The benefits of completing work experience

12 March 2021

Ben Jenner, Assistant Accountant, Business Services |

If you're making your way through university, you may be wondering whether you should seek out work experience. What would it be like, and what are the advantages? Hopefully my perspective as a university student working within the Business Services team at BDO can help you get a better understanding.

Joining BDO as a student

At present, I'm a full-time university student pursuing a Bachelor of Commerce degree with a major in Accounting. During the academic year, I work three days a week and during university breaks and when workflow increases, I work full-time. I appreciate the way BDO allows me to juggle full-time work, study and extracurricular activities. BDO offers paid study leave to their undergraduates and graduates, which I have been able to take for exams.

I started my career with BDO with a four week placement within Business Services during the 2019-2020 summer holiday. When the Assistant Accountant position opened up in 2020, BDO made me an undergraduate offer, which I readily accepted. It was definitely an advantage that I had already undertaken placement at BDO, so they knew how I performed on the job and fit within the team when they offered me the position.

To gain work experience, I'd highly encourage anyone to look at the BDO careers website and look at what opportunities the office closest to them has to offer. This could range from CA achiever programs to vacation placements and more.

While I was initially deciding between Audit and Business Services career paths, I chose the latter after becoming passionate about the work during my placement. My current role involves working with two Partners who service clients across multiple industries. I prepare tax returns, financial reports, and business statements. I also perform taxation research and other duties as needed.

Taking advantage of development opportunities

When it comes to learning practical applications for business knowledge, as well as building confidence in career path choices, my placement with BDO has been invaluable. While university has provided me with a really important basis of knowledge, I found working and putting everything into a practical context much more exciting.

BDO also offers plenty of personal and professional enrichment opportunities, including tax training every month. There is also a buddy system, so there is always someone available to provide answers to your questions or help the new starters to feel comfortable.

Embracing a welcoming business culture

Even beyond the buddy system, everyone from the Partners to Managers and beyond have been very welcoming and helpful. I've found the collaboration, support and care at BDO has really set it apart from other companies. The BDO values of #Bold, #Human and #One show in the way the firm delivers outcomes to clients and employees.

There are networking and social opportunities offered throughout the year, including EOFY and EOY functions, right through to team activities including a netball league.

Working at BDO, I've felt free to apply and develop my expertise and knowledge, supported by the whole team. Once I graduate from university, I'm planning to complete the CA Program and become a Chartered Tax Adviser. Long-term, I envision a career with BDO.

If you feel a student role may be right for you, visit our recruitment page to learn more.