BDO's summer vacation program was one of the best things I could have done to prepare myself for the world of work. I completed my Vacation placement during my final year of University and spent four weeks in the BDO Cairns office working on case studies that spanned across Business Services and Audit.
Putting my degree into practice
During this time, I got to put my Bachelor of Business (majoring in accounting and financial management) into practice. The case studies were taken from real client projects that the team at BDO had completed in the past. The vacation students worked on each from start to finish, giving us a full picture of what day-to-day life at BDO would be like.
It was an amazing opportunity to see what the job itself would be like, as well as get a feel for the culture at BDO Cairns.
There was such a welcoming environment from the very beginning. We had buddies (either graduates, accountants or senior accountants) to help us through each case study, and this support has continued in my time working here. All of the Partners have an open door policy and are happy to help whenever we have questions. We also receive a lot of training - particularly throughout your Chartered Accountant studies, which I completed in October 2017.
Learning new things every day
Another key advantage of undertaking the vacation program was that it helped me realise which division I wanted to work in as a graduate. Originally, I wasn't sure whether I wanted to go into Business Services or Audit, but after completing the program I realised Business Services was for me. I love that every day I'm learning new things, no day is boring and I get a huge range of personal and professional development opportunities.
I knew I wanted to work at BDO within just a few days of starting the vacation program. Fortunately, BDO made the application process easy. They hold an exit interview with you after you complete the vacation program, ask you when you'd like to start a graduate role should you be successful and it didn't take long for me to find out I'd achieved a permanent role. I was thrilled to hear this, and it was great completing my final year of University knowing I'd already got my graduate role sorted.
My advice for those still at University would be to gain some practical work experience as early as possible. There are all sorts of vacation programs out there, and they're very easy to apply to. With BDO, it was a matter of an online application, an online interview, a face-to-face interview and some online testing. The program has led to so many great things I can't recommend it enough!