If you're an internship candidate or a graduate wondering just what it means to work for BDO, my experience going from the vacation program to a graduate role in mergers and acquisitions can provide a great inside snapshot.
Joining BDO as a student
I completed my Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Economics and Finance at the end of 2019. I'd already discovered BDO in my second year of university when I applied for and completed a vacation placement. I applied for the vacation program with BDO as everything I heard about the company from other people was positive.
The internship assignment in the valuations team was rewarding, so shortly after receiving my degree, I accepted an offer to work for BDO as a full time graduate. Once in the permanent role, I moved from valuations to the mergers and acquisitions (M&A) team.
Day-to-day life as an M&A analyst
As an analyst in the mergers and acquisitions team, my everyday responsibilities include fielding requests and questions from clients as well as liaising with small to medium sized buyers and updating Salesforce. M&A works with a variety of industries, with the Perth office being especially attuned to the mining and tech sectors.
Every day is a little different for M&A analysts, and I've been able to build pitch decks, create information memorandums, perform market analysis, market companies to potential buyers and more. Partners on the M&A team expose graduate-level employees to the whole process and allow us to interact directly with clients, building our early-career confidence.
2020 was obviously a difficult time to be in business, and it meant quickly getting used to new practices — such as working from home. My teammates and I felt supported throughout this time, with daily corporate finance calls and team check-ins, allowing team members to stay in touch, along with community-building remote social activities.
Advice for potential applicants
While it's common for students or grads to be hesitant about applying for opportunities, especially if they're not sure of the path they want to take, I'd advise you to go for it, and to be yourself in the interview as this could be the start to your dream job.
While a commerce background may help you thrive in a corporate finance role, there's no rigid set of skills applicants must have — the technical learning is done on the job. Willingness to learn and openness to feedback are definitely key traits for the role.
Discovery through experience
Upon taking the M&A role, I realised it fit my skills and interests in a way I hadn't fully anticipated, from creativity to analysis. The corporate finance group's focus on tight-knit teamwork was also rewarding.
Additionally, I am really pleased I decided to join the BDO social club. The social club organises a lot of great events, from movie screenings to the annual Christmas party. BDO also provides a lot of networking and career development opportunities, like the junior advisory nights hosted by the Corporate Finance division.
Although I haven't started postgrad studies yet, I know there are lots of workshops and classes available, especially ones aimed at employees considering completing their chartered accountancy qualification
To find out what you can discover about yourself through a role at BDO, learn more about the programs for students and graduates.