[Meet Our Industry Ambassadors] – Deloitte

//[Meet Our Industry Ambassadors] – Deloitte

Evelina Calin, Manager – Deloitte

My name is Evelina Calin, and I have been a manager in Deloitte Romania’s BPS department for about 8 years. I am a certified accountant and tax advisor under Romanian law and a member of CECCAR and CCF bodies.

In BPS, we are a team of approximately 40 colleagues, and we provide accounting, reporting, and payroll services to various clients from different industries, such as retail, real estate, energy, and IT.

How did you start your career? Which were your first steps? How did you envision your career?

During my university studies in Accounting and Management Information Systems at the Academy of Economic Studies in Bucharest, I took part in a project called Practical Accounting Days (PAD), organised by our faculty together with companies active in accounting, tax, and audit. As part of the project, I participated in a workshop organised by one of the companies involved in the programme, which had a BPO office in Bucharest and which offered me an internship when the project ended. I instantly agreed since I knew that accounting and tax services in a BPO department were what I wanted to do. I spent a year and a half in that company, working part-time for a period since I was also studying to obtain a master’s degree in International Accounting. This was the first moment when I had the chance to apply the information gained during my university studies, but also to expand my knowledge, especially in terms of using an ERP (Microsoft Navision, SAP-FI).

In January 2015, I joined Deloitte Romania’s BPS practice as an accountant, a big change in my life. Looking back, I can say that it was the correct decision and that it was the right time for a change. I had the opportunity to grow technically and develop my soft skills, to work with great people, who offered their support, shared their knowledge and guided me. I found the path to a career to which I had aspired: to be part of a great team, to be involved in challenging projects, and to have real opportunities for growth.

What were your key career moments? 

One of the key moments in my professional journey was the decision to join Deloitte and become part of a big organisation. This opened great opportunities for me, such as working with the manager I had at that time, who was a real mentor and a model for me from a professional perspective. Then, each promotion was a key moment, because it came as an assurance that I was on the right path, but the biggest challenge came in 2020 when the pandemic hit and there were a lot of changes not only in the market but also inside the company. It came with an additional challenge for me: the promotion to a manager position during a quite difficult time from an economic perspective. However, the effort put in during 2020-2021 has brought me great accomplishments.

What are the three most valuable career lessons you have learnt? 

Three of my most valuable career lessons are:

  • Growth comes when you act out of your comfort zone;
  • You have to speak up about your ideas, your understanding, and your vision and offer arguments, but always be open to the ideas of everyone around you;
  • In order to deliver quality work, you need strong technical skills, but also a dedicated and supportive team.

Why did you choose Business Services Industry? What were the top 3 reasons for choosing your company?

I was looking for an accelerated learning curve, and the business service industry seemed to be the career path to help me reach this goal since it offers the possibility to work on different projects from various industries, interact with different types of clients, be part of a team, and to benefit from direct supervision and guidance.

In terms of choosing Deloitte, I would say that the top three reasons were:

  • It’s the biggest firm in the world in its field, which translated in my mind as big and interesting projects;
  • Besides tax and accounting compliance, I was interested in accounting advisory, and this was and still is an important part of the overall activities of the Deloitte BPS team;
  • the quality of the team from a technical perspective, working in such a big organisation would mean that people are very well prepared, and it was a chance for me to learn from the best, but there was also a rumour in the market that they have created a friendly work environment. And now, I can say that it is not just a rumour; it’s the reality, and for me, this has been true before I even joined, it was visible during the interview with my future manager, in her attitude and the information she shared with me.

Tell us a little bit about your private life: your passions, family. What do you do to relax? 

I really like my job, and I am fond of my professional activity, but I believe that having a fulfilling private life is also of great help in my professional life.

I am married, I have a great husband with a totally different profession than mine, we have different passions and interests, and they brought us together. One of our passions is mountain hiking, and we actually met during a hike on Moldoveanu Peak. We both like to travel, and for us, visiting a new place means preparing a list with all the main objectives and then walking on the streets from one objective to another, until we tick them all.

I am also a religious person, and, in this context, I have one day per week when I totally disconnect from the daily activities and the focus goes on the spiritual field and also spending time with family and close friends.

I also like to read and play board games, this being our main activity with our friends.

If now you were starting your career, knowing the present and near future opportunities, what would you do? 

I would make the same decisions because I am happy with where they have brought me.

What are the top 3 skills that you would develop?

I think that the top three skills that a professional in the business service industry needs to develop are technical skills, communication skills, and time management skills.

What would you do and what would you avoid doing?—practical advice to young professionals

I think it is very important to absorb as much information as possible, both theoretical (personal study, formal education) and practical (observing the way things are done by others, being receptive to feedback), especially when one starts to build a career but also along the way.

It is important not to settle for doing what you already know and are good at, but to try to enlarge your experience and accept or even ask for more challenging tasks.

I would add that it is important not to increase working speed by diminishing attention to details. Both are very important, and they need to be improved together.

And last but not least, in my opinion, in order to feel engaged and satisfied with your activity, it is important to understand the purpose of each task, its impact, and your role in the team and in the overall project.

Elena-Madalina Ganfaleanu, Team Leader – Deloitte

My name is Elena-Madalina Ganfaleanu, I am a Team Leader for the RADC department of Deloitte, working for an Ireland Member firm, and I’ve been with the company since November 2021.

How did you start your career? Which were your first steps? How did you envision your career?

My career started in 2008 when I joined a small family business whose main activity was the import and distribution of wines from all over the world to Romania. Being a small company, I managed to get to know and grow in different areas, such as accounting, logistics & distribution, sales, and marketing. It was here that I found out that I actually like playing with figures and making different analyses, so I decided to move on and pursue new challenges.

Challenge accepted, and a whole new domain for me – Audit, a field in which I have been working for more than 13 years already.

What were your key career moments?

One of the key moments was at the beginning of my journey when I decided to change fields and go from accounting to audit, not knowing too much about it. The second and most important so far was when I decided, after 8 years in another multinational consultancy company, to close the chapter and move on.

What are the three most valuable career lessons you have learnt?

One of the most important lessons I have learnt during my work experience, is not to treat my colleagues as resources, which I use to complete a project and deliver a report, but to consider them as they are, human beings with emotions and different behaviours and opinions.

At the beginning of my career, I was telling myself that, if I will become a manager or leader, I will try to act with my team members, as I wanted my managers to act with me—to be their friend, to know that they can count on me anytime, both for professional and personal things, but when it comes to work and responsibility, to give each other the respect, trust, and confidence to complete our tasks.

Third, I learnt to have the courage to approach new challenges, new opportunities, and new responsibilities, even when I was not confident or prepared enough because experience is gained with experience.

Why did you choose Business Services Industry? What were the top 3 reasons for choosing your company?

Growing up in a family where my parents read a lot of books, the type of most of the books being Detective and Mystery, my passion for puzzles and mysteries has grown on me. This is the main reason I love audit, as I find a puzzle that I must unlock in every task or test.

The main reasons for which I chose Deloitte after working for another Big4 company were the reputation in the market, the cultural diversity, and the multitude of services they are providing to their clients. As development is an important key for me, I was especially interested to see if there were ways for me to develop in other areas besides audit.

Tell us a little bit about your private life: your passions, family. What do you do to relax?

I love travelling, especially when I am handling the travel details (flights, accommodations, and itineraries). I try to plan at least a monthly trip, either in my city, in my country, or abroad. I believe this is the best way to motivate myself to work and grow.

In my free time, I love to cook and bake. I always try new recipes or mix up the ones I already know.

I watch a lot of movies and series, although I admit I am afraid to start a new series as I tend to binge-watch and finish it in a couple of days.

I like to read, mostly detective stories; my favourites include Hercule Poirot and Sherlock Holmes.

Finally, and most importantly, I love music, and I have it in the background of whatever I do and wherever I go.

What are the top 3 skills that you would develop?

  • Public speaking – as I was never a person who could talk easily in public, not even in small groups, it was difficult for me in the beginning to facilitate training, and hold interviews. In time, focusing on improving this area, I managed to improve my skills.
  • Adaptability – as the teams are constantly growing and moving, I must be able to adapt to both internal and external changes, even if that means working outside my comfort zone.
  • Developing others – by empowering team members with information, tools, and skills, I believe I can successfully help them reach their career goals and for me to have support and a successor.

What would you do and what would you avoid doing?—practical advice to young professionals

I would always respect my colleagues, no matter their position or age; I would take responsibility for my actions at all times, and I would push myself out of my comfort zone in order to reach my goals.

Also, communication is essential, so my advice is to speak up and share thoughts and ideas without being afraid of mistakes or judgement.

Avoid talking and taking decisions when angry; it’s better to calm down, and you might find out that the decision will be quite different. Never assume you are right; try to stop for a moment, ask and listen, think, and then conclude.

Simona Ion, Senior Team Leader – Deloitte

Hi, my name is Simona Ion, and I am working within Deloitte Regional Audit Delivery Centre, which employs more than 750 people. We provide audit standardised services to different member firms across Europe.

How did you start your career? Which were your first steps? How did you envision your career?

I started planning my career quite early, with the first step being to attend the University of Economic Studies. During my master’s, I had financial audit courses, and I realised I wanted to continue exploring that area as a career. Thus, when I received an employment offer from one of the Big 4 firms, I was more than happy to accept it and become a junior auditor.

Five years later, I was a manager with responsibilities on a budgeting line, being in charge of a team, coaching people, recruiting talents, and enjoying my work at the same time.

What were your key career moments?

The moments I cherish the most from my professional journey are related to people who mentored me and helped develop me into the person I am today. More than that, reading about the juniors I coached and who are now respected and successful professionals is a reward that makes me feel proud and grateful for having had the opportunity to model them at the beginning of their careers.

At one point in my career, I was the CFO of an insurance company. The confidence I gained from all my experience made me realise that I could do a great job, and time proved me right.

What are the three most valuable career lessons you have learnt?

When working at Deloitte, you have access to so much information, courses, and training for all levels and interests. Make sure you take advantage of that and challenge your mind every day.

Networking starts on day 1 of your career. Build strong relationships, and this will be rewarded by having people you can consult with and who are ready to give you a hand when most needed.

Be fair to people, keep ethical standards, and be proud of your achievements.

Why did you choose Business Services Industry? What were the top 3 reasons for choosing your company?

For me, this job was like returning home with a big luggage of knowledge collected over the past 10 years.

I embrace Deloitte’s culture, and I love being part of this story. Only when I returned did I realise how much I had missed the atmosphere and the people. With challenges and overtime in the busy season, the best parties and time to relax are during the summer.

The Business Services industry will definitely be part of the professional world, so building this model and being able to help in designing the strategy of a company is just a dream come true.

Tell us a little bit about your private life: your passions, family. What do you do to relax?

My balance and strength are coming from my family. We like travelling and exploring new things every time we have the chance. We do canoeing, rafting, and skiing, and we take lots of pictures to remember the fun.

If now you were starting your career, knowing the present and near future opportunities, what would you do?

I would do the exact same thing at the beginning of my career. I have invested time in learning from and listening to smart people. I have audited so many companies and seen so many business models that I have matured rapidly in this professional environment. I wouldn’t change anything, even if it was tough. The good news is that in a changing world, Deloitte is part of the change, bringing on board new technologies and tools to make audit easier.

What are the top 3 skills that you would develop?

I am working on developing my digital skills, I like technology, and there is always something new to discover and learn.

Also, I am trying to develop my skills related to communication. Working with graduates from University can be challenging if you do not know their interests and ways of being.

For the next year, I am planning to get more involved in the volunteering activities at Deloitte, as we can make an impact and maybe change a few lives by showing that learning is the way when all seems lost.

What would you do and what would you avoid doing?—practical advice to young professionals

I would ask all the questions that came to my mind and not assume the answers.

I would use my time wisely and take advantage of all the resources available.

I would be patient and build my career step by step, you know what they say…Rome was not built in a day.

Iulia Mirea, Project Manager – Deloitte

By way of introduction, my name is Iulia Mirea, and I am a manager at Deloitte Legal Centre of Excellence, having been part of the team since 2017. We are a global team of 14 professionals based in Bucharest, that supports Deloitte Legal’s global network of legal practices in the areas of business development, service delivery, and legal technology.

How did you start your career? Which were your first steps? How did you envision your career?

Before starting college, I identified my interests and ideals, and I have sought out career opportunities that aligned with them. I have continued to challenge myself and have a focus on the big picture in all of my endeavours.

Looking back at my career, I can honestly say that seven years ago, I wanted to be where I am today. I have always set my priorities in life, and today I can say that those priorities have helped me achieve various things.

What were your key career moments? 

The proudest moment of my career was when I had the opportunity to support Deloitte’s Legal global business agenda by creating and leading the development of a global microsite. The database enables professionals from more than 75 jurisdictions to quickly and seamlessly identify and connect with other lawyers within the network based on their areas of speciality and jurisdiction. This tool helped the search time to be substantially reduced, and the certainty that the included information is always updated, made the microsite to be one of the most accessed pages on the network, even after almost 3 years.

What are the three most valuable career lessons you have learnt? 

I have been fortunate to have the opportunity to work in a global team and have learned a lot from this experience. Here are the three most important lessons I have learned in my career so far:

  • The people and the job are equally important in achieving a successful and fulfilling career. It’s natural to focus on job tasks, but it is also important to value and invest in relationships with colleagues. Developing strong “people skills,” such as the ability to listen, recognise the value of everyone’s contributions, and work as part of a team, is essential for creating a positive and productive work environment.
  • Remember to express gratitude towards others and yourself. A simple thank-you email can go a long way towards making someone feel valued and appreciated. At the same time, it is important to show appreciation for your own accomplishments and efforts. Keep a record of positive feedback you receive and refer back to it when you are feeling uncertain or doubting yourself.
  • It is natural to worry or feel anxious about various aspects of our lives, including our careers. However, it is important to not get too caught up in these concerns and instead focus on being present and appreciative of the present moment. Practising gratitude and finding joy in the little things can help you keep a positive outlook and maintain a sense of fulfilment in your career.

Why did you choose Business Services Industry? What were the top 3 reasons for choosing your company?

I have always been motivated to deliver my best and have sought out job opportunities that allowed me to continuously develop my skills, take on engaging projects, and learn from highly skilled professionals. The prospect of working with some of the most innovative professionals in the industry was a major reason why I wanted to build my career at Deloitte. One of my key goals has been to work with a diverse group of professionals from various backgrounds and cultures, and Deloitte provided this opportunity from the outset. This type of diversity has expanded my understanding and appreciation of the world and enabled me to develop more meaningful and effective relationships.

Tell us a little bit about your private life: your passions, family. What do you do to relax? 

Fitness is one of my passions, and I am always looking for ways to improve my health and well-being. One of the things I enjoy most is taking evening walks with my husband and our puppies. It’s a daily ritual that brings me joy and helps me unwind after a long day.

If now you were starting your career, knowing the present and near future opportunities, what would you do? 

If I were starting my career now, I would prioritize my professional development by learning skills that are highly valued by all employers. Having strong communication, innovation, and stress management skills can be crucial for success in many jobs, both currently and in the future. By developing a wide range of competencies and abilities, anyone can be better prepared for a new role or a transition to a different industry.

Ruxandra Moraru, Team Leader – Deloitte

My name is Ruxandra Moraru, and I am the team leader of the Bucharest office of Deloitte Global Tax Center Europe (“GTCE”). GTCE opened its office in Romania in 2019, and since then we have grown the team to 40 people by the end of 2022. Worldwide, we are part of a team of over 450 employees.

How did you start your career? Which were your first steps? How did you envision your career?

I started my career in early 2007, during my 2nd year of university. Without too many career plans, I decided to look for a job that would accommodate my study schedule, so I started working in Customer Service. I can proudly say that it was the best “professional” school I could have chosen at that time, as it had helped me open up and get acquainted with assertive communication even before knowing the terminology, team up with my colleagues to accommodate the challenging program, and got access to a professional growth-oriented organisation, both in terms of people and business.

My early work experience was defined by genuine commitment while seizing each opportunity given, and taking challenges as the best accelerator to achieve thoroughpaced personal growth. I continued my career as a trainer and then made the switch to the consulting department of the core tax business of Deloitte Romania, which easily became my second professional pillar.

What would best define my career plan was my focus on becoming the master of my own work and being part of a healthy environment that would nurture my curiosity, creativity, and appetite for finding the right personalised means to support people’s development.

What were your key career moments?

The most impactful moments throughout my professional experience were driven by people – I have been fortunate to meet inspiring leaders and be guided by mentors who had a thorough, dedicated, and personalised approach towards my professional progress. These were the stakeholders holding the ladder, being skilled with the perfect mix between sensitivity and toughness: knowing when to push my limits, when to expose me to challenges, revealing and helping me develop areas I thought I would never achieve, being there to listen and support at key moments.

There were indeed a few key career moments throughout the time, but I will resume to the latest one, which was 3.5 years ago. I have taken a fresh & challenging start with Deloitte GTCE, initially as part of the team, and later on, I got the opportunity to embark the leadership team. The journey was full of challenges and flavours, and no day was comparable to the other. A dynamic environment, abundant in people-oriented to growth & flourish, willing to learn and progress, and I stand proud to say that we have created a great community.

What are the three most valuable career lessons you have learnt?

  1. Commitment, loyalty, and self-focus always pay off.
  2. We are the drivers of our professional lives. Train yourself to run the marathon while learning when to sprint and when to rest.
  3. Listen actively. Listen genuinely.

Why did you choose Business Services Industry? What were the top 3 reasons for choosing your company?

Deloitte Global Tax Center Europe is committed to offering exceptional tax compliance services to clients across the globe. With a presence in five different locations, Belgium, India, Romania, Poland, and Portugal, GTCE is the perfect mix of an international environment, a technology focus, and a solution-oriented mindset. How does this translate for GTCE employees? We have created a community of professionals driven by the same core values: willingness to learn & grow, mindset centred on healthy and constant development, and people driven by finding solutions regardless of the context. We are committed to empowering each employee to take drive of their career.

Tell us a little bit about your private life: your passions, family. What do you do to relax?

First things come first, so I will start by saying that I am the mother of a 5-year-old boy. I take immense joy in travelling, exploring, and growing together with my great little partner. Having him in my life brings a cocktail of maturity, commitment, and responsibility, on the one hand, and on the other, it brings creativity, a strong(er) voice, sensitivity, trust, and authenticity.

I am passionate about human beings, in the utmost and simplest sense. I am fascinated by the inner universe of each person, and the more I listen, the more I understand how complex and fragile we are at the same time. I do my best to dedicate myself full-heartedly to the person with whom I am engaged in conversations, as that is the best way to explore my own inner world.

I am passionate about travel, words, and photography, as, in my view, this is the best blend to discover the deepest and most authentic areas within myself. I love the backpacking type of travel, and I take each opportunity to mingle, talk, and live with the local community in the places I visit. The best experience I have had so far was the 3 weeks of authentic travel in Madagascar, where I tasted the flavour of the indigenous population by travelling with their traditional boats for 3 days on the river, being accommodated in their houses, taking slow-paced walks in their villages, playing their games, and living according to their rules. As humans, we have always learned via observation and exploration. Travelling helps me become a better person, understand different cultures, and gain experience from each interaction rather than judging the way people act together or live.

If now you were starting your career, knowing the present and near future opportunities, what would you do?

I would learn to own and take responsibility for my development. I would seize each opportunity given, or, better said, I would create my own opportunities to learn and grow. I would explore my strengths and build on them, also being aware of my weaknesses, so that I could accept, nurture, and understand how and if I could transform them. I would carefully choose a work environment that commits to its values, with people and policies that sincerely care for its employees while investing time and attention in their development. I would conscientiously look for role models and inspiring leaders who are motivated by healthy beliefs. I would choose work communities over jobs driven by individual success. I would be loyal to my employer and to my personal values, while ideally these should be overlapping.

What are the top 3 skills that you would develop?

 Technical skills are undoubtedly needed, regardless of the domain we choose to work in. Investing time in gaining solid technical skills will ensure the comfort of speaking in public, facilitating training, mastering your work, guiding others, etc. Simply said these will bring immediate validation that you are doing your work right, along with the satisfaction we all need at the end of the day. Apart from the technical skills, I find an area that requires more focus and time and has a slower growth pace, namely the soft skills area. And these are different for everyone; there is no unique recipe applicable across businesses. As you grow as a leader, you realise that Human Skills and Interpersonal Skills are equally important as Technical Skills, for example. At the end of the day, as a leader, you need to work with people and inspire them to achieve things that they believe they are not capable of achieving. That is why I trust that engaging in coaching conversations, aiming to bring clarity on your strengths and development areas, on the things that energise you and empower you to drive or execute, and help you accept the things that need to be done.

I have been lucky enough to have worked with smart, gifted people, and this has ensured my own learning and progress.

What would you do and what would you avoid doing?—practical advice to young professionals

I would carefully choose the employer based on the level of “healthiness” of the work environment. I would aim to be surrounded by people with a “growth” mindset, which is very different from the one we are used during our studies at university. I would analyse the values stated by the companies and see if these had common ground with mine. I would seek for professional advice in creating a mid- or long-term strategy for my career, and I would use the interview as a “two-way” conversation aiming to find out if there is a match with my employer. I would avoid an immediate switch between jobs, and I would rather use discomfort to learn how to speak up, express my professional needs and concerns, and work to make them happen. I would respect my colleagues and join efforts in creating communities. I would own my growth with responsibility and commitment. I would humbly praise my achievements, and I would embrace failure and leverage it to make a change.