Finding a graduate role isn't all about preparation - A day in the life of Accounting Graduate, Sam Cameron
27 January 2022
I applied for the Graduate Accountant role through Grad Australia, however, I had heard good things from a few friends who already worked here. The recruitment process for my role involved a few interviews, the first of which required you to record answers to questions online. This can be quite intimidating for some people; however, my advice would be to just relax and be yourself. I had lost my voice the day of the online video interview, and one of my managers jokes now about how you could barely hear my responses.
A day in my life as a Graduate Accountant starts with a 7:45am alarm, quickly eating my porridge and jumping on the tram into the city. I try not to waste too much time on breakfast as I usually have some fruit and coffee once I arrive in the office.
The office is still reasonably quiet when I arrive at 8:30, so it gives me time to go through my emails and construct a ‘to do’ list for my day. Many different jobs will pop up throughout the day however I like to have at least a rough plan to start with as I find I am more productive.
As more people start to roll into the office, I like to grab a coffee from the pod machine in the kitchen. It’s a good time to greet friends and colleagues before settling in for a solid morning of work. In the first half of the day I complete smaller tasks such as calling the ATO, preparing business activity statements, or updating any tax calculations based off correspondence from clients.
Once a week we have a pod catch up where six of us chat about any concerns with our work, but also share personal news and events. It is a great way to break up the day, especially if enough people from the pod are in the office, as we usually go grab a coffee.
I generally like to take lunch late as it shortens the afternoon workload. So, at 1pm I head to the food court downstairs which has several great options, otherwise if it is a nice day a few of us will walk to many of the nearby cafes.
After lunch I have a job brief organised with one of the managers regarding a new job I have been allocated. During the meeting, I am provided with background on the client’s situation and receive documents containing their tax information. I like to take notes and ask questions to avoid getting stuck later.
I find the afternoon is a great time to start larger jobs such as preparing financial statements and tax returns. There tend to be fewer emails coming in and it avoids jumping around from job to job which can be quite inefficient.
At the end of the day, I update my workflow so everyone in my team is aware of my progress on current jobs. I also finish my timesheet for the day and flag any final emails.
Depending on any urgent due dates, I am usually out of the office at 5:15, leaving plenty of time to go to the gym or go for a run. I like to exercise as it clears my head and better enables me to relax after a busy day of work.
After dinner I unpack my laptop, so I am ready to work from home the next day. Usually, I like to work from home around 2-3 days per week as it allows me to do chores around the house on my lunch break, as well as have an extra sleep in. It may not seem like much, but sometimes setting my alarm 20 minutes later can help me overcome fatigue and tackle a busy day.
For someone looking to apply for a graduate role, and in particular, with Findex, I have some advice:
Contrary to what you may expect, these interviews are not all about showcasing preparation and experience, and a lot of emphasis is based on who you are as a person and how you would fit into the team environment and culture. So, I would still recommend preparing as best as possible, but do not stress about aligning with the stereotypical candidate, personality and team fit are just as valuable.
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