I have always wanted to participate in a secondment, and when I found out that Grant Thornton had Australian secondments, I applied right away. I felt that a secondment would be an excellent opportunity for growth, both personally and professionally, and I jumped at the chance to live and work in Australia; a country that is too big and too distant to gain a full appreciation for during a few weeks of vacation. I was also at a point in my life when I had the flexibility to pursue such an adventure, as I had recently qualified as a CA and had no further study obligations.
Lauren pets a kangaroo at the Australia Zoo
Professionally, working in a foreign environment presents new challenges and requires a high degree of adaptability. I wanted to gain experience working with clients in different industries and applying IFRS. I have worked in the same office for 5 years, so I also wanted to expand my network within Grant Thornton International and see how the Brisbane team approached their assurance work.
All Grant Thornton team members in Canada and Australia that I had the pleasure of working with while coordinating my secondment were very helpful. Further, I found that the Grant Thornton Brisbane team exuded the same friendly and professional culture that Grant Thornton Canada prides itself on, which made for a welcoming and familiar environment.
I was assigned to both for-profit and not-for-profit organizations during my 3-month placement. I worked in different industries including residential and commercial construction, mining supplies, aged-care facilities, professional associations and the YMCA. Working in another country taught me to be flexible in my methodology and in my communication style. It provided new insights on how other audit practices function and how their team works together to achieve results. Being on secondment also allowed me to connect with a new network of team members that I intend to keep in touch with. For these reasons, I really feel the experience has helped my professional development.
I whole-heartedly recommend a secondment to others because it is a rare opportunity to live in another country for an extended period of time with a great deal of support backing you up. I thoroughly enjoyed my secondment experience in Brisbane and would recommend it to any colleagues who are thinking of applying for a placement there.
Lauren Bonnett, Manager, Assurance Services