#10YearsOfPLUS: ‘Execution thinking’ and work experience with BDO

As the Bristol PLUS Award continues to grow in student numbers and in recognition from the University and employers, we are also able to grow the opportunities we offer our PLUS achievers. To celebrate #10YearsOfPLUS we have collaborated with our endorsing employers to provide more of these opportunities than ever before. Our employers are consistently impressed at the standard of our motivated PLUS achievers!

Last year we were pleased and excited to be able to offer two students a two-day work experience placement in the Bristol offices of a major professional services firm – and Bristol PLUS endorsing employer – BDO! Student feedback on the PLUS always emphasises the value of engaging with employers, so we spoke to Kiara van Dinter to find out what she gained from her experience working with BDO last June.

We started by asking Kiara about the Skills Day run by BDO that she attended at the Careers Service before applying for the placement. This Skills Day was new to the programme for 2018-19, and focused on strategy, management, and how to execute your ideas in an organisation. Understanding of these elements of working life can really help students set themselves apart in the application and interview process.

Can you tell us a bit about the BDO Skills Day ‘How to Use Execution Thinking’?

The Skills Day put forward the idea of bringing strategy into action. Students from all disciplines and levels of study worked together through various group and visualisation activities in order to appreciate that a strategy without the means to execute it is useless, and that execution without a strategy is blind.

How do you think the workshops benefited you in learning about the importance of managerial and executive thinking?

The workshop provided a valuable discussion on the key attributes of great executors, such as endurance and focus. The workshop leaders revealed the importance of understanding the different elements of interpersonal and group communication to ensure successful execution in today’s dynamic environments. It was a refreshing reminder for us students who aspire to make a change, however big or small.

How did you find your work experience at BDO LLP?

Having had the opportunity to immerse myself into life at BDO through my work experience placement in the tax and audit teams at the Bristol office has been an incredible opportunity. Not only did it help me gain an insight into the industry, but I was given the chance to use my personal strengths and help associates in their client work either through performing substantive procedures for financial accounts or using my language skills to translate external communications for contract negotiations. Shadowing the different departments served as a taster of what a future career might look like for me.

What was the best part of your experience?

Choosing just one aspect to highlight from my work experience is difficult, but I felt most inspired when invited for coffee with Andrea Bishop, audit Partner and Head of BDO’s Bristol office. One main takeaway from our talk is that everyone should be able to bring their own expertise to a team. It is this diversity of expertise and experience that allows BDO to distinguish itself from competitors and ensure trust in execution.

BDO say…

“The Bristol PLUS Award is an excellent way for students to gain employability skills and broaden their understanding of the business world. In a competitive recruitment market, this can be a fantastic way to differentiate yourself from other applicants”

Registered on the Bristol PLUS Award this year? Look out for emails about the incentives we’re offering this year. Interested in registering for the Bristol PLUS Award next year? Visit our web pages and attend an introductory from September 2020.