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Student careers: Be inspired and mentored by market leaders

22 February 2023

At BDO, our people are mentored by Partners who are genuine market leaders, and who are frequently called upon by Government and media to give their opinions on the latest issues of the day. We spoke to Jackson McDonald, a Business Advisory grad at BDO Auckland, to find out more about his experiences working in the construction team, where he works closely with BDO New Zealand’s national construction sector leaders and BDO Partners Nick Innes-Jones and James MacQueen.

Jackson McDonald, Business Advisory Graduate, Construction Team, BDO Auckland

What’s it been like learning from BDO Partners?

As a grad coming into the accounting industry, I didn’t have much of an idea of what my role was going to be like. The way Nick [Innes-Jones, National Construction & Real Estate Sector Leader] and James [MacQueen, Construction Sector Specialist] have introduced me to the team and got me working on some pretty exciting jobs early on has really sparked my interest both for accounting and for the construction sector.

How easy is it to ask questions and learn?

One of the things in particular that has been really helpful in progressing my understanding is the open door policy we have – my desk is situated right beside Nick and James’ offices, and their doors are open 95% of the day. That’s been important for my development because I get to hear a lot of the client and colleague conversations they have. These calls can be on anything, from information about certain jobs to industry insights and all sorts of other things relevant to the construction industry – they’ve helped shed light and provide context for the work that I and the wider team do.

If I have questions about what I’ve heard, I’ll head into Nick’s office and ask him to explain – he and the other Partners always appreciate it when we’re inquisitive and they always make an effort to take us through our questions and any other industry updates that are happening.

What type of clients have you worked with?

I’ve loved that I’ve had exposure to some pretty high-level construction industry clients right from the beginning of my time at BDO. These are companies with high revenue and high numbers of staff, and it’s great to have been trusted with the responsibility to look after these clients and have direct contact with them, including attending meetings, from so early on.

Sometimes accounting can be a lot of numbers and words and meeting clients really grounds it and provides context. People who work in construction tend to be real people people which I also love – all our clients are very easy to relate to and get along with which is great.

I love that I get to work so closely with James, Nick and the rest of the team – they are so well-known in the industry and it’s awesome seeing them being interviewed in the news so much. Every time I talk to them, I understand why they are under the spotlight like this as they are so knowledgeable about the industry and it’s very rewarding to be in a position where they can share that knowledge with me. 

Be your best at BDO

At BDO, you can be your best, whatever that may look like. We offer a unique and supportive culture that puts people first – whether that’s professional development, personal fulfilment or work-life balance that ensures you get access to Partners and clients as soon as you enter our doors. Learn more and apply for one of our graduate career roles today.