Ngoc Nathan Pham

Major: BBA MIS
Graduation: May 2019


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For 8 weeks from 06/04/2018 – 07/27/2018, I worked as a Technology Risk Advisory Intern in the Philadelphia Office of Deloitte. I did a lot of work, travel to four other towns/cities, made new friends, met new people, and learned a lot from this experience.


About Deloitte

Before working for Deloitte, I never knew about the structure of the firm. I thought it was just one firm that was everywhere. The official name of the firm is Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (or Deloitte Global). The history of the firm started in 1845 when William Welch Deloitte opened an office in London, UK. Now, Deloitte is still based in London, UK.

Deloitte Global is the largest professional services network in the world with offices in 150 countries (out of 195 countries in the world as of 2018). Professional services consist of (1) audit, (2) tax, (3) risk & financial advisory, and (4) consulting. I tell my parents that whatever problem a company has, Deloitte can have people to fix it.


The US subsidiary of Deloitte Global is Deloitte LLP, which serves 85% of the Fortune 500 and has 84,890 employees (isn’t it massive?). Deloitte LLP generated US $18.5 billion in FY17 (ending May 31, 2017).


My internship is with Deloitte & Touche LLP, a subsidiary of Deloitte LLP. My service line is under risk and financial advisory (RFA), specifically risk advisory.



Deloitte RFA breaks down into 6 different market offerings. My team is technology risk. Our job is to serve as Information Technology (IT) specialists to the financial auditors. When financial auditors come into a company to check its numbers, we come in and evaluate the company’s IT system and internal controls. Some examples of internal controls can be password configuration, user access termination, etc. You can google either risk assurance, it audit, or IT General Controls, to learn more about the technical part of the job. The big steps of an IT process, from my observations and research, are:

  • (1) Planning
  • (2) Assessment
  • (3) Follow-up
  • (4) Reporting


My internship is heavily on assessment. In this step, we come to the client site and talk to the client to understand their IT environment. We attend walkthrough to understand how different applications and internal controls work. Then we request evidence of internal controls and test their design, implementation, and operating effectiveness. We then document our testing results in different workpapers (in either Word or Excel format). Because of this, there are three big parts of the job:

  • Traveling: People in my team are not in the office that often. They usually travel to client site from Monday to Thursday. If a client is far away, then traveling takes a lot of time
  • Talking to people: People in my team spend 50%+ of their time talking to people. They either talk to the clients or to other members of the team.
  • Perform testing, analysis, and documentation on a computer: This seems to be the most obvious. This is an IT-related job so of course, everything has to be on a computer. The job requires a lot of focus, critical thinking, and problem-solving to assess the risk of different controls.


As an intern, I get to do all those 3 parts of the job. I attend meetings with clients. I receive evidence. I perform testing. I talk to other people on the team to ask questions, make comments, or report about my tasks.



Week 1: Orientation in Boston, MA.

During the first week of the internship, all Philly Advisory Interns went to the Boston Office to attend our orientation and RFA training. I met a lot of other interns and listened to their stories. For the training, we learned about different market offerings of RFA. Then we were trained on teamwork skill, research about clients/industries, client interaction, meeting logistics, professional etiquette, data analytics, leadership, and preparation for the first client. We learned through presentations by the trainers, discussion, and activities. We also delivered two presentations in teams as well.


Week 4: Intern Conference at Deloitte University

From 06/28 – 06/30, Deloitte flew all 150+ Advisory interns from all over the country to Deloitte University (Westlake, TX). If you haven’t heard of it, Deloitte University is… a university with classrooms, dining halls, gym, cafeteria, etc. Everything is FREE from Starbucks, snacks, food, beverages, and anything in between. The only thing that costs money is alcohol. The upper floors (2nd to 5th) of Deloitte University are residential floors with super nice hotel rooms for us to stay. In between those rooms, they have snacks room from around the world like San Francisco, Mumbai, London, Sao Paulo, etc.

DU classroom

During the day, we had training in the experiential learning model with multiple activities about Deloitte Business Chemistry, teamwork, trust, active listening, presentation skill, and the marshmallow challenge.


Outside of training, there were so many events going on. On the first night, we participated in a volunteering event facilitated by Cheeriodicals. In teams of 8 – 12 people, interns and professionals packed toy boxes to be delivered to children at nearby hospitals. The second night of the intern conference was a game night with different arcade games and activities such as casino, photo booths, ping pong tables, and Jenga.



Training is definitely a fun part. But there are other fun events too.

DU Classroom

Every year, Deloitte chooses the 2nd Friday of June as its National Impact Day. On this day, all Deloitte US offices are shut down. Employees are paid to volunteer and make an impact in the community. This year, National Impact Day was on June 8, 2018. I was part of a group that volunteered at Smith Memorial Playground. We planted tree bushes and beautify a small garden around the slide area for children. I personally had a really fun time learning how to plant trees. It was also fun to talk to other Deloitte people in a casual environment.


On another Friday, we had an event where Chris Mosier, a transgender triathlete of Team USA, came and shared with us his life story. Chris was a woman for 29 years before becoming a man. He didn’t feel like himself until he was able to change his identity to be a man. We learned about the power of being authentic in sports as well as at work. It was such a powerful and inspirational session for many Deloitte professionals.


In addition, different professionals from Philly Advisory took us out for lunch on different days. These were great opportunities for us to talk to more people and learn what life is like at Deloitte.


Keys to success

First, have a good attitude. I learned this during the first week of orientation. Being positive and enthusiastic about work can really change the game. Of course, there will be tiring and long days. There will be many challenges. You will feel overwhelmed. But people would much prefer an intern that is happy to help and excited to learn.


Second, ask good questions. Again, it’s a learning experience. You won’t learn if you don’t ask good questions. If there is a problem, try to figure it out on your own first by googling. But if you can’t figure it out after 15 min, put it on a list to ask your team later. People at Deloitte are always willing to help. The best practice is to compile all your questions and ask your consultant when he/she has sometime before lunch or at the end of the day. If you ping them every 5 min to ask a question, that will be very annoying.


Third, be proactive. Offer to help instead of waiting to receive tasks. Prepare more than your team expects you to. Your team may tell you to prepare nothing before coming to the engagement. But they will be impressed if you spend 30 min before onboarding to read a little bit about the client.


Fourth, network. Networking is the key to almost everything at Deloitte and even in schools. When you know people, you have more resources to ask your questions. You will learn a ton more about the firm by talking to different people. Later in your career, knowing people can help you get on projects that you like.


Fifth, have fun. Professionals are people and they love to have fun. Spend time outside of work to hang out with other interns or do fun stuff. Talk about fun things that you like during lunches or dinners. And you will enjoy the experience a thousand times more by having fun. So don’t forget about that part!


Overall, the internship was an AMAZING experience for me. I learned so much about how a professional service firm works. I made new friends that I want to keep in touch with for years to come. I had a lot of fun during orientation, at Deloitte University, or different meals with my team.


Deloitte is definitely a great place to launch and grow an awesome career!

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