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Senior Consultant,Deloitte Consulting
The Global Brigades corporate program has been a huge asset in the development of our practitioners. In the environment the program offers, analysts are able have a higher responsibility, provide more input into decisions, and work directly with clients in a fast moving project environment. Practitioners are challenged by working in unique atmospheres where they must think quickly and with cultural sensitivity. These are skills that we are looking to foster in all of our employees. As a participant, the GB Program at Deloitte allows me to connect with my work in ways that everyday life does not always provide. Culture, sustainability, service-based volunteering, and giving back are so important to me and this program allows all of those opportunities and then some. Knowing that the company I work for cares about the things that I do and allows for these opportunities is a huge part of why I choose to work here.
As part of the 3C Global Mentor Trip, I had the opportunity to serve as a mentor for over 20 university students consulting 4 different clients in a rural, impoverished region in Nicaragua. Overall, the trip was an amazing experience in which I was able to grow tremendously both professionally and personally. Professionally, I was in a unique position to serve in an advisory role and manage multiple projects at the same time. I developed key skills such as being able to quickly synthesize information and balance my time and attention between several teams. Although it was definitely a stretch role, I am thankful that the 3C Program provided me with the opportunity to challenge myself in ways that would not be possible on a traditional project. On a personal level, it was incredibly fulfilling to take the skills I’ve learned at Deloitte to help empower the clients we were working with to be more financially stable. It was humbling to teach them about concepts we take for granted, such as savings and investing, and to see how genuinely grateful they were for our help. One of the most surprising, but rewarding, aspects of the trip was the depth of the relationship I was able to develop with each and every student on the trip. Each individual on the trip demonstrated such a genuine heart and strong work ethic that was inspiring to me. I truly enjoyed providing answering their questions and providing them with guidance not only on their client projects, but also for aspects of their academic, professional and even personal lives. Overall, I cannot recommend this trip enough! I came back to the States with a full heart and renewed passion and appreciation for the work I am doing.
Volunteer,University of Southern California, Business Brigades Chapter
I recently attended new employee training at Deloitte University, Deloitte’s training hub. In one of the classes, we went through a consulting simulation. We had to decide how to allocate funds and resources to a rural community struggling from poverty, disease, poor sanitation and lack of reliable transportation, much like our community of Guaricayan, Honduras.
Because of my experiences, I had the courage to lead my team in meeting with the made-up community leaders, coordinating my peers in the planning stage and leading the final presentation of our plan to the made-up community leaders. I would NOT have had as much confidence as I had during that simulation had it not been for Global Brigades. Global Brigades was such a valuable experience and totally worth the money. It remains as one of my favorite experiences from my 4 years at USC, as it pushed me in ways I never planned when I signed up initially.
Volunteer,UC Berkeley, Business Brigades Chapter
I know that the chief purpose of my volunteer work with Global Brigades was to empower those without opportunity. But my trip to Honduras, and later trip to Panama, created a multitude of memories that have changed my perspective of the world and in a grandiose way, humanity. This is not to say you won’t change the landscape of opportunities of the individuals you meet, but you may come away with more than you ever expected.
My trips to Panama and Honduras transformed my image of volunteering. Volunteering is not charity, volunteering is much more in line with empowering those with will. In each and every case I witnessed Global Brigades didn’t throw money at problems, but rather gave individuals the means to develop their own community. In turn, slowly, but surely, they changed the communities they engaged in.
Now I am in shock with how much my trips have impacted me. My advice to you is to take the chance and go. I promise you that after all is said and done the worst part will be leaving.
Senior Consultant,Deloitte Consulting
Nicaragua was amazing! I was super impressed by the students, all of the staff, and how everything ran so smoothly. Over half of the Carnegie Mellon students had participated in the business brigades a couple times before (but in Panama), so they were brigade experts, which made my job a lot easier J . I also had a chance to sit down with the Brigade coordinator (Franklin Torrez) and discuss/identify growth opportunities for the brigade so that it is not just a copy and paste of what was done in the Panama business. We talked about two items: 1) improving the student experience and 2) improving the brigade in general.
Volunteer,Columbia University, Business Brigades Chapter
My classmates and I held a financial literacy clinic, where we implemented a shareholder model in the community development fund and sold 500 shares to villagers. For me, witnessing concrete change in the community, along with awesome enthusiasm for the undertaking from all sides, reinforced my belief that sustainable development through microfinance is completely possible. Global Brigades has given me the opportunity to meet and learn from incredible people–students, villagers, and GB staff–an experience that has been incredibly rewarding. My involvement with GB has inspired me to pursue my interest in development both in and outside of the classroom, and has undoubtedly enriched my experience living in a city as diverse as New York.
Working with Global Brigades provided a valuable connection between Deloitte and the local businesses that we were partnered with. Going into our work with a baseline of trust and cultural awareness made our job much easier.
Participating in the 3C Global Mentors program was an amazing experience. I participated in the 3C Local program when I first started at the firm, and after that it was a goal of mine to take it to the next level and do an international 3C trip! Global Mentors is unique because it brings together Global Brigades, college students from around the US, and Deloitte practitioners to solve problems that are truly affecting the day-to-day lives of people in another country. As a junior practitioner, the trip also helped me further develop my mentorship and leadership skills while getting to involve myself in the social impact space which I am super passionate about. By far one of my favorite firm initiatives I’ve been a part of!
Volunteer,Indiana University Bloomington, Business Brigades Chapter
Before I visited the village of Tomatin, I was skeptical to say the least. This opportunity to help others by educating them in the language of Microfinance almost seemed too good to be true. I was expecting more like a show and tell, something along the lines of being guided around and being instructed every step of the way. However what I experienced was much different. As soon as we landed in Tegucigalpa, our objectives were laid out and it was up to us to complete them. After a week, not only did we change the Caja, we changed their lives.
The opportunity to not only instruct but to educate is invaluable. In the end we set up bank accounts for the children of the village, instructing them that they were not to withdraw cash until they turned 12 years old. The hope being that by this time they will have seen their money grown and have decided to keep the money in the Caja, allowing them to spend more in the future. This valuable lesson in saving is a message we hope that the children will carry on to their own kids when the time comes. This tradition will be instilled in the village, and without a dime of American financial support, and a wealth of financial knowledge, the village of Tomatin will pull itself out of poverty.
However while this teaching experience was directed at the population of Tomatin, it was us as students who left learning about the culture of Honduras and about ourselves. My experience was unique, with the fluency of Spanish I already had, becoming friends with everyone in the Caja was a very rewarding experience. I had the opportunity to share my life with them like they shared their life with me. Every day quickly turned into a treasurable memory, every minute was an opportunity for a shared laugh. I learned from the people of Tomatin that life is only lived once, so why not be thankful for it. They continuously thanked us and when in the end, it should have been us thanking them.
My trips with Global Brigades (as a participant, lead, and mentor) helped me develop both professionally and personally. Before participating in these programs I wasn’t completely comfortable with owning professional relationships, as my whole career to that point I had been on heavily structured projects with hierarchical top-down leadership (with me always being at the bottom). My experience in Panama helped me develop courage to break away from hierarchical structures, to become more vulnerable with my regular clients state-side, to own client and vendor relationships rather than being owned by an SOW/contact, and to stand firm in the skills and expertise I’ve learned over the past three years.
Business Technology Analyst,Deloitte Consulting
Every part of the trip was enjoyable and better than I expected! The social activities, learning experiences, networking opportunities, food, travel opportunities, and sense of impact, all come together for a one-of-a-kind experience that you will never forget! These trips give you a one of a kind experience to network, work with your peers, and leverage everything you have learned to date all while helping communities. You will be challenged to think creatively, produce high quality deliverables in a short time, and get unparalleled exposure to the clients you are helping, well beyond what you normally get early in your career. But above, you will get to make tangible difference by the time your trip ends. The trip gave me an incredible experience to not only apply the skills that I have learned from consulting to date, but also leverage my education, to teach both clients and peers. Additionally the trip gave me an opportunity to not only design/build high impact deliverables, while also advise another team on how to best build a complex solution.
Volunteer,Indiana University, Business Brigades Chapter
Personally, my most enjoyable experience was designing and introducing new spreadsheets with the women to organize their books for the agriculture store. Their readiness to learn inspired me, as did the tone of the teenagers I talked to during our final community fiesta. As they shared their hopes for studying business or computer programming in the university in Tegucigalpa, their infectious spirit and drive convinced me that the work was real – change could be sustained.
Volunteer,Johns Hopkins University, Business Brigades Chapter
Going on community visits was vital to the Microfinance Brigade, learning about the financial situations of these community members. With each and every house, we were greeted with much hospitality: parting gifts of coffee and oranges. Not only did the financial confessions open up my eyes, but merely the journey to get to those houses. We had to cross little rivers, hike up and down mountains, and dodge stray dogs during our ten to forty-minute walks. It was not a game I was playing but it was real life.
Everything was so real and I knew I had to put my best foot forward to make a real life change.
I came up with the idea to make long-term financial plans with each household, because, though there might have been a language barrier, there is no such thing as a number barrier as math is an international language. This really helped in getting the message across because the plan remained even after we left. Speaking to people of all ages who were in worse positions than I was empowered me to make sure to produce the best advice possible.
Once returning to the United States, I have definitely decided to travel more. There is so much to experience in the world. I have vowed to myself to go back to Honduras, be it for another brigade trip or for doing research about income disparities and its socio-economic effects in different communities.
Attending the 3C Global trip was one of the most impactful experiences of not only my professional career, but personal life. This trip truly shaped me and a lot of the core values I now strive to implement in my everyday work. The pure passion that the clients portrayed for not only their respective organization, but their country is something I will never forget. At the end of our trip, our lead client counterpart stated “This past week working with Deloitte consulting, has been a true dream come true for us.” I think his statement rings true for both Deloitte and the client teams, that this experience is truly a dream.
Volunteer,University of Southern California, Business Brigades Chapter
As a result of my life-changing experiences with Global Brigades, I am now seriously considering it as something I can hopefully continue doing as a career option after graduating. The entire staff at Global Brigades is extraordinarily kind, driven, and easy to get along with, all of whom I am honored to have worked with. This definitely also includes the translators, security, and our beloved bus driver! The relentless combined effort of the Global Brigades staff is what brings people together from across cultures in order to learn from each other skills and values. It is not a one sided relationship, but a mutual one, which is what makes the experience so incredibly rewarding for everyone.
Business Technology Analyst,Deloitte Consulting
As a fluent Spanish speaker born and raised in the United States, I was looking for a way to introduce Spanish into my career in order to maintain this language that’s so important to me and my family. Global Brigades gave me the opportunity to combine my personal and professional goals, and has since provided me with a stronger network and accolades to speak to when seeking out Spanish-related opportunities at work.
Volunteer,Miami University, Business Brigades Chapter
While only so much is possible within the 8 day span of a brigade, it can be difficult to truly grasp the purpose of the organization before going on a brigade. Accordingly, while I thought I had a done enough research and was open enough to be prepared for my first brigade in December, that was not the case, and my mind was thoroughly blown. It wasn’t the conditions of the village or the educational material we presented which caught me off guard, that much I had more or less prepared for. What I hadn’t anticipated, however, was the passion which I discovered flourishing within the individuals I met with and power with which that personal connection would affect me. Seeing what they had already done with so little allowed me to grasp on to their vision for the community, and made believing in their capacity to achieve change come second nature. For those 8 days I poured myself into the efforts of the community, and if but for a brief period, my self seemed to melt away into the greater communal goal of attaining quality of life. It is that feeling which I am grateful to the people of Piriati, Panama for allowing me to experience with them, and while I knew that those 8 days were simply a taste, I’m happy to say it left me hungry for more. I only wished that more of my fellow brigadiers had shared the powerful experience that I had.