Skip to main content
School of Economics and Finance

Aqil Ahmed

Image of Aqil Ahmed, graduate of Economics BSc, 2015

Graduate of Economics BSc, 2015

What does your role as Senior Consultant at Deloitte look like on a day-to-day basis? What made you choose your current role?

Being a consultant means never having a repetitive day. The work I do on a daily basis can vary so much, as we work in an agile environment. As new things arise, we work to resolve the problems with innovative solutions. There are clear milestones which need to be met on a roadmap, however the journey in getting there means having varied work days.

One day I could be focused on writing Java code to automate tests for new requirements, the next day I could be resolving high priority problems which have arisen on that morning. On other occasions I could be in meetings all day assisting the client to achieve the optimal solution.

I regularly write Java code for automated testing. This solution allows for products to be delivered to the highest quality with great coverage. It allows the transition from a product being built to going live quicker and with more quality assurance than the continuous time and effort of manual testing. I also regularly facilitate meetings, build new functions, lead amongst my team and work together to achieve what has been agreed with the client.

Aside from client work, I also have responsibilities to complete Deloitte-specific work, whether it’s building my career path or benefiting the firm. For me, this involves building a functionality to benefit our Quality and Test Engineering business. I am a Subject Matter Expert (SME) and lead for a particular sub-category which I have built which is API testing (strategy, automation, training and courses).

The reason I decided to embark on a career in Consulting was due to my personality really suiting the ‘life of a consultant’. Where you advise clients, build models to solve problems and see hard work benefit clients and consumers. I joined as a graduate and I have excelled to a senior position in a few years.


Can you tell me about a key turning point in your career (e.g. a big decision, a challenge you overcame)?

How I ended up in Consulting was the biggest turning point, not only in my career but in my life. I began my journey in Audit, adamant that I wanted to become an accountant. However, I soon realised that this career did not suit my personality. I was not happy and didn’t enjoy being on this career journey, so I made the bold move to resign and quit Audit after just 6 months into the graduate scheme. After doing this I worked hard in shaping my career and it was the best decision I have made.

I was able to finally take a step back and really think about where I wanted my career to go, based on what I enjoyed. This led me into consulting, as I always had innovative ideas and was willing to go the extra mile to build something to showcase the idea. I then chose technology because I saw the market moving towards this direction in the future and realised I could continue to learn.


How did your time studying Economics at Queen Mary equip you for your career?

Studying Economics taught me a great amount about the industry and finance overall. I was able to learn the skills which has helped me every day in my career. Also, achieving top grades enabled me to apply to the big firms and in turn start my career at Deloitte (firstly in Audit and now in Consulting).

The careers service helped me prepare for interviews and guided me with regards to practicing for them and then applying to graduate roles. As long as you were willing to put time aside to focus on interview techniques, the careers service was more than happy to help. I would go there after preparing for an interview to get feedback and guidance.


Why did you choose your degree subject? Why did you choose Queen Mary?

The honest truth is, I was stuck in two minds between Mathematics and Economics, as these were two subjects which I really enjoyed and saw myself studying within further education. However, I opted for Economics because I wanted to learn the different aspects to the economy and knew that I was able to select specific mathematical based modules.

I also knew that Economics is a highly valued degree to have achieved. Living in London, I selected Queen Mary as they had good ratings within Economics as well as being a Russell Group university.


What’s a piece of advice which changed your perspective?

As part of personal development, I was given the advice to focus my skills on something which will benefit me as an entity and not just for the sake of the company that I work for. This led me to building a product within my department which had never been done before.

During this journey I have been able to really broaden my skills and at the same time excel my career and improve my own CV. Before this piece of advice, I had the mindset of embarking on work which only benefited my role, however now after taking the advice on board I have been able to increase my own personal value both inside and outside of my immediate role. My CV has gone from strength to strength.


What advice would you give a current student or recent graduate considering their career options?

I would recommend that you take the time to assess your options and not to make uninformed quick decisions, just for the sake of achieving a graduate job. Use the careers service for interview practice and use the network you have as well as researching more into the types of roles which you are applying to. Definitely try new things and don’t ever give up if you get knocked down. Sometimes the careers we think are optimal are not suited to us and we find our feet in another career. If you keep fighting, you can achieve a successful career path.


What was the most memorable thing about your time at Queen Mary?

During my time, I was really focused on my studies, so achieving a First-Class honour in every year and as my final result was my biggest highlight. However, meeting great people and having new experiences will always be memorable, as one of my closest friends today is somebody I met at Queen Mary.


What has inspired you to achieve success?

I believe my background has really defined my passion for success. I come from a less fortunate background and this really gave me the push to focus my time and effort into studies. Moreover, I wanted to take the opportunities I had and not take anything for granted, which has led me to be successful. I didn’t come from elite schools but I wanted to prove that hard work and focus can lead to success irrespective of your background.


This profile was conducted by Alumni Engagement Coordinator, Hannah. If you would like to get in touch with Aqil or engage him in your work, please contact Hannah Dormor.

Follow SEF on Social Media:

Connect with the School of Economics and Finance on FacebookConnect with the School of Economics and Finance on InstagramConnect with the School of Economics and Finance on TwitterConnect with the School of Economics and Finance on LinkedInConnect with the School of Economics and Finance on YouTubeConnect with the School of Economics and Finance on Podcast

Back to top