In July 2017 Symes Accountants hosted local high school student, Lucy for a week of work experience. Below is her personal overview of her experience with our team.
On the 17th – 21st of July I went on my year 10 work experience for the SACE subject Personal Learning Plan (PLP). I decided to do this at Symes Accountants as this is the career path I would like to endeavour, and thought it would be beneficial for myself. When I first arrived, I was nervous and didn't really know what to expect. I was greeted by Jodie Grantham who is on the Business Support Team. She gave me my induction and introduced me to all the staff who were friendly which put my nerves to ease. I received a timetable of my week which included working with a lot of different people so I can get an understanding of how the industry is run in the short time I had for my work experience.
My first day was mainly spent in the reception office to see the first stage of the "production line". I witnessed the connection the admin had with the clients, who attended to their services, and offered clients coffee and tea. Working with the admin made me realise that they do a lot more than meets the eye and they help to try and make everyone else's job a lot easier so they don't have to waste their time. Towards the end of the day I sat down with Peter Caddy (one of the Partners) and had a talk about the industry and the career paths available. This was insightful as it broadened my knowledge and understanding of the different areas/types of accountants, and the importance of each role.
On the second day, I was fortunate enough to be included in four meetings. These meetings help the accountants/staff know what they are doing for the day and it sets them a goal, which motivates them with healthy competition with themselves and others. One of the meetings was with all the staff members in which they talked about the statistics of the work they achieved. This really put into perspective how big the business is and how much work is done on a yearly basis. My next task of the day was working/talking with Onnley Singleton who runs Operations. She showed me the schedule of work for the year, and taught me how important deadlines are to meet otherwise it unbalances the schedule. The last activity on my timetable was to work with Kateena Jenkin who oversees the Marketing. She showed me the new layout for the website which personally suited my generation a lot better and was more functional/practical.
On my third day, which was the 19th of July, I started with two meetings with both the teams of Accountants. I was fortunate enough to sit through a BAS appointment with Shavone Schedewy, under the permission of the client. I was able to witness how Shavone interacted with the client and understand the programs that she used throughout the appointment. For the rest of the day I was with the Accounting Manager Michelle Hennessy, where we she talked me through what a day in her life is like. During this time we also achieved someone's tax return. It was interesting to learn the procedure of how it is down on the business and the ATO's behalf.
On my last day, because I was unwell and didn't show up Friday, I started the day with a training they run every week, with each week being a different topic. This was a learning experience for me as the topic that week was deceased estates. I may not have fully understood it but it was engrossing to know how the process works. During the morning of each day I had a review with Rob (one of the Partners) to just talk over what I did the day before, what I was doing that day, and what I would like to get out of my experience. This was helpful as I had a time to express my thoughts and ask any questions I had. All in all, my work experience at Symes Accountants was an eye opener for myself and gave me a real taste of the industry, the roles within and the work life in general.