Be backed to realise your goals and grow, right from the start

Mark Nicholson’s BDO story is one of growth. After starting with BDO Auckland as a graduate and qualifying as a Chartered Accountant (CA), he gained international experience at BDO London before returning to Auckland to further progress his career.

We spoke to Mark about how BDO has backed him to develop his career.
Tell us about your BDO journey to date. 
“I joined BDO Auckland as a graduate in 2011, undertook my CA, and was an audit senior on some large jobs before taking the chance to further develop through a secondment with BDO London. After three years in a manager role there, I returned in 2018 to a growing BDO Auckland, where I became a Partner in January 2024.

My work is really interesting, featuring a range of clients, which includes listed companies.
What does it mean to be backed to realise your goals?

“For me it’s about learning and developing. Since joining as a graduate, BDO has been a training ground for me with every step along the way building towards a goal. The business is set up for people to be successful in achieving their CA, with formal programmes, relevant work experience, and study leave all contributing to BDO’s exceptional CA outcomes.

BDO’s focus on development helps to build leadership skills as well as technical skills. As a grad I wanted technical experience and the chance to build my career. BDO takes this a step further with secondments on offer across the global network. We recognise that people are here for different reasons - the world is a big place and there are many opportunities out there for good career professionals, so why not take that opportunity with an international BDO firm?”

Mark Nicholson, Audit Partner, BDO Auckland

How does BDO support your growth?
“Achieving goals comes down to learning and then applying that knowledge. University and training help with learning and development, but you then need to apply that to a real-world environment. At BDO, there's a lot of value placed on learning on the job, working within a team, and interacting with clients from an early stage in your career. Within the audit team especially you’re out with clients and interacting with finance teams, C-suites, and Boards as you progress in your career. This is so important for growing and achieving your goals.

Since returning to BDO Auckland, I’ve focused my ongoing development on becoming a business leader, setting goals in areas like project management, business development, mental wellbeing support, and communication. BDO offers dedicated training programmes designed to help our people develop; I’ve personally completed Elevate, BDO’s Australasian leadership programme, and took a lot away from this year-long course.”
How does BDO’s approach make you feel?
“It gives me a sense of ownership. I’ve felt like I’ve been given the opportunity to grow at BDO, with autonomy to pursue my goals. This sense of accountability and responsibility increases over time, but it’s there from the start of your career at BDO. Initially it’s things like having responsibility for part of a file or being the key contact for a client, and as your work progresses so too does the ownership. This keeps the job interesting and ensures you’re always developing.”

At BDO I am my best when… “I’m making the most of the opportunities that are presented to me, leaning on the people around me for support and guidance.”

Interested in a career at BDO? View our current opportunities here or read our other BDO colleague stories.