Graduates & Interns

Great conversations

Our graduates and interns aren't just a number in a universe of number crunchers, but valued members of a close-knit team.

Getting to know your colleagues is important to us. Around the country we hold social events including Friday night catch ups, lock-out lunches, quiz and movies nights. All of this creates an environment that supports your personal and professional growth.

Meet our graduates and interns








Angela Zhong

2020/21 Business Advisory Services Intern, Auckland, University of Auckland

My summer Internship at Baker Tilly Staples Rodway has been such a fulfilling and exciting experience, especially after this tumultuous year. While studying Accounting and Japanese at the University of Auckland, I always thought I would have to choose one or the other to focus my career on. When searching for summer opportunities in the accounting industry, I came across Baker Tilly Staples Rodway and in particular, Team Japan and the Business Advisory Services (BAS) team. I applied for the BAS role as I wanted to experience what it was like to work with clients and understanding how different each client work, and what the bridge between New Zealand and Japanese business is like.

I started my role as a BAS intern at Baker Tilly Staples Rodway in November 2020 and right from the start I have felt the warm and welcoming culture from within the team. As this was my first professional role in the accounting industry, I wasn't sure what it would be like to working in full time in a firm. However, I have had a lot of support from not only my buddy and manager, but I also felt free to ask anyone for help when needed. I have found that with the help and support of the team, I have been able to learn a lot about industry practice and how to apply the skills I learned in University to work for clients. So far I have been given the opportunity to do a range of in-depth work that has given me a better perspective of New Zealand and Japanese business. There is also a big emphasis on work-life balance which is really great to have within the firm as it feels less pressured and gives me more focus on learning and understanding my work. 

The best part of the internship so far has definitely been the people and culture within the firm. Everyone has been open and friendly and really have made me feel as though I am part of the team from the start. There are also a range of events and activities where we can socialize such as summer touch and soccer, social club events, and annual events like the Christmas Party. I really enjoyed going to these events and playing soccer as it has given me the chance to know the rest of the team better.

Overall, I am very grateful for the experience I have had at Baker Tilly Staples Rodway and I would definitely recommend this internship to anyone who is looking to gain more knowledge and experience in a supportive and open work environment.

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Boston-Kenzo Azuma 

2020/21 Business Advisory Services Intern in Auckland, Auckland University

My internship at Baker Tilly Staples Rodway has given me an excellent insight into the world of accounting and professional services. As a university student who has never previously worked an office job, the prospect of starting a full time 'real world' job had me excited and slightly nervous.

My nervousness was quickly dispelled after I met the team I would be working with. Everyone was kind, welcoming and understanding. I liked that each of us interns were assigned a buddy who would be our first port of call if we had any questions. My buddy did an amazing job of teaching me everything I needed to know, making my introduction to work at Baker Tilly an enjoyable experience.

I found that the collaborative culture at Baker Tilly was a highlight of my internship. I found that I could ask anyone a question whether it be a new grad or a director, and everyone was always willing to help each other. There were also numerous events for everyone to get involved in. In the first few weeks of our internship, us interns joined multiple lunches, sports games and activities like Secret Santa.

As for the work itself, it was also enjoyable and interesting. I personally did work for a multitude of clients ranging from individuals to large complex organisations. I was frequently involved in preparing tax returns, financial statements and several other tasks.

To sum up my short time here, I can confidently say that it was a valuable and enjoyable experience that I cannot recommend enough for students wanting to take the first step towards a career in accounting.

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Kate Anderson

2020/21 Business Advisory Services Intern in Auckland, Victoria University of Wellington

During my internship application process, I was drawn to Baker Tilly Staples Rodway's engaging people, warm culture and close-knit team environment. I chose the Business Advisory Services Team to experience working for clients, solving 'real-world' problems and to put my university skills to the test.

My time so far at Baker Tilly Staples Rodway has been invaluable. From day one we were buddied up with Senior team members, who showed us the ins-and-outs of life in the professional world. My buddy makes time to help whenever I need, and no question goes unanswered. The intern support network is outstanding.

At Baker Tilly Staples Rodway there is a great work / life balance. I was able to transition from university life to full-time work very quickly. I have had the opportunity to attend many extra trainings, social events and play for the Touch Rugby team.

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Libby Ramsay

2020 Intern & Graduate, Taranaki

I began my journey at Baker Tilly Staples Rodway in June 2018, starting as a part-time intern, helping out in administration and reception; then progressed to the billing department. This gave me an all-round feel for the organisation. And in my opinion, it was the best way to ease into the full time working environment of an accounting firm which can be quite daunting for a fresh-faced student.

The firm supported me through my studies which included an industry project where I got the opportunity to home in on a set of procedures & recommend improvements for the firm. This involved working with people who challenged my way of thinking and getting a deeper insight into business decision making. This was a big commitment for the firm as I used their time & resources, but they were more than happy to support me.

I chose to apply at Baker Tilly not only because they are one of the leading firms in the industry but because they are community minded and are committed to helping out different organisations; from supporting the Life Education Trust to donating equipment & furniture to not-for-profit organisations. One thing I've loved about Baker Tilly is not only gaining key experiences in the field I wish to pursue, but also being able to be involved in community events with my colleagues. Recently I've participated in like the Food Bank Annual Appeal run, Round the Mountain relay & our local indoor netball team.

A varied team is also key for me; where I get the opportunity to discuss business from different perspectives, mixing marketing, HR, business advisory, information systems and accounting to see how these can work together to improve a business all round. As I majored in applied management accounting the full picture that this working environment provides fits perfectly for me. I couldn't be more grateful for the opportunities Baker Tilly has provided for me and how much they've allowed me to grow over the years I've been with them.

Starting in the business advisory team at the start of this year has been a bit of a learning curve and challenging at times but I couldn't have a better team to support me. I look forward to my future with Baker Tilly and couldn't recommend it more as an amazing place to work, grow and prosper - surrounded by supportive, passionate and business savvy people!

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Victor Chua 

2020/21 Tax Intern in Auckland, University of Auckland

My summer internship experience at Baker Tilly Staples Rodway has been a great learning experience. There is a culture shock coming into this professional setting, but the team have made the transition as smooth as possible. Everyone is open to questions no matter how big or small and provide valuable advice on how to work better. Being able to work at one of the most reputable accounting firms in New Zealand has given me valuable work experience that has helped me grow as a learner.

The tax team are all very inclusive and took every step possible to ensure I understood what I was doing and understand the value behind the work. Working in the tax team has given me valuable real-world experience. You work with real clients right from the get-go and pick up key skills along the way. I've been fortunate enough to learn from and work alongside highly trained and experienced professionals at the top of their field. The buddy system is great as you always have someone to guide you down the right track. The tax team works as one big family. You get the chance to work with everybody in the team and they all are very supportive. Seeing how much care they provide to each of their clients truly makes me proud to be a part of this team.

I chose Baker Tilly Staples Rodway for my internship as they really value learning and support their staff to reach their true potential. The emphasis on a healthy work environment and helping you grow as an individual made the choice easy when deciding where to work.

The culture here at Baker Tilly Staples Rodway is amazing. They have a very welcoming environment and really care about you as an individual. The team go out of their way to make you feel part of the team and always make you want to come back the next day. There are a lot of opportunities to get to know everyone through our team morning teas, training lunches, social club events, and our after-work sports teams.

I am truly fortunate for my experience here at Baker Tilly Staples Rodway and grateful for being given the chance to do my internship at such a great environment.

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Caitlyn Smith

2020 Graduate in Taranaki, Open Polytechnic

I started at Baker Tilly Staples Rodway Taranaki in July 2018, when I returned to the region having lived in Southland for 10 years. Moving from one end of the country to the other is daunting enough, let alone starting a new job whilst studying. Thankfully, the team here is basically a big family, which made the transition into work a whole lot less daunting.

Whilst studying through Open Polytechnic, I was working part-time in our Payroll and Billing team. Being a part of this team gave me good foundations into our internal systems and processes, as well as exposure to client contact.

Since finishing my degree in October 2019, I have been given many opportunities to work within the different departments, which has given me a taste of the various areas the firm specialises in. In February I was given the chance to work in our Audit Department (which was of course complicated by the COVID-19 lockdown). Auditing was never my strong subject at Uni, however the Audit team took me under their wing and made me feel right at home. Even though my time in Audit was short-lived, I felt as though I truly was part of their team.

In May 2020, after lock-down ended, I moved into the Business Advisory Services team. Each new graduate is paired with a 'buddy', someone who acts as your mentor and who can answer all of the 'silly' questions - which makes it a lot less overwhelming knowing that you're supported and guided while you learn the ropes.

Overall, I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Baker Tilly Staples Rodway Taranaki and I really do feel a part of this big family. I can't wait to see what opportunities my future will bring here, and I look forward to continuing to grow with the support of my colleagues.

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Cassie Grant & Thomas Kelly

2020 BAS & Audit Graduates, Wellington 

We started our careers at Baker Tilly Staples Rodway in late January 2020. From stepping through the doors, we knew this was where we wanted to work and who we wanted to work for. From our first day we instantly recognised that we were working in a collaborative and supporting environment, so this allowed us to adapt to the working life quickly.  

Cassie - BAS

On my second day on the job in Business Advisory Services I was working with clients and obtaining real life knowledge. This has allowed me to quickly expand my accounting knowledge as well as providing me with a sense of responsibility and duty. Although I was hired as a business advisory graduate, I got given the opportunity to expand my knowledge and dip my toe into auditing. There is always a chance to put your hand up and open doors to learning here.

Thomas - Audit

On my second day on the job as an Audit Graduate, I was sent out on site to work at a client and was immediately able to experience what it was like it interact with the client and had the opportunity to learn on job. As the months drew on, I was assigned to several clients spanning across different industries and because of this, every day of work I was able to grow, and no day was the same.

Baker Tilly Staples Rodway has been supporting us through our CA studies and our team is always there, happy to answer any questions that we may have. There is also a strong emphasis on work-life balance that as an office we get out and about to celebrate our accomplishments as a team. I have quickly learnt that Baker Tilly Staples Rodway is more like a family than just work colleagues. The transition from University is hard but there is so much support offered, and you will be surprised how much you learn within the first 6 months.

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Darshana Govender

2020 Audit Grad in Auckland, Auckland University of Technology

Darshana started with us as a 2019/2020 Intern and is now a Graduate in our Auckland Firm, here's her internship story.

I began my time with Baker Tilly Staples Rodway as an intern towards the end of November 2019. When choosing a firm to complete my work experience, I was focused on finding an organisation that is not only leading within its industry but one that values the contributions of its employees and cares for its community. Upon starting at the firm, I found that it fitted this description perfectly.

In the beginning, I realised that the difference between work and university life is substantial. But the staff at the firm were always eager to help, understanding and experienced which made the transition a lot easier. You have the opportunity to build relationships within your department through various team building activities and you get the opportunity to interact with colleagues across other departments. The firm is continuously growing which allows for growth not only relating to the organisation but also provides its employees with the opportunity to grow within the firm and gain experience to the necessary skills to develop professionally which is important for self-motivation and overall employee satisfaction.

As an intern we were assigned to tasks that exposed us to real life working conditions of an auditor. We got to experience first-hand what it would be like interacting and working with clients on actual audits. The insight we gained while working on the job is invaluable. The most interesting part for me was that I had the opportunity to apply my theoretical knowledge, studied at university, into practice which gave me a better understanding of the industry.

Overall, I am grateful for my internship opportunity with Baker Tilly Staples Rodway and the experience I have gained. I am excited to see how my career will progress within the firm as a graduate next year.

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A Day in the Life of Felix Maclarn

2021 Business Advisory Services Graduate in Auckland, University of Auckland

My alarm goes off, signaling the start of my day.

A 7:30 am train ensures I get to work on time and sets me up for a successful day.

After arriving at work, I yarn with my pod mates as I check my emails and write out a to do list for the day. This corresponds with my workflow tracker and ensures I am keeping up with any deadlines. As an Accountant your workflow is driven by deadlines.

My workday officially begins. Today’s slate begins with a group of entities that owns and rents out a portfolio of commercial properties. I have a call with the Senior Manger on the job at 9am to prepare for. A positive about Baker Tilly Staples Rodway is that there are open communication channels between all levels of staff.

This year I have been given responsibility of organising the firm’s summer soccer team. This is an important part of building the firm culture and allows you to socialise with people from all around the firm. I have put some time aside this morning to organise the registration and send out a firm wide email to gather numbers.

An email goes out advising that we have treats in the breakout space to celebrate team member’s birthdays. This is a monthly occurrence where we order in birthday cake(s) to acknowledge our monthly birthdays and take a break from work to chat and catch up.


During lunch the grads have an additional training to help accelerate our development and provide context to daily work tasks. Today’s training is the advanced excel training. It is an interactive, discussion-based session aimed at making our day-to-day work easier by teaching us a number of excel formulas and shortcuts. We also get shouted lunch by the firm!

After our training a group of us go for our daily walk down to the Cloud on the viaduct. It’s good to get out of the office, get some fresh air and reset for the rest of the day.

My afternoon is often when meetings and catchups occur. The first of which today is the Social Club meeting. All grads are automatically on the Social Club Committee and it’s a good chance to get involved in decision making within the firm. We get together every few weeks to plan events, recap past events and look ahead to major events like Mid-Year and the Christmas Party.

My second meeting of the day is a director catchup. Usually every 6 weeks, this offers an amazing chance to network with and gain insights, feedback and general life knowledge from someone who has been working in the industry for 20+ years. We discuss plenty of things ranging from work and personal development to sports and good Netflix shows.

The business day ends, and I head off to the gym to get my daily exercise in before going home to relax. Work“life balance is very important at all levels to the firm. It would only be in exceptional circumstances that I would be required to work beyond standard business hours.


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Hazel Ouwehand

2021 Business Advisory Graduate in Auckland, Massey University

I started as a Business Advisory (BAS) Graduate at Baker Tilly Staples Rodway’s Auckland office in late June 2021. I knew that Baker Tilly was the place I wanted to work after talking to their representatives at the annual CAANZ Accounting Careers Fair, typically held at the beginning of each year. After talking to the representatives of various accounting firms, I found Baker Tilly to be the most inviting, as their work culture sounded very positive and inclusive. Since beginning at Baker Tilly the environment and support system has far exceeded my expectations.

As a high-performance swimming athlete who trains 15+ hours a week, it was important to me that I was able to find a workplace where this would be understood and valued. Not only were they very understanding, they have allowed me to work 30 hours per week so that I am able to pursue both of my dreams at once.

Baker Tilly has an excellent buddy system, pairing its graduates with a senior staff member, giving Graduates a person they can bring any questions to. They also provide regular training and upskilling for their staff members, and Graduate specific training every few weeks to ensure we are all up to date with the right information and relevant skills.

Last week I was lucky enough to attend a BAS retreat for Graduates and Intermediates. At this retreat we were given various case studies where we had to determine how best to solve the relevant issues and then present this to senior members of staff. This retreat was very insightful for me and I took away a lot of great learning points. It was also nice to cap off each night with a team dinner, allowing me a better opportunity to bond with my colleagues.

Although I have only recently started working at Baker Tilly, I am thoroughly enjoying myself and no two days are the same. It is nice to be surrounded by other intellectuals who share my passion for accounting. I am excited to see what the future holds and continue my journey with Baker Tilly.

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Josh Manoharan

2020 Audit Graduate in Hawkes Bay, Eastern Institute of Technology

I joined Baker Tilly Staples Rodway as a audit graduate in January 2020. It has been a good and an interesting ride since. The team made the transition from university to work really easy, they understood exactly how I felt coming in as a grad and gave me the space to learn and find my confidence.

Work culture at Baker Tilly Staples Rodway stands out for me, everyone in the team is always willing to help and answer questions, and I always found it easy to communicate without any hesitations. If I had an option to choose my team, I will still choose the same lot. Working along with a buddy in the early days meant I had someone to talk me through everything and they made sure I had the support I needed.

The opportunity to learn never ends, about a year now, I have been on planning meetings all the way through to the closing meetings. The opportunity to learn without any restrictions stands out for me in my first year with Baker Tilly Staples Rodway. Hands on experience with a range of clients, direct client interactions, working with a team and directors constantly challenged and help me develop professionally.

So far, I have enjoyed my time with Baker Tilly Staples Rodway and I'm looking forward for more opportunities and career progressions.

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Kendall Hollingsworth

2021 Business Advisory Services Graduate in Auckland, University of Auckland

I started at Baker Tilly Staples Rodway as a Business Advisory Graduate in March 2021. After finishing University, I hoped to find a firm where I was pushed to reach my potential while also being encouraged to maintain a healthy work-life balance. The culture at Baker Tilly Staples Rodway is exactly that.

The team environment here is collaborative and inclusive. At no point in time have I felt isolated as all my senior colleagues have made themselves available to assist me when I have needed it. I feel like Baker Tilly Staples Rodway is special in that many of the Directors and Managers also started at the firm as Graduates, so they are very understanding of how daunting your first few months can be. Everyone goes out of their way to get to know you as a person, and I have built some amazing friendships already during my time here.

In my first four months here, I have worked on jobs for a variety of clients spanning across many different industries. This has enabled me to expand my technical knowledge and develop an understanding of how different New Zealand businesses operate. I have been constantly challenged and the team has helped me to grow at a good pace.

My graduate year so far has been full of rewarding experiences and learning opportunities. I am looking forward to my future as part of the Baker Tilly Staples Rodway team.

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Klaus Nielsen

2019 Business Advisory Services Graduate in Christchurch, University of Canterbury

I joined the business advisory team Baker Tilly Staples Rodway Christchurch in June 2018 and have really enjoyed my experience as a graduate. The transition from university study to working full time in an accounting firm is quite a steep learning curve but Baker Tilly Staples Rodway made learning as smooth as possible. This is due to everyone always being willing to help: you from the buddy you are assigned when you first start to the directors whose doors are always open and welcome any questions you may have. There is also ongoing support for achieving your professional qualification (CA/CPA) with people who have been through the process and others who are currently working towards their professional qualification as well.

So far in my time here I have experienced a wide variety of work from completion of financial statements and tax returns to meeting and interacting with clients. I did not expect to be completing some of the work I did within the first 6 months, but this was made possible by having a great amount of support and guidance from everyone at Baker Tilly Staples Rodway.

Baker Tilly Staples Rodway are also very passionate about maintaining a healthy work/life balance. This is exemplified by the EAP services which is available to all staff, this provides confidential external support for any issues you may be having in your work or personal life and would like some support in.

Overall my experience here at Baker Tilly Staples Rodway has been a very positive one. I am looking forward to continue learning and progressing my career with Baker Tilly Staples Rodway.

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Rachel Fechney

2019 Business Advisory Services Graduate in Christchurch, University of Canterbury

I started working at Baker Tilly Staples Rodway as a business advisory graduate. From my first interview with the firm I felt welcomed by the team and excited to start my career with them.

I have been able to work on a variety of jobs and tasks under the business advisory umbrella across several industries. This has given me an opportunity to be constantly challenged, learning and developing professionally.

Baker Tilly Staples Rodway are very supportive of the transition from studying to work. You are assigned a buddy who is alongside you throughout this process. Baker Tilly Staples Rodway have regular trainings to further your professional development and acknowledge the need for employees to have a work-life balance. The national training events allow you to network and connect with others who are at similar stages in their careers and get to know your peers and the firm on a more personal level.

I have enjoyed my first year with the firm and look forward to furthering my career with Baker Tilly Staples Rodway.

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Theo Levin

2021 Audit Graduate in Auckland, Victoria University in Wellington

My time at Baker Tilly Staples Rodway began in early 2021, as a fresh University Graduate. With no internship experience, I had little idea of what to expect, but I have been blown away by my time here so far. Even my interview stood out “ it was more of a conversation and less like an interrogation!

Baker Tilly Staples Rodway is a truly welcoming environment, which is emphasized from day one. The team, from top to bottom, makes a real effort to ease the transition from University to full-time work. The mentor system, which entails consistent ‘catch-ups’ with the management team, is a clear example of this attitude, as well as a valuable opportunity to get advice and guidance. This hospitable attitude is found throughout the firm, and has been a key part of my experience.

Every member of the Audit team has a vested interest in your success and are invested in your development. As a Graduate, you have a plethora of questions, but your team will take time out of their day to guide you through, step by step. You are surrounded by experience and expertise; which Graduates can constantly utilize. During our induction, it was outlined that there are no stupid questions, as everyone has been in our shoes at some point.

Working at Baker Tilly Staples Rodway provides you with opportunities unavailable at other firms as you are engaged across the entire audit team, from opening engagement letters to final management letter points. You are given a challenging, dynamic workflow from day one, which allows you to develop your professional skills quickly.

My time at Baker Tilly Staples Rodway has been exemplary. I’m thankful this is where my career has started, and I am looking forward to what the future here holds.

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