John Psaila, Managing Partner of Deloitte Luxembourg

Deloitte Luxembourg hosted the second edition of the « My First Enterprise » final in May 2019 and has been supporting Jonk Entrepreneuren Luxembourg over the last years. We interviewed M. 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 last year.

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.

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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 the 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.

You hosted the My First Enterprise program and saw the various projects that the teams presented. Did anything surprise you? How did you find the program and what did you think about the finale and the presentations?

The first thing that I found striking was the diversity of ideas and products presented on the day.  It was impressive to see the vast amount of creativity and innovation brought to the table by our young participants. A second feature I found memorable was how passionate the presenters were about their work and their projects. A third aspect of the day was how professional the teams were to one another. You could definitely see friendly competition among the participants.

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 learned was that even with limited means, you could do great things! The Junior Achievement program gave me my first exposure to 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 of 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.