An experience of a lifetime in the UK

Living abroad was an experience of a lifetime for me. In my opinion it is something everyone should experience. Not only was it a great way to learn about different areas of business and be exposed to different clients, for me it was all accomplished while still working within the familiar and supportive Grant Thornton global network. As everyone who knows me would agree, I love to travel. This secondment provided an amazing opportunity to experience living and working in the United Kingdom with the added benefit of allowing me to explore much of the UK and Europe during the weekends and holidays. 

Melissa Skinner and her husband visit St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, United Kingdom.

Melissa Skinner and her husband visit St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, United Kingdom.

  • Melissa Skinner and her husband visit St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, United Kingdom.
  • Hiking through Malvern Hills near Worchester, United Kingdom
  • Walking along the canals in Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • The highest railway station in Europe, Jungfraujoch, Switzerland

Relocating to a foreign country can be intimidating, but both the Canadian and the UK Grant Thornton offices made this a smooth process and facilitated everything from obtaining a work visa to finding accommodations. The firm was also supportive of my husband joining me for the entire 6 months I was in Birmingham. This continued support provided me with a positive level of comfort throughout my experience.


Working in Birmingham exposed me to many different clients in a wide range of industries. The transition to auditing in a different country was made simpler through the use of international audit software and standardized procedures. There are definite advantages to working for a global firm. I have been able to develop an understanding of the differing approaches to the procedures used here as well as passing along knowledge of the methods used in Canada to my colleagues in the United Kingdom. In this sense, both my home office in Newfoundland as well as the office in Birmingham, will benefit from my global experience.


My husband and I took advantage of opportunities to travel and, in addition to traveling throughout the UK, we traveled to Spain, France, Switzerland, Italy, Belgium, Denmark and the Netherlands.


Through my time in the United Kingdom I gained valuable knowledge and positive new experiences which I brought back to my home office in Canada. This secondment has been a wonderful personal and professional experience and I would recommend it to anyone. It is truly an experience of a lifetime.


Melissa Skinner, Manager, Assurance Services