Cristina Velilla: from CEU to one of the Big Four accounting firms

She is in 4th year studying our double degree in Business Administration and Marketing and is the general student representative for both the degree in Business Administration and the University. Undoubtedly, two exciting challenges to finish off her time at CEU with. However, the best is yet to come: as soon as she graduates, she will be joining Deloitte, one of the world’s biggest accounting firms. Her name is Cristina Velilla, and in this interview, she tells us how she got here, amongst many other things.

You will start working at Deloitte once you finish your double degree this year. Tell us how that happened.

I was interested in doing an internship in one of the so-called Big Four and saw that Deloitte offered the opportunity to participate in their Deloitte Summer Experience, where you benefit from one week learning from them in Madrid, so I applied.

I was one of the 100 Spanish students selected, out of the 16,000 candidates that applied to the programme. We attended classes on auditing, risks, financial systems… whatever we each found most interesting, and then we had to work in groups to solve some case studies.

During our classes, there were two or three members of the HR team assessing us. Then in September I got an e-mail from Deloitte telling me to interview with them. I was successful and now I have the opportunity to join their team once I finish my studies.

Our student Cristina with other selected candidates during the Deloitte Summer Experience

Which aspects do you think Deloitte has valued the most during your application?

I guess both my academic records and my work experience during my years of studying. I think they valued my internships, both national and international.

Has CEU given you the opportunity to undertake internships?

Yes, of course. I did an international internship in the United Kingdom but I have also done some in Spain, in financial departments in companies such as BBVA.

Last year I also took part in an international Marketing competition called “Markstrat”, which is organized by several universities. With the support of my teachers, I had the opportunity to represent CEU Valencia.

How will this experience impact your professional career?

I think it is going to be a really enriching experience from both a personal and a professional point of view – let’s not forget that Deloitte is one of the most valued accounting firms in the world of auditing.

“In the selection process, I think my academic record and the internships I did through CEU Valencia, in both England and in financial departments in companies like BBVA, strengthened my application.”

Tell us about your future challenges.

In the long term I would like to have a job that I enjoy and can help me develop my skills.

Enjoying a “different” summer at Deloitte

Going back to the present, tell us more about your role as a student representative.

I try to pass on all the suggestions that students make to make improvements. I am aware that it is not an easy task because we need to find a consensus between the students and the university, and sometimes you encounter a conflict of interest. Nevertheless, I always try to build bridges so we can come to a final agreement.

“For me, CEU has been like my second home, where my peers have come to form part of my life and I have always had the support of my teachers.”

We must also take into account the international dimension of the university, which increasingly  has a larger number of students from other countries. In this sense, the delagation work together with Campus Life so international students feel just as well integrated.

Cristina and other CEU Valencia student representatives with the Rector of our university

Any advice to give or share with our freshers or even our future university students?

If I had to give any advice to those hesitating between a normal degree or a double degree, I would encourage them to opt for the latter. I know that it requires more effort but students holding a double degree will have more career options and a better professional future.

As for those in the first years of their degree: don’t give up and keep working to reach your dreams. In the end all your efforts will pay off!

In your case, you have achieved that of course.  Let’s talk about CEU Valencia: what is it that you value most about this university?

Above all the close relationship between students and professors, who are willing to share their professional expertise and are always available to listen and answer any questions students may have.

For me, CEU Valencia has been like my second home, a place where my peers have come to form part of my life and where I have always felt supported by my teachers from both an academic and a professional point of view.

“As a representative, I try to address CEU’s international dimension, which increasingly  has a larger number of students from other countries, and work together with Campus Life.”

Well, enjoy and continue learning during your last stint here at CEU Valencia and in your impending job at Deloitte. Thank you very much.

You are very welcome.

Original source here.
Revised by: Emily Mizon

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