Life at PKF

Audit Seniors: Melbourne secondment

From July – November 2022, three of our Audit Seniors were welcomed by PKF Melbourne for a four-month Audit & Assurance secondment.

As a member of PKF Global, we host inbound international secondments at our office, and give others the chance to experience life as outbound international secondees into offices across the globe.

We hear from three recent secondees, Eleanor, Matt and Miriam, about their experience at PKF Melbourne:

What prompted each of you to go on a secondment?

Eleanor: When I applied to PKF, I heard it had a good relationship with the PKF offices in Australia and that there could be an opportunity of a secondment when I qualified. Other secondees said it was an amazing experience, and the Australian lifestyle appealed to me.

Matt: I’d always wanted to live and work in Australia. The lifestyle looked incredible, and I wanted to experience a different working culture in another country.

Miriam: The secondment opportunity was first mentioned when we joined the firm as graduates and so it was something I’ve always had in the back of mind before I qualified. Also, working in Australia was completely out of my comfort zone and so I wanted to challenge myself.

What was the most challenging thing about adjusting to Melbourne?

Miriam: I was the first secondee to arrive and so my main concern initially was trying to understand the public transport system before my first day in the Melbourne office! Otherwise, I found adjusting to Melbourne life relatively easy once I had recovered from the jetlag!

Eleanor: Moving to the other side of the world was daunting but our colleagues at PKF Melbourne made us feel welcome and offered advice and support. I settled into life there easier than expected because the Melbourne culture was so similar to the UK.

How did you find settling into PKF Melbourne and the Audit team?  

Matt:  Everyone was so friendly and helpful. That made the transition easier, as it was great to be able to ask questions and get help straight away. Everyone at PKF Melbourne put in a lot of effort to make sure we settled in.

Miriam:  The whole of PKF Melbourne were so incredibly warm and inviting. The Audit team went above and beyond to make us feel welcome and to help with the settling in process. I also made some friends outside of Audit, which shows how friendly the firm is.

Eleanor:  I instantly felt part of the team as everyone was friendly. It’s a social office, and the team made the effort to involve us in events to welcome us to the firm.

What after work activities have you enjoyed the most?

Matt:  Going to watch Australian rules football! AFL is really popular in Melbourne and everyone in the office spoke about it, so I had to experience it! Going to the games, learning about the rules, and talking to everyone in the office about it was fun!

Miriam: Eleanor and I trained for the Melbourne Marathon 10km, so a lot of our evenings were spent running – usually from Port Melbourne to St Kilda, then back again. I particularly enjoyed running while the sun was setting.

What sort of clients did you get to work?

Eleanor:  We had so much experience working with different clients. The clients are very different to those I have worked with in London, and learning more about different industries was interesting.

What advice would you give to someone thinking of going on secondment?

Melbourne secondeesMatt: Go for it! It’s an incredible opportunity to live and work in a different country and embrace a new culture. You’ll have a lot of freedom to explore and take full advantage of the country that you’re in.

Eleanor: It gives you the chance to form new connections with people across PKF globally, understand the business better, and live in and explore a different part of the world. You learn new skills and increase your exposure to different workplace situations and cultures. My advice is to make the most of all the opportunities that you get while you’re out there!

Miriam: Being able to immerse yourself in another culture while making professional connections with another PKF office is invaluable. Not only have I had the chance to get to know Melbourne well, but I’ve also been able to travel to Sydney, Brisbane, Perth and Tasmania. I’d say, don’t overthink it, just grab the opportunity!