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A Dutchman in Southampton

Geert Boudewijns

15 January 2016

Historically, Wilkins Kennedy as a firm actively encourages students and young people to train with them and I know that they see many benefits in doing this. In terms of culture, it helps bring fresh, new life in to a firm that is 133 years old – something that is really important to Wilkins Kennedy. Despite its age, Wilkins Kennedy has a diverse and varied employee group and it prides themselves on creating and growing staff knowledge, even after qualification.

These clear career paths reflected my own goals and aspirations, which was one of the reasons I applied to work for Wilkins Kennedy. Currently I am studying for a Bachelor’s degree in International Financial Management at the Avans University of Applied Sciences in Breda, The Netherlands.

I made my way to the UK for a five month work placement at Wilkins Kennedy’s Southampton office, where I fulfil a role within auditing team as a Junior Auditor.

I am now coming to the end of my placement and so far it has proven to be one of the best decisions in my life. I have been given a once in a lifetime opportunity to work for a top-20 UK accountancy firm and this has been my first long-term experience abroad, but my nervousness was very short-lived.

From day one, I hit the ground running and I was able to get involved with a variety of auditing tasks from preparing, analysing, testing and evaluating various documents and reports on behalf of clients for whom Wilkins Kennedy acts.  I have also had the pleasure of collaborating in an assortment of on-site auditing jobs, which range from counting and verifying stock, to conducting various auditing tests. Furthermore, I am conducting a small research on the transition of UK GAAP to FRS 102 for my school assignment, in which I identify the impact of the introduction of FRS 102 on Wilkins Kennedy and its clients.

Not only was I able to find the workload easy to adjust to, my colleagues have been extremely friendly, not only to me, but also to each other. They have done a great job to help me feel comfortable and ‘at home’ both at work and in my spare time. They’ve shown a lot of interest in my personal background, but have also introduced me to British culture too, from attending the Saints games to playing football ourselves, but perhaps the best part was a nice meal at the local pub!

Residing and settling in Southampton has been wonderful and there is plenty to do in this busy city. Even though I am in another country, I am already starting to feel as though this is a home from home! What’s more, the opportunity to work with, and learn from, all these professionals here at Wilkins Kennedy is amazing.

I would like to take the opportunity to express my gratitude towards all of my colleagues, but in particular to Oliver Rowe for being such a great mentor, and also a colossal shout out to my fellow auditing colleagues who have been of fantastic help and assistance too!

If anybody reading this blog is considering a work placement in an accountancy environment, then I would strongly recommend that you make Wilkins Kennedy your first port of call! There is more information about opportunities available here.

Adam Wilson, Managing Partner at Wilkins Kennedy Southampton, commented: “Geert has been a great attribute to the firm and not just on the work front but also by being the regular supplier of sweet toffee waffles, which are a must.  He truly has been a real asset and fitted in extremely well.  We would certainly welcome him back!”

L-R Adam Wilson, Geert “Gerry” Boudewijns and Oliver Rowe

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