Tori Deems is a UMass Amherst alumni currently working in the Big Apple for Deloitte as a part of the SHINE Marketing Excellence rotation as an Associate. She talks with us about her side hustle hopes and what it is like working for one of “The Big Four” in New York.
Harper: What is your title and what does your day to day at work look like?
Tori: I am an associate within the SHINE Marketing Excellence rotation at Deloitte, one of the Big Four accounting firms, in New York City. The rotation allows for us to work simultaneously with 3 different marketing and/or communications teams every 3 months, whether that be supporting social media, brand, internal communications, etc. I love being able to try out different roles and responsibilities within Marketing Excellence at Deloitte! I am currently working on teams within Public Relations, Internal Communications, and Account-Based Marketing. Some of my responsibilities include user experience optimization for internal websites, writing media briefs, newsletter creation, and article writing for media outlets.
H: What would a productive day in your life (at work) look like?
T: Working on three separate teams with different workflows can be difficult to manage, but a productive day for me would be staying ahead of the curve with my schedule; creating agendas for my upcoming calls, having an organized list of to-do’s and checking off all tasks by the end of the day, doing some personal/professional development, checking in with my managers for feedback, setting up my schedule for the next day or days, and leaving the office with just enough energy to go to the gym after.
H: Do you have a side hustle or passion project?
T: I’m working on it! I am about two months into moving from Boston to NYC and starting my job full-time, so I haven’t developed a side hustle just yet. Some ideas I have are: taking a class on politics or women’s studies at one of the various educational institutes here in NYC, developing my own music-sharing app (I love music) or getting involved with a volunteer organization through Deloitte, and am open to more suggestions!
H: Is there anything (a past job, internship, or class you took in college) that was pivotal in getting you where you are today?
T: There are two experiences that I think really influenced the direction I took after college. The first was waitressing all throughout high school and college. I had very little marketing experience when first applying for the internship at Deloitte that resulted in me getting a full-time job offer, but in my interviews, I spoke to my customer service mindset that had been molded throughout my years as a waitress. If you can work in a restaurant you can do anything!
The second experience was taking my first Women’s Studies class in my sophomore year of college. Initially, I took the class as a general education requirement, but it ended up completely changing my outlook on the world, fueling my passion for corporate citizenship, and attracted me to Deloitte because of their community impact initiatives. After this class, I decided to minor in Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies, and now hope to travel down an impact-driven career path.
H: Do you have a work-life hack?
T: Not so much a hack, but more of a best practice! Mindfulness is key. I take time out of my day to go for a walk around the block, or meditate after work, or get in a tough workout with friends, or even just have a nice chat on the phone with my mom. Mindfulness looks different for everyone, but for me, it is those little moments that ground me and allow me to put my best foot forward in the office each day.
H: How have you formed your community at your workplace as well as personally?
T: I got extremely lucky at my job. When I started as an intern at Deloitte in the summer of 2018, I started with about nineteen others that were part of the SHINE “class”. We all were onboarded together in Boston, and although we were scattered across the country, we formed a strong bond as we went through the summer together. Starting at the firm full-time, many of these colleagues were beginning their full-time careers with me. The SHINE community made up of current and former members at Deloitte, is incredibly supportive, devoted to each other’s success, and has made me feel right at home from the moment I started at Deloitte.
H: What advice would you give to someone who is starting out in the work world for the first time?
T: Give yourself time. Nobody teaches you how to adjust to working full-time, and I found the transition quite difficult, as I was moving to a new city as well. I expected it to be super easy and to hit the ground running, but expectations rarely reflect reality! What I needed was for someone to tell me it is okay to not feel totally comfortable for a while, to prioritize my mental health, and have patience. After about two months I finally feel fully adjusted and am able to put complete effort into my job and my personal life.
H: What has surprised you most about starting a job?
T: One aspect of starting a job that has surprised me the most is the number of skills I have already learned and want to continue learning as I move through my career. Already, I can see my communication skills increasing tenfold, as most of the communicating I do at Deloitte is over the phone. Working with experienced and skilled project managers that prioritize my professional development has allowed me to seek opportunities for learning and exploring my interests. I was nervous starting out about not knowing everything, but that’s the beauty of a first job! You don’t know everything, and that allows you to absorb and learn every day.
H: What is your go-to office workwear?
T: Working at a professional services firm, business casual is a must. Typically I wear dresses (with pockets!) with tights and boots, wide-leg trousers and a sweater, or a blouse and dress-pants with flats. I love working in New York because I’m always getting inspiration on the streets and in the office for how to spice up my day-to-day outfits. I’m also all about the little touches like earrings, hair clips, headbands, necklaces, a good ascot, etc.
Thanks for sitting down with Holdette Tori!
Enjoyed reading about Tori and her work at one of "The Big Four"? Stay tuned for our next post where we'll have a chance to sit down with more working ladies!