"For a lot of accounting students, we rarely hear about other opportunities at mid-size or smaller-size companies."
Julia Chan, a Ryerson accounting student, met BDO Partner Anthony Vercillo at a campus event. She was helping at a conference as a member of the university's accounting society.
"When I talked to Anthony, I learned a lot more about BDO," Julia says. "Anthony really represented the firm well, and I thought working at BDO might be a good opportunity for me."
Anthony notes that being involved on campus is a good opportunity for him: "I want to give back as much as I can to students. I want to give back to the team, the office, and the firm―and we get good people on the team to help the students, the team, the office, and the firm to grow."
"I had good people above me train me and mentor me at BDO," adds Anthony. "As a professional, it's incumbent on you to teach, to help students get the most out of their experience. It's in your best interest as a mentor to bring those people up, and help them achieve as much as possible personally and professionally, so they can be productive, too. If I can get them up to the level that I'm at after years of experience, we can just keep growing this team."
Julia joined the team at BDO after her second year of university. "I decided to take a semester off at the beginning of my third year. I wasn't sure whether accounting was what I wanted to do," Julia explains.
"Ryerson students bring a lot in terms of character," Anthony says. "We look for people with the right energy and the right attitude. Meeting people is key. Those attributes don't always come across on a resume or a written document. Academics are great and a lot of involvement outside of school is great, too. It's quite often not reflected in marks, what somebody's capabilities and skills are―understanding beyond extracurriculars in school, extracurriculars in life, what are they doing? Someone living in the city and maintaining a job, or a job-and-a-half, or compressing their schedule to help their parents, or raise a child, or being involved in their community […] sometimes that's not even communicated. Sometimes that's not on a resume or a profile because ‘recruiters aren't looking for that.' Guess what: Recruiters are looking for that. It demonstrates a lot more skill, attitude, and work ethic than just getting a 90-something in a particular subject."
On the real-world value of her work term at BDO, Julia adds: "What you learn in school is very different than what you apply in the work field. I gained a lot of clarity about what professional services are, what public accounting is, what tax is. I learned a lot technically, in terms of technical knowledge. I also learned a lot in terms of how to approach things. My approach to problem-solving has completely changed. You're constantly problem-solving at work. It allowed me to see that what I am going into is something I'm actually interested in."
If you're interested in a work term at BDO, check out our Internships and Co-ops page