Why stepping 6,000 km outside your comfort zone
can stimulate your personal development?
We don’t send just anyone who comes to work at Deloitte immediately across the border. And we’ve certainly no intention of sponsoring the world tour you’ve always dreamed about. But we do believe you can gain valuable experience by working at one of our offices abroad and that you can improve yourself by learning from other cultures. Which also means for our organization, for example during international assignments, that you will be able to create more impact.
Roland Swinkels, Manager Deloitte Risk Advisory, exchanged his Deloitte office in Amsterdam for our office in New York:
‘I had said a while back that I wanted to gain some experience abroad. I think something like that is good for the office and for myself and, at Deloitte, they agreed. I currently work in New York and live in an apartment on Time Square. When I flew here, I thought: we all live in a Western country, so the cultural differences are not going to be all that great. That was quite a misunderstanding…
I was also confronted with some things about myself. I had my life all sorted in the Netherlands, living together in an apartment in Utrecht. Then you come here and it’s as though you don’t exist. You are not in any system, you have no social security number, no US bank account, no credit card, no home. I had a visa, a suitcase with two suits, and a couple of shirts. The rest you have to organize yourself; it really is completely left up to you.
Through these kinds of experiences, you learn little by little to find your feet in the American culture. I personally find this enriching and important in my life. And when I get back to Amsterdam, Deloitte can make good use of me on projects with American clients because I’ve learned how Americans think and how you have to deal with them.
“When I suggested that perhaps it was better not to renew his contract, it was suddenly dead silent.”
In addition, here in New York I’m gaining experience with big companies. In the Netherlands, I’ve worked with some of the biggest companies in the country – beer breweries and airlines – but they are relatively small compared to the size of the organizations you have in America. There is a whole different dynamic.
Despite being in New York ‘temporarily’, they take me seriously. The Dutch have a lot of respect in the field of technology and innovation. I manage a team who do IT audits in the area of data security, which includes fraud prevention. For example, we make sure that alarms start ringing if someone tries to transfer a million dollars in small pieces into their own bank account. Pretty exciting, right?
And hey, you’re young and you want to live a little! During the weekend, I regularly go to Yankee games, skydive, or hang out with friends in Miami. Work smart, play hard. Fortunately, that mentality is everywhere within Deloitte.’
Making an impact that matters
Besides Roland, there are plenty of other Deloitters who gained valuable experience at our offices around the world. They improve themselves and enrich our organization through offering a broader perspective in our services to national and international clients. Do you want to develop yourself to your fullest potential?