Student Veteran Experiences the Prestigious Culture of One of the Top Consulting Firms

January 25, 2019 |  Brian Pezzulo

I had the amazing opportunity to spend the weekend at Deloitte University for the Advanced Degree Veterans Forum (“ADVF”). Deloitte University, located outside of Dallas, is a 700,000+ sq ft. leadership center sitting on over 100 acres. The weekend was filled with case interview prep, workshops, guest speakers, networking, social events, and amazing food. Veterans from every branch met with Deloitte professionals and alumni for a deep unfiltered dive into consulting and what it takes to transition successfully into the corporate community.

Key Takeaways.

  1. Be authentic. It is easy to be authentic about our triumphs and accomplishments, but we must also be authentic about our challenges.  Being authentic helps create an inclusive workplace that is comfortable with diversity.
  2. Deloitte really cares about its people. Throughout the weekend I heard stories of how Deloitte went above and beyond to help its employees with work-life balance, job placement, opportunities and family issues. A lot of companies claim they care but don’t go the extra mile, Deloitte actually does.   
  3. Professional Vulnerability. As a veteran this was surprising, a company encouraging vulnerability. Everyone is vulnerable, some people just try to hide it. I quickly learned that being professionally vulnerable was not showing weakness, but instead showing strength. When people are professionally vulnerable and authentic it leads to a culture of innovation and change.
  4. Opportunities don’t go away; they go to other people. It is important to have a plan and be prepared for opportunities as they come your way even if they are not perfectly packaged. As you are waiting for the perfect opportunity other people are taking advantage of the ones that passed your way. It is your responsibility to turn an opportunity into the perfect outcome.
  5. The Consulting Culture; Deloitte’s Culture. Every day in the life of a consultant is different and filled with collaborative problem-solving. Consulting provides continuous learning and industry exposure. Deloitte’s culture far exceeded my expectation. Rather than employees checking a volunteer box and just teaching veterans, Deloitte created a family atmosphere reflecting the military culture. It really was a weekend “for veterans by veterans.”

My weekend at Deloitte University was a 360-degree learning experience. Every corner of Deloitte University provided an opportunity to learn something new. I learned from partners, employees, alumni, other veterans, attendees of other on-site conferences, and even myself. It was an honor and privilege to spend the weekend with some of the finest people and most brilliant minds I’ve ever met.

P.S. the food was amazing…you have to try the salted caramel ice cream at the Market and the brisket at The Barn.

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