Last week I visited Budapest, together with a selection of students and staff from Deloitte. It was a very beautiful time, I have seen, done and learned a lot. For this reason I would like to share my experiences and explain how you could experience such an event.
What is a Business Course?
If you are interested in accountancy, then you have probably heard of it before. It has been common for years that the Big Four (Deloitte, EY, PwC and KPMG) organises Business Courses, so that students learn what the firm has to offer and vice versa. During these trips, you visit a beautiful location, you work on cases and you get to know each other better. A trip usually takes four to five days. Besides that it is a very cool experience, it also has the great advantage that you can be offered an internship and/ or job after this trip.
Before you go on the trip, you must be selected. You will be assessed on various matters. It is first of all important to come into contact with, in my case, Deloitte. The recruiters can provide you with a lot of information about what it entails and what exactly you need to do to enrol. After you have registered and the registration deadline has expired, the resume selection will take place and you can be invited for a selection day. I was selected for this and my selection took place at the Utrecht office. During this selection day I worked on a case, I had the opportunity to ask questions and I had a job interview. That same evening I was called with the good news that they had selected me to participate in the Business Course!
Before we went on a trip, we had a kick-off on the first of November. During this day I met the other students and the supervisors. A diverse group of supervisors went along, from someone from the staff to a partner and everything in between. During this day we also had an introduction of the case that we were going to deal with in Budapest. For this we went to Zoeterwoude to get a tour of the Heineken factory, which is a customer of Deloitte and the company with which we would be working in Budapest.
On the 13th of November, the time was finally there. We gathered early at Schiphol and started the day with a breakfast at the Schiphol Lounge. After a good flight, we went to the five-star hotel and thereafter the first formal part started: a softskill workshop. During this workshop, we started working with character traits and how these traits (can) flow into your non-verbal communication. After this, we enjoyed a three-course dinner, followed by the evening program, one of the nicest escape rooms in Europe and a karaoke.
After an early breakfast, which was still hard for many after the previous evening, we left for Deloitte Budapest. There we worked on the Heineken case all morning. This section included risk analysis, which meant that we had to dig through a lot of Heineken information to see where potential risks could be. We then had to present our findings to a board of directors.
After this part of the case, it was time for lunch. After a delicious three-course lunch, the seatbelts were fastened, because we were driving in old Trabants. A combination of healthy tension and fear of death ensured a successful start of the afternoon. Thereafter we were dropped off at the Budapest Parliament Building, where we got a tour. I enjoyed it very much, since it is the largest parliament building in Europa and it was impressively beautiful.
After some free time, another three-course dinner follow and it was time for the pub-crawl. We have visited several bars and consumed the necessary drinks, a very pleasant evening.
The next morning we had breakfast early again. After everyone had worked a few bites inside with small eyes, it was time again for the next part of the case: checking the stock. We used a tool to take a sample from the stock list, and then use this sample to actually check the stock. After the check had takes place, a conversation was held with the controller to raise potential stock differences and to share other findings.
After lunch (yes, again three courses) the next part of the case started. We had to make use of all findings from previous parts of the audit, in order to subsequently confront the CFO and CEO. It was important to select the most important findings and to ask the right questions. Very educational, interesting and fun to do!
After the final part of the case, it was time for the personal evaluations. Everyone was told what had gone well, what could be improved and whether they wanted to continue working with you.
After some free time, it was time for the last dinner of the trip and the party night. The evening was all about ‘Dress to Impress’, so everyone was looking at their best. The dinner took place in the most luxurious restaurant in Budapest: the Fisherman Bastion. We could even enjoy live music from a violinist who came to the table. After a delicious dinner with a beautiful view of the entire city, we left for Club Ötker. A VIP room was reserved here, including ‘bottle service’. In short, we could order everything we wanted; it was a great evening.
With the awakening on this day, the fantastic trip unfortunately came to an end. We went back to the Netherlands this day and despite the fact that it was the last day and the energy level was low, we still had a lot of fun on our way back.
Business Course? Do it!
It may be clear that I had a very good time and I can therefore recommend it to anyone. You have to choose which company you go for, but if you get the chance, make sure you take advantage of it! I want to thank Deloitte and my fellow travellers for the wonderful trip, I have another fantastic experience that I can add.
Oh, and not unimportant for the average student: everything is paid for you, you do not have to pay a cent yourself.
By: Joris Claus