Graduate Profile: Vanessa Bugge'

Vanessa Bugge

Name: Vanessa Bugge ́

What degree/s did you study (and year of completion)?
Bachelor of Commerce (Liberal Studies)
Majors: Mathematics, IR&HR, Management

Where do you currently work (sector/organisation) and what is your position title?
I am a Consultant at Deloitte, Human Capital Consulting. I work normally within a team of Deloitte consultants on a range of projects, in a range of industries, on a range of Human Capital issues – whatever the clients’ strategic or HR needs are at the time.

Describe a typical day/week in your role. What do you enjoy most about your work?
My typical week depends entirely on the project I am working on. I have worked on projects which have required travel to Singapore and Malaysia, for the implementation of a Global HR system for a Pharmaceutical company. I have worked with law firms on assessing the maturity of their HR functions; and also on measuring their progress towards achieving strategic goals. My most recent project was working within the public sector to develop a technical competency framework for Analysts.
There is also endless opportunity to be involved in projects on the side that are being run internal to Deloitte, where I can work closely with some of the most intelligent and inspiring people in the firm.
I thought the ongoing change and unpredictable nature of my work would be scary and difficult to manage, but it’s true what they told me when I joined - after a while it is the biggest buzz about our role as Consultants.

What are some of the biggest challenges in your current role?
We are constantly being stretched in our role as Consultants, so the learning process needs to be sharp and fast. I will often need to bring myself quickly up to speed on a project, with sometimes little guidance from others as they are doing the same!

Can you give a summary of your career journey so far? How did you get started in your career? What recruitment processes did you go through? What has been the highlight of your career to date?
I actually worked at the University of Sydney whilst studying, as a workshop facilitator in the Career Centre (was called SydneyTalent then). This opened a number of doors for me and I also did an Internship at Qantas set up by the University, and a few weeks work at the Department of Premier and Cabinet. I applied for the Graduate Program at Deloitte, where I started my post-uni career.

Which skills are highly valued by employers in your field? In your experience, what are the qualities of successful candidates eg relevant work experience, specific degree or industry qualification, specific skills, networks, extracurricular involvement?
For a role in Deloitte Consulting, some relevant work experience is always good, or even just some experience in any corporate environment. This is so you get into the swing of standard workplace practices and norms quickly.
Consulting take people with degrees in any faculty – Engineering, Science, Business, Arts, Law. With Consulting, it is all about your ability to think on your feet, in a structured way, and being able to communicate these structured thoughts clearly. You need to be able to display that whatever question or problem you face, you have a response, and a reason or logic behind your response.

What are your top three tips for university students wishing to enter your field of work? eg networking, postgraduate study

1. Practice networking. You can’t just flick on a networking switch when you feel like it and are applying for graduate roles – you need to have done it before, or it is obvious you haven’t.
2. Use the Careers Centre – particularly for help with things like problem solving/case study interviews
3. Speak to people at Deloitte before you join or apply – they will give you the right, relevant advice.

Are there any myths associated with your industry that you would like to debunk?
I am not sure of any myths associated with Consulting. But we definitely don’t spend every lunch going to fancy restaurants. We work hard, and of course then we play hard too, after the work is done. We set high quality standards for our work, and then we wind down with a bit of fun.

How do you manage the balance in your life?
Managing balance is always up to the individual – no one will do it for you. If I work very long hours one week, I then make it my responsibility to make up for it the next and take some ‘me’ time. I try to keep the weekends free, and use it to do a mix of fun and relaxing things – family, friends, shopping, and travel every now and then.
The best advice about balance in Consulting, is that you actually have some control over the work you find yourself doing – so if I put effort and energy into managing this so that I do work that I really enjoy, work feels like fun all the time!!

How do you keep current in your field? (eg professional development, membership of professional associations, conferences, networks)
When you are in a place like Deloitte it is easy – you keep current by talking to people, and using the infinity of resources around you.
It is also important to keep up to date on general national and global economic issues – and for that there are lots of snap shots in the newspapers or online that I use.