Emily Azzolina credits the Deloitte Career Launch program for doing just that — igniting her career interest.
After engaging with a panel of Deloitte professionals from all areas of the organization including audit, advisory, tax and consulting, the program gave her the direction she needed.
“They all talked about their jobs, and that was when I first realized that I was interested in becoming an accountant,” said Azzolina, who eventually landed an internship with Deloitte.
Established in 2015, the Career Launch program creates a safe space to introduce undergraduate students at Fisher to soft skills necessary in business, said Courtney Clark (BSBA ’03), a tax partner, Deloitte Tax LLP. Other areas of focus within the program include approaches to building professional networks and helping students create their personal brands.
“The chief inclusion officer at Deloitte met with us in 2014 to discuss a shared goal of improving the diversity hiring goals at Deloitte while also enhancing Fisher’s goal of improving the retention of under-represented groups at Fisher,” said Jeff Rice, executive director of the Office of Career Management.
The students Deloitte and Fisher hoped to serve through the Career Launch program included first- and second-year undergraduates who were first-generation college students, students from diverse ethnic backgrounds, nationalities, sexual orientations and gender identities.
“Both organizations have benefitted from this shared goal of contributing to the academic success and career outcomes of students who often face unique challenges,” Rice said.
The sixth cohort, which experienced the program during the 2020-2021 academic year, involved 45 first- and second-year students.
“All the people I have met and worked with at Deloitte have been helpful and have given me a lot of advice both during the Career Launch program and my internship,” said Azzolina, who is pursuing a Master of Accounting (MAcc) degree at Fisher.
The Career Launch program, a product of a longstanding relationship between Deloitte and Ohio State, is just one of numerous talent pipelines between the two organizations. In all, 485 Buckeye alumni and 71 student interns work for the organization. At Fisher, Deloitte has been among the top five recruiting organizations consistently for the past 10 years, having hired 188 business graduates and 155 interns since 2011.
One of those graduates is Colin Stewart (BSBA ’20), who said the Career Launch program “humanized” the professional world for him.
“Being able to interact and converse with real professionals went a long way in helping me understand what I was going into and what people in that field are like,” said Stewart, an audit senior assistant, Deloitte & Touche LLP. “I’d encourage any company who is considering a relationship with Fisher to send as many people as they can to have real, meaningful interactions with current students.”
The program also helps students better understand how their classwork translates into real jobs. Those offerings, led by professionals from Deloitte working alongside Fisher faculty, included speakers, panels, personality assessments and discussions of career goals.
“Programs like this go a long way in bridging that gap,” he said. “Being able to develop familiarity and rapport in the process is a great added benefit as well.”
This past year marked a first for the program — it was delivered entirely virtually, adding flexibility and increasing engagement by eliminating travel expenses and considerations.
“We utilized breakouts to mimic the feeling of ‘talking around the table’ and to create the safe space for students to share their experiences,” Clark said. “Going forward, we’re looking forward to a hybrid approach.