Accounting Internship Spotlight: Deloitte in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

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November 26, 2013 by Lainey

IMG_0258Nikki Ellis
Major: 
Business Honors and MPA-Taxation
Graduation Year: May 2016

What was your role as an intern?
I interned with Deloitte Tax in Houston, Texas and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. As an intern, I worked on two compliance client engagements in Houston in which I prepared tax returns for a large retail corporation and an oil and gas partnership. In Rio de Janeiro, I worked on a tax consulting presentation for an international drilling firm that hired Deloitte to analyze the tax implications of a purchase agreement.

Tell us about your intern experience.
I had an amazing internship for three main reasons:  First, I was given large responsibilities as an intern on three main client engagements which gave me great knowledge and experience to bring back to the classroom, and my projects helped me to confirm my career goals of entering public accounting as a tax professional. Also, I was able to travel to another country and immerse myself in the Brazilian culture as I worked in the Deloitte Brazil office and learned about a new economy with different tax laws. Lastly, the Deloitte professionals that I met and worked with in Houston and Rio de Janeiro were great mentors and teachers, and they will be a wonderful resources as I advance down my career path.

Tell us about your experience living in a new place for the summer.
Working abroad in Rio de Janeiro was one of the best experiences of my life. I traveled with six other interns from all over the country to Brazil, and we worked in different functions of Deloitte but explored the city together. The people of Brazil, especially the Deloitte professionals, were welcoming and excited to show us their city. They were also encouraging as we were dealing with new laws and regulations at times and they were always willing to explain a concept or help us. The only hard time I had was with the language barrier. In a few instances, clients and Deloitte Brazil professionals would speak in Portuguese in front of me, but for the most part, business was done in English. Working in Brazil was a once in a lifetime experience and I am so grateful that Deloitte gave me that opportunity.

How did you go about getting your internship?
I utilized networking connections to obtain my internship. I attended a Deloitte conference in Summer 2012 and reconnected with a Deloitte recruiter whom I had met through a family friend. We recognized each other, and she told me about summer internship positions available and helped me get started with the application and interview.

What classes do you think were the most valuable in getting your internship?
BA324H and BA 101H

What advice would you give to others as they search for an internship?
Networking has been the most beneficial tool for me. Take an interest in the lives of people around you. You never know where your classmate’s dad works, or where your group member worked this summer. Having a personal connection to someone at the company can get your foot in the door, and it can make interviews and conversations a little easier when you have a common friend or connection.

Can you describe how your interview went?
My interview was conversational and informative. They were interested in getting to know me as a person as well as determining if I would fit in with the Deloitte culture. I interview with two UT alumnae, so we discussed common organizations that we were involved in and how I had gotten involved on campus. Also, as they were evaluating me, they were also informing me of the benefits of their company and why I should want to work for them.

What were the hardest questions they asked in your interview?
Why Deloitte? Be prepared to talk about the details of the company and why exactly you want to work for them and why you want them to hire you.

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