Whether you’re already on your pathway to a career in business or considering whether studying accounting could be right for you, taking hold of every opportunity - such as professional placements while you’re studying - can help you rocket towards success.
Jusk ask Kylie Taylor. As an Account Director with Deloitte, her career at Deloitte Private has given her the opportunity to work across Australia and experience a diverse range of clients and industries. She works closely with some of CDU’s business and accounting placement students, and is passionate about spreading the positive impact a career in accounting can make to businesses and communities.
I believe every private business and their family should have the opportunity to realise their full potential. It’s my passion to work with them to do that.
“I’ve been working in the accounting field for a long time; it’s actually coming up to 20 years now, believe it or not. And I’ve been with Deloitte for 10 years, so that’s half my career with one firm.
“I came to the Darwin office because my husband, being in the Air Force, was posted to the area. I had the opportunity to join Deloitte and haven’t looked back since. Over the years, I also had the opportunity to travel interstate and work in the Sydney and Canberra offices, so I’ve been able to see a very diverse range of clients and industries across different states. I actually started in Queensland, so I’ve been half way around the country!
“I believe every private business and their family should have the opportunity to realise their full potential, it’s my passion to work with them to do that. At Deloitte, we work closely with our clients and build strong, enduring relationships with them, and together we’re able to build solutions for their business. That’s my motivation.”
Getting a head start with placement opportunities
If you're a postgraduate business or accounting student at CDU, you may have the opportunity to participate in our Professional Placement Program, of which Deloitte is a partner. The program is run by the College of Business and Law. It's designed to give you a head start through experiencing a real work environment in your future industry, and to develop the key attributes and skills required in your chosen area of specialty.
Depending on your degree, you'll have the opportunity to work with [Deloitte] for between 90 and 300 hours over a six-week period.
“Business and accounting students at CDU are quite fortunate in that they get to jump ahead of the graduate program. Across the country, students do go through the graduate program. Here in Darwin you can also go through the placements program, which means that while you’re still studying, you'll have the opportunity to work with us for between 90 and 300 hours over a six-week period, depending on which degree you’re doing.
“You get to work across both Audit and Business Advisory Services to experience everything and get a taste for what might work for you.“
“If you’re a star and it works for everybody, you may get a graduate position. At the moment, we’ve had four or five graduates who have come through the CDU placements program. So if you can get in through the program at the start, it gives you a head start on everybody else.”
You get to work across both Audit and Business Advisory Services to experience everything and get a taste for what might work for you.
The Professional Placements Program benefits Deloitte as well, with the opportunity to identify and nurture talent early on.
“We also get a taste of what might work for us, which is great. We get to know the students quite early on. If there are program participants who have potential, but aren’t ready right now, we can certainly guide them in the right direction. And then, when the time is right, they’ve had that experience and opportunity to develop further in order to come back.”
Making the most of the placements program
To really grab the opportunities of a professional placement with both hands, there are four attributes you should be aiming to display, according to Kylie. These are clear and confident communication (tip: ask plenty of questions), contributing to the team culture, a strong desire to learn, and being highly organised.
“Having that desire to learn and interest in what’s going on is really important. It’s about asking why I’m doing this and how it’s making a difference – not just to me, but to the client and to the firm.”
Opportunities for growth
Kylie shares with us a final piece of advice. And it’s all about making the most of every opportunity for growth – in your education, career and in life.
Always look for opportunities to grow; particularly those opportunities that put you outside your comfort zone.
My advice would be to always look for opportunities for growth. It doesn’t matter what you’re doing – whether it’s at university or at a workplace where you’re already working that might not have anything to do with accounting or business. Always look for opportunities to grow; particularly those opportunities that put you outside your comfort zone. It might be daunting at the start, but they’re the type of opportunities that are going to pay big dividends in the future.
Ready to pursue a career in Business or Accounting? The Professional Placement Program run by CDU's College of Business and Law provides postgraduate students the opportunity to put theoretical concepts into practice in a professional setting, normally in a position under the supervision of a qualified mentor.