15 posts categorized "Education and skills"

September 09, 2010

Deloitte21: The OK! project and Deloitte Finland mentors are ready!

My Deloitte21 placement, the OK! project, is about to start its fourth consecutive class. Our aim is to improve unemployed young immigrants’ work readiness skills and provide them with employment opportunities. The program was initiated in response to the demand for more skilled workers and the need to ensure immigrant youth are integrated into Finnish society. I serve on the project steering committee, train the youth, and now for the first time will serve as a mentor for some of the youngsters.

The program consists of work-readiness skills training and an internship. This is the first time we have included mentoring into the curriculum. Every one of the youngsters will get a Deloitte professional who serves as their mentor during this 14-week journey. As mentors, we provide guidance,  career planning, and answer those questions that might puzzle youngsters facing their first day at their internship company. We are aiming to create an open and trustworthy dialog between the participants and their mentors.

I am very pleased by how many Deloitte volunteers signed up for this task. I think this is a great example of Deloitte employees’ activeness in the local communities. For us, it’s not just words but actual hands-on volunteering and the willingness to put yourself out there!

The recruitment is about to start shortly and the program will launch early November as the youngsters arrive to Deloitte House where the training is held. I am confident that we will get a group of well-motivated students, as word has travelled among the youth that this is a truly unique opportunity for them.

I have been working with the OK! project for 3 years now, but have more energy and excitement than ever to make this a successful and life-changing experience for these youngsters, and I can say the same for my fellow mentors too! I will keep you posted on how my project moves along.

If you are interested in learning more visit the OK! project website on Deloitte.com.


Mia Liimo joined Deloitte Finland in 2004. Mia is a Marketing Advisor and leads Deloitte Finland’s Community Agenda, serves as the Corporate Responsibility Portfolio Manager, and is a Deloitte21 Fellow.

September 01, 2010

Deloitte21: Working with Junior Achievement's MESE program in Japan

I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to meet the Deloitte21 Fellows from all over the world last May in London. After sharing the wonderful experiences together during the workshop, I felt inspired by other Fellows and empowered to move our Deloitte21 program forward here in Japan.

After careful consideration, our Deloitte21 program project team decided to focus our efforts on assisting the MESE (Management and Economic Simulation Exercise) by Junior Achievement. We believe that the MESE program aligns well with the Deloitte21 mission of assisting underserved youth in developing 21st century skills.

MESE is a computer-simulated program developed by Junior Achievement. In the program, students assume the roles of corporate managers, and make production and marketing decisions for an imaginary product called Eco-Pen. During the simulation, students decide on pricing, amount of production, advertising cost, capital investment, and R&D expense. They analyze industry reports, balance sheets, profit and loss statements and market conditions before making their decisions and submitting them to the facilitator. The most successful teams will be those that best balance supply and demand at the highest level of production and price. The purpose of this program is to develop basic skills needed for social life, such as decision-making, courage to express different opinions from others, and acceptance of cultural diversity.

Over the past few months, we have been working closely with Junior Achievement to develop more effective ways to promote the MESE program to high schools all over Japan. Our objective is to raise awareness of these necessary skills that students will need to succeed in the 21st century economy to both students and their teachers through the promotion of the MESE program.

In order for our team to better understand the MESE process, several weeks ago Ms. Yoriko Kuroki, Director from Junior Achievement, facilitated an MESE simulation for our Deloitte21 team, enabling us to experience the program in action.

D21_Ms_Kuroki_Junior_Achievement Nine employees from different divisions participated in the activity. We were divided into three teams -- each team, or “company” was given a name of a major manufacturer. Our goal was to market a fictitious product called an “Eco-Pen.” By default, the pricing for each Eco-Pen was set at $30.  In the first round, each company had to decide on its initial selling price based upon the business information provided, and compete with other companies. The intent of this exercise was to provide the teams with a realistic market situation.

One team dropped the price to increase their sales volume, another raised the price to increase their profit margin. Our team decided not to change the price from the default. We obtained the performance results (Management and Performance Index) calculated by a computer application on the facilitator’s PC with the prices that each company set.  Based upon the results, we analyzed the data and made the subsequent decisions hoping to obtain higher performance results. We repeated the process several times which included adjusting the amount of production, advertising cost, capital investment, and R&D expense as well. 

The simulation lasted about two hours, and to my surprise, my team won with the highest performance score!  It was really interesting to see that one company never recovered from the bottom ranking, even after several rounds.D21_Japan2

Even accounting professionals like ourselves, with real-world experience working with clients were very excited participating in the simulation, and each of us found ourselves engaged in heated discussions as the game progressed.

According to Ms. Kuroki, “The key learning from the program for students is that decision-making is often accompanied by the result and the responsibility.  In the near future, students will face numerous situations in which they have to make a decision including choosing their future career path.”  She also said that if students could make decisions by themselves, they would take the responsibility and could accept the result.

D21_Japan1 As the next step, we are planning to develop marketing tools, such as brochures and promotional video clips, which will encourage teachers to use the program in their school curriculum. As the program is implemented, we believe that MESE will be more effective if facilitated by Deloitte professionals who have broader business knowledge and experiences. Therefore, we plan to select professionals who are willing to contribute to their alma maters by promoting the program and facilitating it as a touch point.  We hope that the schools will benefit from the presence of our professionals and in turn, our professionals will feel the sense of fulfillment from their contribution. By taking this approach, we anticipate that the program will continue and grow. We are really excited to meet high school students through this program!


Shinako Matsuzaki is a Certified Public Accountant and joined Deloitte in the US in 2006 where she performed accounting and auditing functions for major corporate clients. Shinako moved to Tokyo in April 2009 and is currently a Senior Consultant in Enterprise Risk Services as well as a Deloitte 21 Fellow.

July 23, 2010

Deloitte21: Project Siyakhula assists disadvantaged students across South Africa

It was fantastic to be part of the Deloitte21 workshop. I enjoyed interacting with the Deloitte21 Fellows and benefitted from the various presentations. I was particularly amazed at the amount of enthusiasm the students from Deloitte UK’s Employability Initiative showcased during their presentations. It reinforced the notion that if people are given opportunities and are nutured from a young age they can become exceptional future leaders.

Since our meeting in London, I have been involved in ensuring that two Project Siyakhula events take place. Project Siyakhula (which means, “we are growing”) is a programme which started in 1998 and is predominantly run by Deloitte trainee accountants across South Africa to assist disadvantaged pupils from townships in areas of accounting and mathematics. The programme has been taken to scale across the country, and today it is active in Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Kwa-Zulu Natal, Pretoria, and Johannesburg.

D21_SouthAfrica_1 
Our vision is to guide our students to see their lives beyond their immediate circumstances and to empower them to become phenomenal leaders. Volunteers from Deloitte teach accounting and mathematics to students in grades 10, 11, and 12. They also provide some guidance on soft skills such as problem solving, motivation, decision making and self awareness.

With the World Cup tournament taking place in South Africa, we thought that many of our students would not want to be tutored during this period. We were wrong! It is so inspiring to see the students’ willingness to learn, and they certainly want to make a better life for themselves by getting an education.

From the 21st – 25th June, volunteers from Deloitte’s Johannesburg office, from across all service lines, gave up their time to tutor 90 students from Zimisele Secondary school. The course involved tutoring and assessments of mathematics and accounting. A life skills component, with an emphasis on self awareness and decision making was held during the course of the week. We also hosted a sports event to ensure the students were given a well rounded experience.

D21_SouthAfrica_2 In the last week of June, the Deloitte Port Elizabeth office ran an action packed, learning filled week for 30 children from several previously disadvantaged schools. During the maths and accounting lessons, study guides and helpful tips were provided to the learners. The students were also required to write tests so that any problem areas could be identified, which also provided the Deloitte volunteers with the opportunity to observe improvements. All free time was filled with team activities and soccer and a big screen was erected so they could watch some soccer matches.

Feedback from the learners and Deloitte volunteers has been phenomenal, and we look forward to the rest of our programmes in our other regions. Below are some quotes from the learners:

  • "We appreciate all the work done for us, may you guys keep it up."
  • "I wish this programme could continue until the schools re-open. I was motivated."
  • "The programme went really well, now we understand a lot of things we couldn’t understand at school."

Samuel Payne is responsible for developing and managing the implementation of the corporate citizenship strategy and program for Deloitte Southern Africa. As a Deloitte21 Fellow he is responsible for strengthening the implementation of the firm’s various projects.

June 24, 2010

Deloitte21 workshop thoughts

I’ve been back in the office for a few days now after attending the inaugural Deloitte21 Fellows conference in London. I think my jet lag is now gone, and my brain is working (almost) normally again so I thought I’d share some reflections on the experience.

First, the travelogue portion: being in London was fantastic. I’ve only been to the UK once before and never had a chance to spend any time in London. Although most of our time was spent in meetings, I did have one day to explore the city, thanks to the cheaper airfare you get if you stay over a Saturday. Admittedly, I only saw a small portion of the city, but what I saw I just loved. The architecture of the buildings provides such a sense of history, the Royal Parks are green and tranquil, the shopping was terrific (!) and the people were (generally) very nice. And once you learn to look right and not left when you’re crossing the street it is very pedestrian friendly.

London_D21

But on to the conference itself: congratulations must go out to Julie Engerran and Stasha Fyfe, for organizing a really interesting three days for the Fellows. Bill Klepper, from Columbia University led much of the program and he was terrific… really engaged, very knowledgeable about leadership training (which was a focus of our conference) and genuinely committed to transferring some of his expertise to the participants.

One of the highlights of the three days for me was working with the students from the Deloitte UK Employability Program. These kids were terrific. First, to come out to attend a Deloitte program during their semester break, when most of their friends were off doing something much less productive and probably more fun was really impressive.

We took the students through a values-based leadership exercise that we had done ourselves the day before with Bill. Essentially, you start with a lifeline of yourself, and identify the experiences or major events in your life that have helped shape your personal values, and make you who you are. You then think through how these characteristics that you’ve developed can help you in your career down the road (for the students) or have helped you develop your personal leadership style (for the Fellows). Bill taught us that in order to be an effective leader, you have to “know yourself” and this exercise helped us do that.

The students were then asked to prepare a presentation about their career aspirations, and how their personal skills and values will help them achieve those aspirations. I was so impressed, not only with their level of self-awareness, but also their willingness to share their stories with us in a public setting. I hope they felt they learned as much from the day as I did.

I realize that my post is getting long, so I’ll continue my thoughts on the Deloitte21 Fellows kick-off very soon! (But before I sign off I have to send a big hello out to my fellow Fellows, who made my stay so enjoyable:Mia, Jia Li, Shinako, Caroline, Bill, Hedia, Sarah, Philippa, Sam, Charlotte and Martha!)



Leila Fenc manages the Deloitte Foundation in Canada and leads the Canadian firm’s community investment and corporate responsibility initiatives and is a part of the firm’s marketing leadership team.

June 18, 2010

Deloitte21 Fellowship is kicked-off with a 3-day workshop in London

It is my honor to introduce you to Deloitte21 – our global ambition to drive innovations in education and skills for underserved young people that will help them succeed in the 21st-century economy. Deloitte is committed to developing underserved students’ skills so they can become entrepreneurs, innovate, lead, be creative, think critically, and make good decisions – the skills needed to address the global challenges of today and the future.

2010 marks the start of the Deloitte21 Fellows program. 16 professionals from across the organization will collectively dedicate more than 4,500 over the next year in individual placements to support programs that provide underserved young people with an opportunity to develop 21st century skills.
 
On 31 May, the Deloitte21 Fellows convened in London for a 2.5 day workshop where they acquired the tools essential to become ambassadors for Deloitte21. Together, the fellows will define and execute strategies to leverage social media as a means to measure the reach and impact of their collective initiatives. This blog is one of the many tools they will use and I encourage you to actively engage with the fellows in this space. We want to hear from you!  Please tell us what you think we are doing well and provide ideas for strengthening the success of Deloitte21 in the coming years.

Over the coming weeks, our Deloitte21 Fellows will post their first comments on this blog and you will be able to get to know them better, and track their activities and the progress of their respective initiatives.

I look forward to hearing from you soon!



Julie Engerran serves as Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu’s Global Director of Corporate Responsibility. Julie provides thought leadership and subject matter expertise to help DTT’s global leadership set corporate responsibility strategy and direction and create related policy.  She also leads the member firms to align around large scale initiatives that support our CR position, including Deloitte21.