For Danielle Thomson, work is all about the people. In her role as Associate at BDO Wellington and through her work with women in business, she’s always finding ways to connect, engage, and support.
We spoke to Danielle about her career progression and how BDO lets her be herself.
Tell us about your BDO journey to date.
“I joined BDO Auckland as a senior accountant before heading overseas on my OE two years later. After returning to Wellington eight years ago, I called up my old boss in Auckland and asked if he could help me get a job here at BDO Wellington! The values and quality of work at BDO Auckland impressed me and I was confident these would transfer across offices.
Since then, I've progressed to an Associate and have had two children. My role has changed a lot since having kids, with altered hours to suit my requirements. It’s so important to me that my work can be flexible to accommodate different stages of life, without impacting my ability to develop. While I currently work five hours a day, this might change in the future. My mentor, Tristan, has always been supportive of this.”
What does it mean to be impactful at BDO?
“Being impactful in this business comes back to the people. When interacting with staff, clients, and the wider community, I’m reminded of our BDO value of whanaungatanga, which is about relationships and the connection between people.
When I deal with clients, I’m interested in more than just the numbers - I look at what those numbers will mean for their business. When asked what their business goals are, people will often give you a figure, but delve a bit deeper and you’ll find that it’s rarely just a numbers target and more about what that number would allow them to do in their lives. I love being able to form these deeper relationships and understand what motivates people to help get the best results for them.”
How does BDO allow you to do this?
“The biggest thing BDO offers me is the freedom to be my authentic self. I don’t have to put on a separate work persona each day – I’m encouraged to be me and engage with people in a meaningful way. For example, I recently launched PINC Ladies Wellington (a group for professional women, non-binary and those who identify female to network, collaborate, and find support with like-minded people). It's about women supporting women, offering flexible and fun networking opportunities and events for women in business.
It’s important for me to help uplift women in business and this has been supported by my manager, firm, and the wider BDO network. Launching PINC Ladies Wellington was something I came up with during my Elevate (BDO leadership programme) course so that’s another way BDO has helped me to be impactful.”
How does BDO’s approach make you feel?“It makes me feel excited. BDO doesn’t just talk about making an impact in an abstract way – examples like mine prove the business is really living and breathing this value."
At BDO I am my best when…“I’m dealing with clients and staff that I’ve built a relationship with, and the work is challenging. Then I know I’m really utilising my skills and adding the most value.”
Interested in a career at BDO? View our current opportunities here or read our other BDO colleague stories.