International firm, BDO, has a range of graduate programmes that promise thorough training, specialist qualifications and a front row seat into how businesses all over the globe operate.
We heard from University of Sussex graduate, Seth, who's been working as a Technology Risk Analyst in BDO's London office since September, about life at the company.
Working within the Technology Risk Assurance department, Seth determines whether the technologies and policies that govern organisations are working how they should be and offers advice on how to improve them.
How would you describe working at BDO?
I think BDO prides itself on having a diverse range of people in terms of their background and experiences, and that creates an inclusive and social culture. Also, the expectation is if you want it, go and get it. I quite like that. If you're self-reliant and want to take responsibility, you can, or if you need a bit more hand holding, you can have that too. It's more about making sure what you need is given and appropriate.
What is it about BDO that appealed to you? Why did you apply to work here over any other financial business?
During university, I worked closely with start-ups across London and Brighton and I was surrounded by that entrepreneurial mind-set and high-level vision. I read that BDO work with the most firms listed on the Alternative Investment Market, which are the more entrepreneurial clients, the ones run by the founders or families who started [the company]. So I thought that if I wanted to continue to be around what excited me, then BDO was the right place to go.
What is your favourite part of the job?
I really like being on-site with clients, where I get to understand how businesses operate. I like talking and I'm sociable, so being sent here, there and everywhere across the UK and abroad means I get to meet people, ask questions and understand how businesses are run across cultures.
"BDO prides itself on having a diverse range of people in terms of their background and experiences, and that creates an inclusive and social culture"
What are the perks and benefits of working for an international firm like BDO?
With clients scattered across the globe, you get to experience life outside of the Baker Street office. I've worked with clients based in Egypt, Mauritius and all the way down to Swindon and Bournemouth - anywhere and everywhere. When you work at an international firm, you get that exposure and get to expand your knowledge and understanding of the world.
How have you developed since joining BDO? What have you learned? What has the organisation and its leaders taught you?
Time management. With multiple projects going on at once you learn that there's a difference between working smart and working hard. What would've taken me 2-3 hours to complete three months ago would now take me 25 minutes. And that's learnt through informal training too; managers will share their insights and way of doing things because they know it only benefits the project you're working on.
If you could travel back in time to your first day at BDO, what would you tell your younger self?
I'd say to relax. If you've got the job they believe in you, so now you just have to believe in yourself. On your first day you meet every other person across the country who's also joining the firm with that intake and it can be daunting, at least it was for me. Then you get talking to these people and realise we're all in the same spot now, so let's turn the page.
"My proudest moment was when a manager I worked with on my first project said that they trusted me and they wanted to work with me again"
What is your proudest moment so far at work?
It was when a manager I worked with on my first project said that they trusted me and they wanted to work with me again. Not only the realisation of my professional development, but also the assurance from someone I hoped to impress that they liked what I was doing and that it was good enough, made it a proud moment. BDO is good at giving you feedback. There have been times when I've not done as good of a job and my manager has spent however long it takes to show me how to improve.
Would you recommend BDO to other graduates? If so, what advice would you give them before applying?
I would recommend BDO and I'd say if you want to learn more about what options there are internally, to find someone from each department on LinkedIn and speak to them. I did that, I asked questions, and found that people were very happy to tell me about their job. If students want to contact me via LinkedIn, they are more than welcome to - it's Seth Marks.
We also have a great discussion platform on our website where people can connect directly to BDO employees to ask questions. You can check out the Talk to Us page here.
To find out more about BDO's graduate programmes, click the link below.