How an Accounting Cadetship Program Changed My World

Planning your professional career can seem daunting. However, taking the first step provides the confidence to continue taking small steps forward and, before you know it, you’re an Intermediate Accountant with a firm that is committed to assisting your personal growth!

How do I know that?

Well, following is my journey as a cadet accountant with SRJ Walker Wayland in south-east Queensland…

My introduction to accounting cadetship programs

It started in high school, where a small accounting class was led by a brilliant teacher, who always had our best interests at heart. He recognised opportunities to assist in our career development.

During my senior year, the teacher identified that Queensland University of Technology offered a program to engage high school students in the accounting profession. This involved students studying the first-year accounting subject.

After completing it, I knew for certain that I wanted to study a Bachelor of Business majoring in Accounting. There was one major flaw in my vision: I had no plan to develop practical experience.

Rising to the challenge yet again, my teacher discovered that SRJ Walker Wayland offers an accounting cadetship program, where recent high-school graduates are employed as cadet accountants (cadets).

The program is designed to motivate and challenge young professionals to excel in their career whilst undertaking university study in accounting, business or commerce. This sounded too good to be true!

The firm hosts a cadetship program evening annually in October. I was unable to attend that year but, of course, I still applied for the program…

The intrigue…

There are very few opportunities that allow you to combine formal education with practical work experience.

This unique opportunity to enter the accounting profession was a fantastic way to not only strengthen my knowledge during university studies but also provide an extra edge over other students.

At the completion of a university degree, the majority of students apply for graduate positions with no prior experience, while I would have over four years of experience to demonstrate.

I saw the opportunity to successfully complete a cadetship AND hold a degree as too good to miss!

Starting the cadetship

To my joy, I was accepted into the accounting cadetship program at SRJ Walker Wayland.

The program initially provides a basic understanding of the systems and processes used within the firm and develops your knowledge of the accounting profession: all within the first week!

In fact, the amount of content scheduled for the first week was daunting and exhausting at times but the transition into the role was eased by the friendliness of my ‘buddy’. This is a great feature of the cadetship program: a ‘buddy’ is assigned to each cadet who joins the firm.

Their role can extend beyond mentoring your initial professional development within the firm to include support for university studies.

Personal life balance within the cadetship

There’s no denying that developing one’s time management skills in a professional environment can be tough. The beauty of the cadetship program is that you’re not alone. Many cadets face the same juggling act as you.

The key to remaining grounded is allowing yourself time to grow as a person, taking time to acknowledge your achievements, and building in some time for relaxation as you go.

Stepping away from the workplace, you will often find yourself studying the same subject as another cadet, providing you with an opportunity to get to know them, collaborate on projects and study together.

The support network within the cadetship program is incredibly strong and I have been grateful for this throughout my time at university.

The life lessons you can learn…

When I started the cadetship program, I was under the impression that increasing my tax knowledge would be the sole focus. I was wrong.

The program develops you as a person and a professional.

Throughout the journey, I have learned to understand and use my strengths but also how to combat my limitations.

A bright future at SRJ Walker Wayland

SRJ Walker Wayland is truly adapting to the changing world of accounting, with the future pillars of Business Services to include advisory, software, marketing and financial controller outsourcing, as well as tax advisory, tax compliance, and tax planning.

All accountants, including cadets, are provided with the opportunity to diversify their skill set and undertake new roles within the firm.

With a passion for writing, my role within our firm of the future will continue to focus on tax compliance but hopefully incorporate marketing: in particular, composing articles like this one.

Will you grab your opportunity?

Your potential is only limited by your dreams.

I was employed as a cadet accountant in February 2014 and commenced a Bachelor of Business majoring in Accounting at that time.

With thanks to the support I have received throughout my journey, I was promoted to Intermediate Accountant in October 2017. To put this achievement into context: I am 21 years old and have six months of university remaining.

Surrounding yourself with a strong support network that is dedicated to helping you grow is the key to success.

There are unlimited opportunities in the world and completing the SRJ Walker Wayland cadetship program has helped me move one step closer to my dreams.

How are you going to grab your opportunity?

Jess Redfern

To discuss the cadetship program with a member of the team or apply for a position, please contact us on (07) 3490 9988.