"I am able to gain insight into all aspects of the business and interact with a diverse number of people."

Ryan - Graduate

Name: Ryan

Office location and service line: Melbourne, Financial Advisory

Degree qualification: Bachelor of Business(Accounting)/Bachelor of Business (Banking & Finance)

University: Monash University

Year of graduation: 2015

What do you do: I work in Restructuring Advisory which primarily consists of insolvency work. I work with businesses who find themselves insolvent. I work with all manner of industries and the work is interesting and varied. On any given day, I could interact with a café shop owner right through to bankers, lawyers and high profile celebrities. In my role I am also tasked with undergoing thorough investigations into the affairs of businesses who find themselves insolvent. This allows me to become familiar with the ins and outs of the business, and in some scenarios, assist the business to trade itself out of trouble. 

What's the best thing about your job? Working in insolvency! Being a part of the decision-making process, making real-time business decisions and providing business solutions for clients. I am able to gain insight into all aspects of the client’s business and interact with a diverse number of people which can be a great learning experience. 

What would your advice be? I would encourage everyone to be more active in university and attend the events which happen throughout the year, whether it be a camp organised by one of the societies or an after-exam party. University is such an exciting time where you find yourself with free time and minimal responsibility. Take the opportunity to go on exchange or travel the world – once you start full-time work, you will miss all the free time you used to have. Time becomes a commodity once you commence full-time work.


Name: Lucy

Office location and service line: Perth, Private Advisory

Degree qualification: Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting and Finance)

University attended: University of Notre Dame

Year of graduation: 2015

What do you do: I prepare the financial accounts and tax returns for family groups, which consist of  various combinations of trusts, companies and individuals. Occasionally I will have to do research and calculations to assist my managers or partners to be able to provide clients with advice regarding their tax affairs or a specific transaction they have undertaken or are planning to, e.g. buying/selling an asset.

What's the best thing about your job? I enjoy the  opportunity  to interact with clients, this may simply include taking notes at a Manager or Partners’ client meeting or emailing/calling a client to discuss queries and issues relating to their tax return preparation. I love getting the opportunity to be involved in determining, and sometimes executing, the best resolutions for our clients; whether it’s to do with structuring their tax affairs effectively or being involved in their life transitions such as retirement or succession planning.

What would your advice be? Time management is really important. Learning good time management and using them at university will give you a strong foundation for when you start your career. There are deadlines and pressures at work and you may also be undertaking further studies, e.g. Chartered Accounting qualification. Ask questions! Don’t be afraid to speak up if you don’t understand or don’t know how to do something. When you first start a new job take the time to get to know your co-workers, and not just other grads. Take any available opportunities to socialise. You will spend more time with them awake than with your family and friends; among other benefits it’ll help when you need to ask questions!


Name: Jasmine

Office location and service line: Brisbane, Audit & Assurance

Degree qualification: Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting & Finance)

University attended: The University of Queensland

Year of graduation: 2014

What do you do? I am in the Audit and Assurance team.  As a graduate, I was client facing from day one. For example, I worked for a client who is  a property developer. During the planning visit I toured around the client’s office, performed walkthroughs and had conversations to understand client operations, internal controls and information. At our final visit (fieldwork) we executed the audit tests on each of the financial statement items. My job involves many analytical reviews and corroborations, and every time I find it interesting to discover the stories behind the numbers. 

What is the best thing about your job? As part of my role during an audit I need to understand the client’s business and its activities performed throughout the year. This provides me with the opportunity to see the whole picture and to gain an in-depth understanding of an organisation and the way it functions. Another cool thing is stocktaking. Some of the interesting stocktakes include counting medical supplies, colourful polyethylene powder, and quartz slabs. Finally, the most unforgettable experience was the one-week long national graduate training held in our Sydney Office!

What would your advice be? Get Work Experience - you won’t know what it’s like until you get closer to the action. Travel - traveling abroad helps with personal, academic and professional development so take the priviledge of having long breaks and hop on a  plane. This is the best time to learn outside of the classroom, see the bigger picture, gain new inspiration, and meet new people. The exposure to new cultures also teaches you new values and perspectives and you’re more likely to build rapport or strike up a conversation with your colleagues and clients.Stay Fit and Healthy because you’ve got a long way to go!

Name: Stephen Jean-Louis

Office location and service line: Sydney, Private Advisory

Degree qualification: Bachelor of Health Science/Master of Accounting (Professional)

University attended: University of Sydney/Macquarie University

Year of graduation: 2016

What do you do: My daily work is mostly centred around completing clients’ compliance work, such as tax returns, financial statements and activity statements. This gives me the opportunity to look into how a business works, learn about it and possibly find areas for improvement. In summary I do taxes, but it isn’t that boring or simple. There’s always something new to learn when completing a job. You’re forever coming across things you didn’t know before. It is not all work though, the social culture here will keep you occupied in and out of work. Grant Thornton look for people who will fit well with the team and represent their values, not just someone with the highest marks.

What's the best thing about your job: The coolest thing here are the people- every one is down to earth. I have a really good manager and my peers are always up to help or have a chat. I’ve really enjoyed the responsibility I’ve been given. It’s motivating to me to be accountable and not just be fully shielded from everything and hidden behind the curtain. I’ve met with clients, work out of the office regularly and am directly accountable for my work so I’m really focussed on building my skills.

What would your advice be: 

  • The field you study is not the field you have to work in, there are ways to chase your interests if they stray from your field of study.
  • All experience counts. Go and work, earn money and travel, especially while at university.
  • Working part time and studying part time in the field you’re studying can:
    • Give you specifically related experience to draw upon
    • Give you a job to go straight into once you finish study
    • Help you understand the content you’re studying
    • Motivate you to apply yourself to study/work

Name: Jane Kennedy

Office location and service line: Sydney, Audit & Assurance

Degree qualification: Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Arts

University attended: The University of Sydney

Year of graduation: 2015

What do you do: As part of my role I work as a member of a multi-level, cross-functional team to provide high quality audit services for clients. There are various stages to an audit engagement throughout the financial year and every week I am assigned to a different client. Therefore, I spend a significant amount of time meeting and working alongside new people. In my role at Grant Thornton I am able to engage with the clients to build relationships, be involved in audit team discussions, and rapidly build my technical experience. 

What's the best thing about your job: As a member of the audit and assurance service line, work is almost exclusively performed in teams. These teams vary from engagement to engagement. This is probably the best thing about my job. Each engagement brings its own technical challenges or time pressures, however the dynamic development I have experienced  with my team members keeps me coming back each day to perform to my best. 

What would your advice be: 

  • “Never see a need without doing something about it”
  • “The grass is not greener on the other side, it is green only where you water it”
  • “Usually the sentence that you think is the best in the paragraph is the worst”

Name: Karen Dang

Office location and service location: Brisbane, Audit & Assurance

Degree qualification: Bachelor of Commerce/Bachelor of Law

University attended: University of Queensland

Year of graduation: 2015

What do you do: The majority of the time, I am out at the client site. The size of the client and the type of visit influences how many days I am at their site.  As a graduate, I am typically responsible for the Cash, GST and Operating expenses cycles. This could involve looking through source documents to verify figures, hold discussions with management to understand the fluctuations in account balances or selecting a sample of transactions to conduct testing. There are always plenty of challenges and new things to learn!

What's the best thing about your job: It is rewarding when a client you have worked on for a few months finally gets signed off and archived. Although there may be speed bumps along the way and some overtime involved, a simple ‘thank you’ from the client and my team showing their appreciation of my work means a lot. When this happens I know that I am in the right place doing the right thing. 

What would your advice be: Travel - Go out there and explore! Experience different people, culture and perspectives. Travelling is the best way for you to learn more about yourself.

Appreciate the bad times as well as the good – Something good comes out of every tough time. This could be people that have supported you along the way, a lesson that was learnt or a skill that you have built.

Embrace opportunities – Whether it is getting a part-time job, studying abroad or meeting new people, take the initiative to seize opportunities, and see what you can learn and achieve from it.  

Name: Petrea Hansberry

Office location and Service line: Adelaide, Audit & Assurance

Degree qualification: Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting and Corporate Finance)

University Attended: The University of Adelaide

Year of graduation: 2015

What do you do: My main role is to gain assurance that the accounts prepared by the clients are accurate. A typical day for me would include a planning meeting with the partner and managers. This is where we discuss details about the client, what has happened during the year and outline specific tasks each of us will be doing. We then attend the client’s offices. My duties may include vouching general ledger accounts in cash, operating expenses to vouch specific invoices for trade creditors and a general explanation of the movement in expense accounts, employee compensation which involves calculation of holidays and long service leave and GST.

What's the best thing about your job: The best thing about my job is the culture at Grant Thornton; my colleagues are really supportive and genuine people that definitely care about one another. They offer monthly social club events which enables everyone to bond outside of work hours. The tasks that I enjoy the most include going to do stocktakes, where we count specific lines of stock. It allows you to get a better understanding of the clients business and how they get to the final product on the shelf if it’s a production company.

What would your advice be:

  • Have faith in yourself and your ability, there is a reason you got this far.
  • Undertake as many work experience programs as possible. Yes, you will miss out on some of your holidays, and yes, that means getting up earlier, but the experience and knowledge you will gain is invaluable. It is also a great opportunity to find what you are truly passionate about. It will also make finding a graduate position so much easier.
  • Talk to as many new people as possible, whether it’s people in your class or lecture theatre, you never know when those connections might come in handy later on in life. 

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