Learning & developing as a Graduate: Dominic Lai

How did you find your student experience joining BDO?

Starting from the interview process for the Graduate position, my experience with BDO has been very pleasant. Interviews can be daunting and tedious - especially for me as I had little interview experience. BDO’s interview process was however very personable.

They made sure to provide a comprehensive summary of what the team and working at BDO would be like. I was contacted directly to advise I was successful in getting the position.

Why did you choose BDO?

I chose BDO over other offers due to the personal touch I experienced throughout the process. This made me feel like BDO really cared about their staff.

Since joining, BDO has not disappointed. My team has been very supportive from day one. I commenced with very minimal understanding of tax (which is 70% of what our team does). Everyone was very patient in training me up and taking the time to answer all my questions. There have also been so many events organised that have helped me integrate into BDO.

What was your biggest surprise coming to BDO and what makes you stay?

The biggest surprise commencing in as a Graduate was the number of opportunities to work with everyone in the team, including directly with Partners.

There are several things that make me stay at BDO. Firstly, the learning opportunities available to me is a big reason. Being the only Graduate in a team that has a wide variety of work (employment tax, expatriate tax, and pay compliance) means I’ve had the opportunity to get my hands on a bit of everything.

The team have nurtured my development and I’ve learnt so much just in my first year. I think working at BDO and being in this team will be really valuable in developing my professional career.

Another reason is the social aspect. BDO held a lot of social events during the year which allowed me to get to know people outside my team and service line. There has also been a variety of graduate and early careers events which are a great way to build a sense of belonging. 

What have you enjoyed about your service line and what didn’t you expect?

I’ve really enjoyed being able to work across the different areas within my team and being able to develop a well-rounded set of professional skills and knowledge. One thing I didn’t expect was being sent on a business trip to Sydney to meet a client as a Graduate. Although it was more of a one-off experience, it was one of the main highlights of my year.

How have you experienced the BDO values in the workplace?

I think BDO really demonstrates the value of STRIVE when working with clients. For every project or task that I work on, our team puts in their best efforts and ensures we cover the finest details so we can deliver the highest quality work for clients.

When attending client meetings with my managers, it’s clear that the clients’ needs are prioritised, and we continuously communicate with clients to ensure we understand their needs. This shows the value of HUMAN’ and how we are honest and authentic in our relationships with clients.

How would you describe BDO’s culture?

BDO has a warm and inclusive culture. From my experience, BDO has been very nurturing in terms of developing me professionally and I feel a sense of belonging in the workplace.

What makes working at BDO rewarding for you?  

Being able to expand my knowledge and professional skills has been really rewarding. Having such a supportive and encouraging team around me, I’m always learning something new and developing my skills. Looking back at the start of the year, it’s really satisfying to see how much I’ve developed and grown.

How have you been supported by leaders/managers in the firm?

My managers have taken time to prepare detailed feedback for work that I’ve completed, which has reassured me of my strengths, as well as helping me identify areas for improvement.

I catch up fortnightly with my manager to help me keep on track with my goals and ultimately to support my career aspirations.

How has joining BDO supported you to achieve your personal aspirations and/or career goals? 

Prior to joining BDO, I had very little idea of what I wanted to do with my career. It has been helpful to join a nurturing environment where I’m encouraged to develop at a pace that I’m comfortable with while discovering what areas I’m interested in.

I catch up with my manager regularly to talk openly about my progress and discuss what I can do to stay on track with my career goals.

Joining BDO has helped me develop my career in a warm, encouraging environment, while maintaining a well-balanced lifestyle.

Having started my career journey as a Graduate with little direction, it has been an absolute joy working at BDO. I can confidently say that joining BDO was a great decision for me.