Building your professional career and seeing the world? A definite yes! Read Victor Wyma's blog on Global Mobility, exposure to incredible talent & culture, travelling and making a difference.
"It helps with Deloitte being one of the largest professional services networks in the world. I have always wanted to visit the Netherlands because I heard such great things about the country. Now I have the opportunity to experience the vibrant Dutch culture on a 9-month project within the Deloitte Financial Risk Management (FRM) division. I started at Deloitte South Africa at the beginning of 2016 and as per the Deloitte consulting culture, I was fortunate to have been exposed to a wide array of projects within the Quantitative Risk space.
I was frequently told about Deloitte’s global structure and that they aim to create a global environment, well I can attest that this is indeed the case. This is the second international project I have worked on since joining Deloitte, the first one being a treasury project in one of the major banks in the middle east. Even though the two projects and environments are worlds apart, the structures and support Deloitte provides makes you feel at home from day one.
Exposure to incredible talent & culture
Another perk of working on a project abroad is the exposure you get to cross culture international teams. The level of professionalism, vast amount of different backgrounds, and unique skill sets that you are exposed to are very impressive! You start to realize that there is so much more that others can teach you, which you will never be able to find in a textbook. The incredible talent & culture within the Dutch firm definitely contributes to this factor as well. What I enjoyed about the Dutch team is its direct and forthcoming approach to communication. This creates an environment where the team is open to receive and share constructive criticism in their work to help them improve.
Settling down in the Netherlands is an exciting experience. Upon first arrival in Utrecht, I went and bought a secondhand bike (and two locks of course). Equipped with my bike and a weather app, I cycled to work the next day. Luckily the sun was shining and the experience was a pure bliss. Nice weather in the Netherlands is not the case for all days though, especially in comparison to the South African weather I am used to. Luckily the saying that there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing, is true.
In the following months, I explored more of what the Dutch culture has to offer. I went sightseeing in Amsterdam, visited the beach in The Hague, experienced a Christmas Market in Maastricht, watched a South African artist perform in Groningen, climbed a church tower in Delft and tasted way too much cheese in Gouda. I managed to tick off a couple of visits to Belgium and France from my traveling list as well, and I am excited about what other destinations I will visit in the near future.
Making a difference
Getting to see how Deloitte operates in different countries provides an exceptional opportunity to see how there are infinite ways to approach problems. You get firsthand knowledge of how the companies solve complex problems, build solutions and make an impact that matters. This stretches further than just day-to-day work, you can see this in their inclusiveness, approach to charity and client service. The inverse is true as well, you are placed in a position where you can add value to the hosting company. You can share unique insights and skills from what you have learned.
I encourage anyone who wants a challenge to go on an international secondment. It fosters independence, it provides networking opportunities, it improves your critical thinking and it broadens your horizon.
I joined the Financial Services Advisory (FSA) team at Deloitte South Africa in March 2016 after completing my Master Degree in Quantitative Risk Management. My background is Market Risk, Quantitative Modeling and Credit Risk. Currently, I am working on a Market Risk project based in the Netherlands.