My graduate experience

14 February 2018

Joanna Petrohilos, Graduate, Business Services |

I'd heard about a number of firms when I was looking for graduate roles back in February, but it was the assessment centre that really made me realise I wanted to work for BDO. While at other firms I had to do things like numerical tests, with BDO it was much more practical. We did a client case study and then got to mingle with current staff to find out what they do on a daily basis.

I was really pleased to find out I'd got the job as a BDO Graduate in Business Services and I haven't looked back since.

Opportunities to learn and develop

Now, ten months in, I've completed the first two modules of my Chartered Accounting (CA) program, worked with Partners and Managers across the Business Services team and even begun liaising with clients. Business Services is great because the work we do is so diverse and even at graduate level we get a lot of exposure to different types of tasks and industries.

I've learnt so much already, helped along by BDO's amazing attitude towards professional development. In Sydney I completed my tax training, had a week long introduction to bookkeeping, as well as undertaking regular in-house training on a range of relevant topics. BDO has been particularly supportive during my CA studies. We have five workshops per module delivered by an internal mentor who helps us through our studies. We're also allowed three days paid leave per module for study, which has been a real help.

Working for BDO

One of the best things about working for BDO is that the firm’s personal approach means that I get fantastic support, but the firm is also big enough that there's a lot of opportunities for career development. As a grad you don't get lost in BDO, you have the power to do things, get involved and make a real difference at the firm.

My day-to-day work can include anything from preparing accounts and tax returns, to monthly management reporting and payrolls. I did accounting at university, and putting it in its practical context is so different and so much more exciting. All organisations - no matter their size - need accounting work so it's an important job and I feel like I'm really helping businesses succeed.

I can't wait to start working more with clients. One thing I noticed from the beginning is that at BDO there's a strong culture of collaboration. This applies to client relationships but also between Partners, managers and grads, as well as across departments and offices. This is supported by the many social events that BDO holds. We have regular drinks, days out and sports teams where we all get to meet each other and build relationships.

I've only been here 10 months, but in that time I've learnt so much. My advice for anyone thinking about applying - you don't need to know everything at first and you will certainly have lots of questions. What you do need is a willingness to learn. If you've got that, you'll be a great fit for BDO.