These days it's not that normal to be working for the same company since graduation, but Business Services at BDO Brisbane has provided me with a lot of opportunities while being so flexible and supportive that I have felt fulfilled in my role here.
About ten years ago, I applied for a role as a vacationer, having had friends who'd told me how important work experience is when applying for graduate roles. I worked in both Business Services and Audit during the four-week vacation program. The opportunity to complete the two rotations was one of the main things that attracted me to undertaking a vacation placement at BDO, as I wanted to try my hand at as many things as possible before deciding what to do full-time.
I loved the culture so accepted the undergraduate role that was offered and went full-time very soon after finishing university. It was great to put what I was learning at university (Commerce and Business Management) into practice.
It's easy to pursue your own interests at BDO
My favourite part of the job is working with different people and client communication. I've worked with a range of clients, from "mum and dad" individuals to listed clients and multinationals. They all have amazing stories and insights to share, and it's wonderful to work with them and see their businesses evolve.
Recently, I've been pursuing an interest in the technology space with cloud accounting and integration. It is rewarding to see how these technologies can help clients and give them back some time, as well as create new opportunities within our office. When I started developing an enthusiasm for accounting technology, I went and had a discussion with my Partner (the Partners’ doors are always open) and was given the opportunity to get involved and lead projects in this area locally and nationally. I love how easy it is to follow your own interests at BDO.
Support and flexibility at all stages of your career
BDO is equally supportive during our postgraduate training. My Chartered Accounting (CA) studies were harder than I'd anticipated, but so many people were going through it with me that there was a real sense of understanding and empathy. Being part of a chartered firm means you have a lot of extra resources going through the process - things like regular training sessions, extra notes and help from people within BDO.
This support has continued since having my first child two years ago. Towards the second half of my maternity leave, the offer was there to work on a couple of jobs which allowed me to keep up my knowledge and contact with my clients. When I was ready I came back part-time and gradually increased the number of hours to an almost full-time equivalent. At all times BDO has worked in partnership with me, asking what I need and being very supportive and in return, I am a more engaged employee. Flexibility allows me to balance my home and work priorities through flexible hours and working from home. It has been a pretty smooth transition and I really appreciate the ability to have this balance.
A real work highlight for me was the two months I spent doing a secondment in the Wellington office assisting with compliance work for the team in New Zealand. Having the chance to work and live in a foreign city is something not all firms offer and it was great to learn from them, especially as at the time they were really advanced with cloud accounting.
Another reason I've stayed at BDO so long is the people. The culture is great, everyone is so supportive, and it's a fun place to work. I have met some great people and made a lot of friends over the years and that has made it somewhere that I can enjoy coming to work to each day.