Pitcher Partners understands the value of gaining local and international experience as well as the opportunity to work within a different environment and culture. For eligible staff, they offer secondments to a large number of international locations within the Baker Tilly and Pitcher Partners networks. Read on as James Hill from the Melbourne firm tells us about his secondment experience with Wolrige Mahon in Vancouver, Canada.
One of the main drawcards, when I applied to work as a graduate at Pitcher Partners, was the possibility of a secondment opportunity. After completing my CA I had no hesitation in applying and was over the moon when I found out that I had been chosen to represent the firm at Wolrige Mahon.
I worked in the Tax Consulting team and I arrived during their busy season. The staff there were working in excess of 80 hours per week during that time and someone still found the time to come out and show us the city. The work consisted broadly of preparing financial statements and income tax returns whilst also assisting with a few smaller audits.
I really enjoyed getting to learn about the Canadian tax system which I had no knowledge about prior to my secondment. The tax team that I worked with were amazing and took the time to help whenever I had any questions (and trust me, there were plenty) and the experience was made better by the people I worked with. Going in with the attitude that I was willing to learn and do anything really helped me.
The entire secondment experience was incredible from start to finish and gave me a good insight into how other firms operate and made me appreciate even more how well Pitcher Partners operates and treats its staff. The experience has made me a more well-rounded, confident and independent person, which will only benefit me in the future.
The best thing I experienced from the secondment itself was really feeling like one of the employees at Wolrige Mahon. No one treated me any differently to the locals and everyone made sure that I was going okay if I had any issues. The Partners, whilst busy, took the time to talk to me as they were just as interested in the Australian tax system as I was of the Canadian one. There aren’t many scenarios where you can tell a Partner something they don’t already know.
I went to secondment with the philosophy that I could be whoever I wanted to be and no one would know any different from back home. That being said, I made sure that I was up for any experience that was thrown my way and made sure that I was actively getting involved in any work activities that were occurring. Failing that, a few gin and tonics didn’t hurt when trying to meet new people outside of the office.
The host firm put me and one of the other secondees up in a two-bedroom apartment right in the heart of downtown Vancouver. We literally had the city on our doorstep which made travelling around incredibly easy. The office was also only a few minutes’ walks away which was appreciated during those cold mornings.
On my second last night, I treated myself to an insane seafood platter from one of the top-rated seafood restaurants in Vancouver. Whilst pricy to say the least, by that stage of the secondment the budget was well and truly blown so I just rolled with the punches. I also discovered ramen and that may be one of the best things that have ever happened to me.
It is impossible to name just one experience from the secondment that really sticks with me. I literally felt like the world was my oyster and we made use of the weekends by travelling to Whistler, Portland, and Las Vegas, to name a few. The memories are slightly foggy from Las Vegas but that can only mean it was a good weekend.