15 February 2021
As one of the many graduates who have gone onto fulfilling and successful careers with Findex, Sean O’Connell answers some questions for new graduates considering the 2022 Graduate Program.
What was the graduate position you took and what year did you commence?
I started as an Audit Graduate in Auckland, New Zealand back in January 2013 and was provided with the opportunity to work in the firm’s network office in London in 2016. After four and a half years in the UK, I’ve recently returned to New Zealand where I am now working as an Audit Manager.
What did you enjoy most about the graduate program at Findex?
The best thing about Findex’s graduate program is the opportunities that are presented to you. Throughout my graduate program I was given the opportunity to work at several different offices throughout New Zealand and I did short stints at the offices in Invercargill, Hamilton, Blenheim and Nelson. Each office gave me a different perspective and allowed me to meet new people and new clients. I found these experiences very helpful when I transferred to London after becoming qualified.
What was unique about the graduate program at Findex?
Being treated as a person rather than just another graduate. It was good to have managers and partners who considered my career goals and ambitions and were invested in helping me achieve them rather than being treated as a resource.
What opportunities did the graduate program open up for you?
The graduate program offered me a range of opportunities post qualification. I’d always wanted to travel so I jumped at the opportunity to transfer to London where I established a good base from which I could travel to Europe. This meant my career development wasn’t put on hold while I travelled, and I was able to work my way up through the ranks to manager.
How has it helped you in your life and career today?
There is a saying, “You only get out what you put in,” and I think this is an accurate assessment of the graduate program at Findex, which was a challenging but rewarding experience. Juggling work whilst studying towards my Chartered Accountants (CA) qualification and still trying to maintain a social life somehow was challenging at times. However, once I was out on the other side, I could see how the wide exposure and diverse client base had given me the skills I needed to continue improving and meeting my career goals.
Do you have advice or tips for future participants of the Findex Graduate Program?
My best advice for future participants is to think of work as a career rather than a job. It can be very easy to get caught up in the moment but it’s important to focus on the long term and keep the end goal in mind. At points in the grad program you will probably be asked to do something above your current level, which may make you uncomfortable. If you can see these moments as opportunities to grow your skillset, you will continue to grow and improve. It’s also important to value the relationships you build with your clients and co-workers. The graduate program is relatively short but, built well, a solid network of business relationships will continue to service you for the length of your career.
We're searching for a new generation of talent to help drive growth and achieve great outcomes. Applications for the Findex 2022 graduate intake are open from 22 February to 26 March 2021. Find out more here.