Meet our graduates and interns
2019/2020 Audit Intern in Auckland, University of Auckland
My summer internship at Baker Tilly Staples Rodway was truly rewarding because it challenged me to step out of my comfort zone. The transition from being a university student to working within the Audit team was a steep learning curve, but the entire team were always willing to help and answer any questions I had. They took the time to ensure I understood each task and the reason behind why it was carried out.
When choosing a firm, I was looking for one which provided an environment to assist its employees to build their skills and encourage success overall. After starting at Baker Tilly Staples Rodway, I soon realised that it matched my expectations and these criteria.
As an intern, I got the opportunity to work with multiple teams on different engagements and went on a client visit by the second week. The in-depth training provided made me feel more comfortable and confident while interacting with clients.
The company culture at Baker Tilly Staples Rodway is very inclusive and focused on caring for its employees. This is demonstrated by the importance placed on ensuring the balance between work and life is met. This is achieved through the wide range of activities offered by the Social Club (Christmas Party), sports teams and office lunches on Fridays to get to know your team.
I have genuinely enjoyed my internship experience and learned a lot working alongside an excellent team. I am excited to see what my future with Baker Tilly Staples Rodway will bring.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
2020/21 Audit Intern in Auckland, University of Waikato
I chose to intern at Baker Tilly Staples Rodway in the summer of 2020/2021 because I wanted a new challenge in an unfamiliar city and working at Baker Tilly’s Auckland Firm did not disappoint.
After induction and training in my first couple of days, I was immediately sent out to a client-site to work on an audit with the rest of the team. While intimidating at first, as I had little practical knowledge of the procedures and what an audit actually entails, I quickly learned and adapted thanks to the welcoming team. From this point on, working on varying and diverse clients for the rest of my internship provided me with critical insight into what professional service work actually involves.
What I especially enjoyed about being in audit was frequently being out of the office. Working in different places breaks the work up into new projects which are exciting to start when you arrive at the client. Each week you can be working on a new client, with various objectives and with a different team!
Everyone in the office was so kind and accommodating to me as an intern as many themselves were once interns or graduates, so didn’t mind taking a bit longer to thoroughly explain things to me. Better yet, the office culture promotes celebrating hard work through company social events and team meals, which I never pass up on.
I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Baker Tilly Staples Rodway and strongly recommend the firm’s internship opportunities to students looking to build on their university knowledge.
2020 Business Advisory Services Grad in Auckland, University of Auckland
I started working at Baker Tilly Staples Rodway as a Business Advisory Intern in 2018 and as a Graduate in early 2020. The transition from a University Student to working full time is a steep learning curve, however at Baker Tilly right from the start you have people you can rely on to guide and support you.
Baker Tilly’s culture is very focused on the people and collaborative teamwork. Within the Business Advisory Services team we have a very inviting environment where achievements within and outside the workplace are celebrated. In the BAS team we interact with the directors and managers on a first name basis, with their doors always open for any question. The senior staff are extremely approachable and will take the time to build a relationship with every staff member.
I have worked with a diverse range of clients, which has helped me develop my accounting knowledge following University. I have gained a first-hand experience in understanding how New Zealand businesses operate. We attend team trainings on new Accounting Standards, soft skills and how to work well with each individual client to achieve their business goals. There is ongoing support from my colleagues to achieve my professional qualification (CA or CPA Program), most of whom are currently completing the programme with me.
This year has been a little different to the usual graduate experience, similar to most New Zealand businesses. We adapted to working from home well and have now implemented some of those changes we made due to COVID-19 into the workplace, such as being paper-less and implementing new firm policies that allow staff to have more work flexibility. Baker Tilly has a strong focus on work-life balance; we have work sport teams and a club that organises social events, all of which make Baker Tilly a forward-thinking company.
My graduate year has been a very fast-paced, exciting and challenging year. I’m looking forward to my 2021 year as an Intermediate at Baker Tilly Staples Rodway.
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.
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.
2020 Audit Grad in Auckland, University of Auckland
My journey as an audit graduate at Baker Tilly Staples Rodway started in early 2020. I really looked forward to returning as a graduate after the internship because the time I had spent as an intern was priceless and an unforgettable experience.
Baker Tilly Staples Rodway gives a warm and secure working environment where individuals’ views are valued and respected. I feel privileged to be able to work with a group of people who have such a wealth of expertise. The amount of help and support I am receiving is remarkable. This I believe plays a critical role in maximising my strengths and capabilities. The family-like culture and professional relationships we share is another merit. Especially, the monthly mentor catch-ups allow opportunities to build a closer rapport with the management team.
Baker Tilly Staples Rodway was the exact firm I wanted to join and be part of, the firm that provides a learning environment and encourages success. I am even more convinced after my time as a graduate that this is a place where I can develop and grow in this profession. Sure enough, throughout the time I have been at Baker Tilly Staples Rodway, I was exposed to a variety of working contexts that were never the same. Working with different clients and becoming more aware of how the entities operate and run is truly valuable.
My experience here has been wonderful with full of positive outcomes. I am so grateful for where I am now and I look forward to furthering my career with Baker Tilly Staples Rodway.
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.
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.
2020 Business Advisory Services Graduate in Auckland, University of Otago
Lauren started with us as a 2019/2020 Intern and this year has moved on to a Graduate role. Here's her story of interning at Baker Tilly Auckland.
When looking at Summer internship opportunities, Baker Tilly Staples Rodway stood out to me as it is a reputable firm with a fun, energetic culture and a young, forward-thinking team. I started my internship in the Business Advisory Services division in November of 2019. I applied for the Business Advisory Services team (BAS) as I wanted to take on a new challenge by working for a professional services firm, whilst gaining some experience in client advisory.
Coming into the firm I felt extremely welcomed by the friendly team and was buddied up with a Graduate. The buddy system at Baker Tilly Staples Rodway was great as I found that I had a lot of learning support and I was never too light on work.
My internship was an amazing opportunity to apply my university knowledge and gain a first-hand understanding of New Zealand business. It was a refreshing change of pace from university and I felt engaged and challenged by the variety of work I was given. I felt inspired and excited to learn each day and for my future career.
In the Business Advisory Services team, I was given the opportunity to work with large clients, challenge my problem solving, communication and accounting skills, whilst being surrounded by like-minded, hardworking people.
During my Summer internship, there were Football and Touch teams to join and a lot of social events to attend, such as Friday drinks and the annual Christmas party. At Baker Tilly Staples Rodway there is an underlying culture of positivity, encouragement and inclusivity, which I believe sets the firm apart from other larger companies.
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.
2020 Business Advisory Services Graduate in Auckland, University of Auckland
I Joined Baker Tilly Staples Rodway as a Business Advisory Graduate in March 2020. Immediately, I knew this was the firm for me as the interview was a very open and engaging conversation as oppose to an interview which follows a standard template. I initially applied for the Business Advisory Team as I wanted to get a vast range of experience in dealing with clients from various industries and sectors and coming from a family that owns a small business this felt very relevant.
Coming into a professional environment my initial nerves were settled very quickly as the open and inclusive environment made it very easy to settle into the workforce. The buddy system also means that the initial transition is a lot easier as they were in the same situation in the prior year and they also provide you with valuable on the job training.
Although the transition from University to working life is a steep learning curve, I found it very fulfilling to be able to apply my learnings to real life situations along with being able to develop my problem-solving skills alongside a diverse group of people.
Firm culture is very important for any young working professional and at Baker Tilly Staples Rodway there are countless opportunities and events where you get to become closer with your colleagues. Highlights have included our midyear and Xmas functions, frequent Friday night drinks and being a member of various sports teams.
Overall, this year has provided me with countless learning opportunities and has built the framework of a wonderful foundation to begin my career. Along with being able to grow as an individual I have been able to create friendships with my colleagues which I will cherish in the years to follow.
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.
A Day in the Life of Lisa Ru
2019 Audit Graduate in Auckland, University of Auckland
The alarm marks the start of the day.
As the CBD is a bit far from home, commuting begins at 7:15am. Lucky for me, our Auckland office and our client’s office are right beside the Britomart train station, so the walk is only 2 mins!
Arrive at work. Nothing better than grabbing a coffee fix to start the day off right. Here in audit, coffee is our best friend. The day starts with checking emails to ensure those received outside business hours are read. This is very important as they can include internal updates, client requests or emails that require urgent responses.
Start of the working day officially begins. The engagement team meets up and together we walk up Queen Street to Turner’s head office space (our client), where field work happens. Each engagement team usually includes a Graduate, Intermediate, Senior, Manager and Partner. Although not everyone is there every day, there is always someone to answer my questions.
A daily catch up is held to discuss progress and aims for the day. It is a chance to learn about the other areas of the audit as well as increase understanding of the client. A to-do list is created from the morning catch up, and testing begins. Testing involves a range of required work, including generating samples, vouching those samples to supporting documentation, updating narratives and creating walkthroughs. As a graduate, the best thing is working as part of a close-knit team where no question is invalid. Asking questions has become second nature. I have found this to be the most valuable and enjoyable part of work.
A huge part of auditing is interacting with the client. After gathering all my questions, follow up queries and further requests, it’s time to make my way to the client. It is fascinating to learn from corporate professionals and understand their perspective on the business. During the time with the client, I note down the discussion we have and any points that could affect our audit testing. Any potential issues I bring back to discuss with my team.
Time for team lunch! I have the honour of choosing workplace lunches. Another perk of being the graduate! The restaurant is within 5 mins walking distance and lunch never fails to liven the mood. It is the time to really get to know your teammates and talk about things outside of work.
After lunch, I head back to the office to meet with the Manager and Partner for my scheduled development meeting. We go over the progress I’ve made since the last meeting and since starting at Baker Tilly Staples Rodway. We go over any accomplishments and difficulties, as well as general talk about life outside of work. I raise any issues I’ve come across as well as provide my views in working for the company. It always feels good coming out of the meeting knowing what I did well, what I can do to improve and knowing Baker Tilly Staples Rodway will continue to support our growth.
After the development meeting, I roll into a planning meeting. This planning meeting is held prior to field work for another client situated in East Auckland. All engagement team members are included in the meeting from Graduates through to Partners. While the Senior and Manager run the meeting, I take the minutes. In this meeting, background of the client is provided, the testing approach is laid out and we discuss potential issues. I make sure to pay close attention here, as it lays the groundwork for the field work about to happen in the coming weeks.
Once a month, announcements are held over work drinks. This is a firmwide event and is the best time to interact with co-workers. It is a chance to meet up with those who you haven’t seen in a while or to meet new faces. Being one of the newer employees, I like learning about other departments and meeting new people.
As the event ends and everyone begins making their way home, I check my emails one last time. For the next workday to run smoothly, I draft a to-do list noting down any tasks that are yet to be completed.
A few of us head out for a movie night. Graduates, Intermediates, Seniors, everyone is invited! We book seats and choose any movie showing that night. It is a time to relax, clear the head and eat as much popcorn as we want! It’s a night I always look forward to.
Back to the office to pack my things and begin the commute home. Of course, not forgetting to pick up a bubble tea for the road!
A Day in the Life of Winston Stanley
2020 Business Advisory Graduate in Auckland, Massey University
Our cat Gigi helpfully lets me know it is time to get up by scratching on the bed!
Heading to the gym before work begins which means a 6:50am bus followed by a brisk walk from Britomart up Queen Street.
After arriving at work, the day starts with a strong coffee while I check my emails and update my workflow tracker. This is important to keep up to date with internal announcements, the BAS graduate training schedule and to prioritise my tasks for the day, the aim being to improve our efficiency.
My work day officially begins. Today I am working on a group of entities that are a part of a larger group of Companies which other team members are also working on. The other, more senior team members have also worked on the same entities I am working on in previous years. This means the job is quite a team effort as we check related party transactions and balances across the group match, with any questions I have referred to them as a first port of call. Working in a team is a part of the job I really enjoy, having had a previous career in professional rugby before starting in this role.
An email goes out at 10:25am advising that we have some treats in the ‘breakout space’ to celebrate a team member’s birthday. This is a chance to have a break and a chat. This is an all too common occurrence and I am hoping I won’t need to buy new pants next year.
During lunch we have additional training aimed at accelerating our development as Graduates. Today’s topic is taxation of land transactions. It is an interactive, discussion-based session where we discuss various hypothetical scenarios and what we believe the outcome would be. A bonus of lunch time trainings is that we get fed!
After lunch/training, I head out for a walk to get some fresh air with some of the other Grads. When I return, I have my six-weekly Manager catch up. We go for a coffee at ‘The Lunchroom’ café which is on Level 1 of our building. We discuss the feedback my Manager has gathered from other Managers about the work I have done for them recently. This is an opportunity to identify areas where I need some further training and to discuss what I feel is going well or, not. It is nice to have feedback from someone who is well established in their career and who offers insight based on their own experiences.
As is clear from the day so far, there is a big focus on our development as Accountants which I really value. In fact, it is a very similar to the incremental improvement cycle that I was used to in sports – ‘plan, do, review’.
After my Manager catch up, I get back to work on the workpapers I was working on earlier in the day and begin to format financial statements for these entities in Xero. I am aiming to submit these for first review tomorrow morning.
Once a month, staff announcements are held with drinks and nibbles. This is a firmwide event and it is a time to socialise with co-workers, especially those who work ‘upstairs’ on the Audit, Tax and Management Services floor who we don’t get to see every day (we’re on Level 9, they are on 11). Being one of the newer employees, I enjoy meeting people from other departments and getting a better understanding of the activities, challenges and ‘wins’ the firm has had in the past month.
With summer here, it means summer sport is back on the cards. I am a part of both the touch rugby and soccer teams. It is a good way to keep fit and enjoy the longer sunlight hours. Today it’s touch in the mixed competition at Victoria Park, a very social level of competition, good fun and once again a helpful way to get to know more people from around the firm.
I head home to relax! Work-life balance is much better than I had expected it would be as a Graduate, only in exceptional circumstances would I be required to work beyond standard work hours.