Brandeis International Business School

Landing her dream job at Deloitte

An Industry Trek to Chicago put Annick Hirwa, MA ’19 ‘right in the middle’ of her target company

A student studying in class.

Annick Hirwa, MA ’19 attended an Industry Trek in Chicago in April 2018.

It’s an extrovert’s world. But that wasn’t going to stop Annick Hirwa, MA ’19.

A non-native English speaker and self-described introvert, Hirwa’s personal transformation from nervously nibbling appetizers in the corner at networking events to landing her dream job at Deloitte was driven by hard work and a willingness to step outside her comfort zone.

The Career Strategies Center at Brandeis International Business School was there to help Hirwa each step of the way. The key moment in her job search came during an Industry Trek, a program that offers students an immersive look at the inner workings and culture of top-tier employers around the globe.

Hirwa, who grew up in Rwanda and Costa Rica before attending college in the United States, knew from a Career Strategies and Engagement networking session that Deloitte was her target company. So she signed up for a trek that included a tour of the accounting giant’s Chicago office. During that tour, Hirwa’s budding interest in transfer pricing morphed into a dedicated career focus.

“The trek is honestly the most helpful experience you can have if you're interested in a specific industry,” said Hirwa. “The program puts you right in the middle of some of the world’s most dynamic companies.”

During the trek, Hirwa met up with a friend of a friend who worked on Deloitte’s transfer pricing team. Her new connection put her in touch with a recruiter, whom Hirwa reconnected with once the company started its next recruiting cycle.

With feedback from the career coaches at Brandeis IBS, she developed a well-crafted email that helped her land a phone interview, which she then parlayed into two rounds of in-person interviews.

All along the way, Hirwa used the resources at the Career Strategies Center to build out her resume, practice her interview skills and polish her elevator pitch to prospective employers. She also focused on developing contacts and asking good questions at small networking events like the alumni speaker series.

“It's a little less stressful and a lot less intimidating for people like me who are not necessarily extroverts,” said Hirwa. “I think I'm now more confident in myself because I have seen what I'm capable of. If I work hard and if I seek help and if I believe in myself, I know I can do it.”

Rachel Wasdyke, senior associate director of engagement at Brandeis IBS and head of the Industry Trek program, said Hirwa’s story demonstrates how the treks can introduce students to a company’s culture and encourage networking with people already working in their target fields.

“Annick was able to visit Chicago and compare companies, determining that both the city and Deloitte were great fits for her,” said Wasdyke. “She networked with our employer hosts and formed mutual relationships that helped her land a truly stellar job. From an engagement perspective, we’re always happy when we can help connect top employers and students this way.”

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