I graduated from university in 2018 with a double Bachelor degree in Commerce and Business Information Systems. At the completion of my degree, I was able to secure a graduate role with BDO (Nth Qld). I liked the way the Cairns office combined a small-company feel with big opportunities, like support with your postgraduate studies and secondment opportunities both domestically and globally (dependent on travel restrictions at the time).
As I was finishing off my degree in Melbourne and hadn’t moved to Cairns yet, I completed the application process including an aptitude test and interview virtually. I interviewed with People & Culture and a Manager from Business Services in April 2018 and was due to graduate in July 2018. When I received the offer and moved to Cairns, I was able to meet the team and tour the office so was made to feel very welcome from the start.
My BDO career began with six months of bookkeeping in the Business Accounting team. This included performing data entry, generating bills and invoices, working on activity statements and building up to working directly with clients. Then I spent six more months in a hybrid role mixing Business Accounting with Business Services, before I joined the latter full time.
Thriving at BDO Cairns
Due to my start in bookkeeping, I felt very well equipped to assist clients with business services’ matters. Getting a feel for how financial statements come together has been beneficial in servicing my group of clients.
The sheer variety of clients BDO services has become my favorite part of the work. I get the opportunity to work on a range of clients across tourism, construction, retail and hospitality to name a few. It's always something different that I’m working on and I’m always learning something new. Every client has something come up that I haven't heard of before.
Working at BDO has also let me pursue other opportunities, like my postgraduate study. Currently I'm studying my third subject towards my CA qualification and I really appreciate the support that BDO provides to employees who are studying.
The study assistance is just part of the employee-focused office culture. Though the COVID-19 restrictions have naturally affected the ability to socialise, the office has always been a friendly place, with plenty of team building. BDO (Nth Qld) also looks out for its employees' mental health, too. We have access to helpful workplace wellness programs like Benestar to make sure we're supported in any aspect of lives if we need help.
Advice for future applicants
If you're thinking you want to follow in my footsteps, I'd recommend starting with bookkeeping or an assistant accounting role if you are given the opportunity to do so. A vacation program or undergraduate position could also be a great way to get a feel for the responsibilities and office culture at BDO, and that might point the way to a long-term career.
To discover whether this is the right path for you, learn more about BDO's student and graduate roles.