Traveling to Deloitte University (DU) for the DNLC was hassle free. Deloitte has an entire travel agency that takes care of your travel arrangements. They were easy to deal with even when I had to make an unexpected change. What I packed is shown in the picture below.
Texas in mid July is quite warm so make sure you bring dress clothes that will keep you cool. There are free snacks everywhere and the food from the main restaurant is great. DU also has a top notch workout facility. The staff is attentive, knowledgeable and quick to assist you with anything you might need. Everything inside DU is free, from the unlimited Starbucks on the ground floor to the themed snack rooms on the other floors. The rooms are comfortable with great views and a fully automated room control system. They also provide complementary copies of several business books and the Harvard Business Review. I’d liken DU to a 4.5 star hotel with some elements comparable to a 4 star hotel (rooms, bathrooms and food) and other elements comparable to a 5 star hotel (grounds, workout facility and the staff).
A typical snack room:
I found that interacting with other intern candidates was a pleasure. Everyone is smart and each individual is at the DNLC for a reason. I made friends from all over the country from many different schools.
Structure of DNLC
I met my team on the first day after a nice dinner in the main ballroom of DU. From then on the activities we did were team based. Each day we would meet up with our team in a big room with at least 10 other teams in it. There were several rooms structured this way and each room had two facilitators. My room had an advisory partner and a senior person from HR as facilitators. They would run through the explanations and directions of various activities for us and then our team would go about doing the activity. Each team also had two team advisers, mine were tax professionals. One was a partner from San Francisco and the other was a tax senior from Buffalo. They would help us with our activities and also got to know us personally. These team advisers are largely responsible for the decision to hire you as an intern or not. Make sure you go out of your way to impress them! You are constantly being evaluated at DNLC and these team advisers can be a big advocate for you.
Outside the set times we were required to be with our team there were many activities for us, some required some not. The barn is a recreational facility with a bar for those 21+ and many game tables. The group of friends I spent most of my non-team time with went down to the barn every night we were there to hang out. We also had the pleasure of listening to several distinguished speakers including the chairman of the board and the president of tax. They also opened up the floor to general questions for both of these speakers and potential interns got to ask any question they pleased. The last night at DNLC they threw a big carnival party for us where they had carnival games everywhere inside the main ballroom.
What I learned from DNLC
My experience at DNLC helped me learn that I want to work with smart people. I really enjoyed talking to the other candidates and hearing their backgrounds and what they’ve done so far in their college careers. Preparing for my DNLC interview (which I have another blog post about if you’re interested) taught me the importance of quantifying things and making logically supported decisions. My experience both interviewing for and attending the DNLC was exceptionally positive.
About one week after the DNLC my recruiter contacted me to tell me that I performed well enough at the conference to merit an offer! I had two weeks to notify Deloitte of my decision. The offer was competitive and very tempting. The prospect of having an internship lined up for the following summer before the school year even started was especially tempting given that job searches take up so much time.
I ended up declining the offer on very personal grounds. I declined the offer because I felt I wasn’t ready to become a business man. I know that if I worked for Deloitte as a BTA I would be functioning as a glorified project manager of sorts and eventually become fully immersed in the corporate world. I felt I wanted to work as an engineer for awhile until I am ready to move into the managerial side of things. I especially didn’t want to give up my coding skills which would atrophy if I worked as a BTA. Additionally, accepting this position would make it more challenging to work as a software engineer in the future if I decided the BTA position wasn’t for me.