Find out what makes a professional placement student shine.
Kylie Taylor is Account Director in Deloitte’s Darwin office for Deloitte Private BAS (Business Advisory Services). She works closely with some of CDU’s business and accounting placement students, and is passionate about spreading the positive impact a career in accounting can make to businesses and communities.
Learning is not limited to the classroom, and a professional placement is a chance to gain real-world experience working in the field you’re studying. It can also be a great opportunity to make industry contacts and get a foot in the door for a graduate program or future career. So if you land a professional placement while you’re studying, it’s up to you to make the most of it. But, what is it that makes a professional placement student stand out? Kylie Taylor, Account Director at Deloitte in Darwin, shares her thoughts with us.
I actually can’t express enough just how important being a good communicator is. It’s about being clear, confident and very concise in how you communicate. Don’t sit back and not ask those questions that might seem really silly. When a student is placed with us, we don’t expect them to know everything, so we want them to have that curiosity and the confidence to ask the questions. Generally, the reason that a student won’t progress beyond a professional placement with us is because they simply don’t communicate enough.
A cultural fit
That’s not cultural in the sense of where you grew up, or anything like that. It’s about whether you fit into our organisation and the culture we have here. We have a pretty distinct culture; it’s our key strength at Deloitte and that’s the reason most people want to work for us. We’re like a family here – we do consider it a family.
A desire to learn
Having that desire to learn and an interest in everything that’s going on is really important. It’s about asking why I’m doing this and how it’s making a difference – not just to me, but to the client and to the firm.
Being organised and taking notes is vital. There’s nothing more uncomfortable than sitting with someone you’re teaching something to and they’re just staring at you and not taking any notes, only to come back ten times with questions about what you just taught them.
Final piece of advice
My advice would be to always look for opportunities for growth. It doesn’t matter what you’re doing – whether it’s at university or at a workplace where you’re already working that might not have anything to do with accounting or business. Always look for opportunities to grow; particularly those opportunities that put you outside your comfort zone. It might be daunting at the start, but they’re the type of opportunities that are going to pay big dividends in the future.
CDU Business School’s Professional Placement Program provides students the opportunity to put the theoretical concepts you learn in a classroom into practice in a professional setting, normally in a position under the supervision of a qualified mentor. The professional placement experience is for students enrolled in a Business or Accounting course at CDU.