Deloitte Luxembourg sponsored the third edition of the “My First Enterprise” final in May 2020 and has supported Jonk Entrepreneuren Luxembourg for the past seven years. We interviewed John Psaila, Managing Partner of Deloitte Luxembourg about his impressions.
Could you describe your career at Deloitte and what you like about your job?
I am currently the Managing Partner of Deloitte in Luxembourg. I joined Deloitte as a junior in 1995 and, since then, have worked at three different Deloitte member firms throughout my career. I joined the Luxembourg office in 2001 and was appointed Partner in 2008, to the firm’s Executive Committee as Quality & Risk Leader in 2015, and Quality, Reputation & Risk Leader in 2016, until my latest appointment as Managing Partner three years ago.
What I enjoy most about my job is working across multi-faceted sectors as well as constantly interacting with highly talented professionals – peers, colleagues, clients, our global network and our local community to name a few. It is these interactions, with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures that are my driver.
Deloitte chose to support Jonk Entrepreneuren Luxembourg (JEL) a.s.b.l. with sponsorship and involving volunteers in the Fit for Life and My First Enterprise programs. What led to that decision and what motivated your choice in supporting JEL?
I am a firm believer that entrepreneurship should be engrained in the next generation’s DNA. Students entering the workforce with a sense of purpose and belonging in what they do can help create a stronger society. Entrepreneurship is one way to bridge an understanding between work and the global economy. Supporting programs like Fit for Life and My First Enterprise exposes the next generation to a wealth of knowledge, and is one of the reasons we have sponsored JEL over the years.
How does volunteering with JEL bring value to your company? Why is it important for your company to have employees committed to volunteering?
Corporate citizenship positively influences change in our communities, supports future leaders, and creates great pride among our professionals. With our WorldClass program, we are applying our core skills, experience, and global reach to empower more people through education, skills development, and access to opportunity. We believe that by collaborating with businesses, government, and educators, we can transform learning and enable individuals to access the skills they really need to meet future job demands. JEL is a perfect partner for our global WorldClass initiative. Sponsoring and volunteering at JEL gives us a means to share knowledge and expertise with our future leaders. In doing so, our professionals can feel like they are making a difference in the lives of others.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s final had to be held in a digital format. What did you think of the format shift?
First of all, it was extremely important to us that the pandemic would not interrupt our support for the program and that this final would happen despite the circumstances. We appreciated all the hard work that the students had put in and how eager they were to compete in this final. The transformation into a digital format was a success and it provided us all with a great lesson on agility and the capacity to adapt—skills that are pivotal for future talent and that we deeply value at Deloitte.
In your youth, you participated in a Junior Achievement program. What was most memorable from that program? Did you learn any skill then that you still use today? Please describe your experiences and elaborate.
When I was 16-years-old I was involved in a similar program, where a few of my classmates and I entered an entrepreneur challenge. For our project, we decided to manufacture candles and name our company ‘Flames’. My job was to be the chief financial officer (CFO). During the experience, we learned how to build a team and leverage our individual strengths. A great lesson learnt was that even with limited means, you could do great things! The Junior Achievement program gave me my first exposure in diplomacy. From the experience, I learned the importance of compromise, and at the same time, when to speak up and share your thoughts as a means to finding the best solution. This skillset is something I still use today. Looking back, I realize that the friendships I made in the program have lasted for over 25 years. Even now, when I go back to Malta, I sometimes see my former Junior Achievement teammates and we still talk about our Flames experience.
Many people will read your testimony. Do you have something to say that could motivate them to participate in our programs or support JEL more generally?
From experience with my own Junior Achievement program and with Deloitte sponsoring the JEL program this past year, I am well aware of the fantastic opportunities these programs create for motivated students. From a student angle, joining such initiatives is a great way to get out of your day-to-day routine and work together with a common objective. On a corporate level, Deloitte is a proud sponsor. We are happy that our JEL sponsorship and volunteering could help make an impact that matters for our future leaders.