done will be in PowerPoint (and Excel at times) and requires creativity, great attention to detail, and good analytics.
What do you most like about your role? And most dislike?
Being a consultant is genuinely rewarding. It allows for new experiences and exposure to different kinds of work that other jobs might not expose a graduate to. I have worked in the UAE, Bahrain, and Jordan in the span of one year, and have learnt a great deal from the people I have worked with and the scope of work assigned. Although research may require long hours of work at a desk, the topics are interesting and insightful. However, sometimes the unpredictability and time commitment can affect your work/life balance and commitments to other non-work related activities. Occasionally, a consultant is also required to carry out some more administrative tasks (or formatting tasks) that are less stimulating.
Describe a typical week in your role (tasks, people you work closely with, challenges you might face).
A typical week on a proposal involves a lot of research, creating and designing slides, understanding the Request for Proposal, and formulating an approach for the scope of work required. A week on a project involves attendance to stakeholder meetings, taking minutes of meetings, carrying out research to support hypotheses, and to understand best practice examples of similar strategies. The job requires a consultant to synthesise all the information available and create meaningful and presentable slides and use their creativity, especially when information is unavailable. A consultant may provide support on client presentations through developing material, facilitating the project manager on time/team management, and compiling evidence through primary and secondary research to develop recommendations and analysis.
What do you want to go on to do?
I would like to continue working at Monitor Deloitte for the time being until I decide to go to graduate school (perhaps for my MBA) in two to three years.