Case study

Katie Woodstock — Assistant Manager (Private Wealth)


A combination of her parents’ careers in finance and her own love of numbers led Katie to choose a career in accountancy and an apprenticeship with BDO

Why did you choose a school leaver apprenticeship?

I liked the idea of studying while working. I wanted to gain real, on the job experience and earn money while avoiding debt. It also allowed me to become a fully qualified tax adviser and assistant manager at the age of 22.

What appealed to you about working for BDO?

During the interview process, I knew that BDO was right for me. I felt like I could be my self throughout and didn’t just feel like a number. I had a gut instinct that BDO was able to offer me what I was looking for in a career and school leaver apprenticeship scheme.

What does a typical working day involve?

It involves preparing tax advisory memos and reports when requested by clients which you can tailor to their specific needs. There’s also an element of tax compliance, meaning that December and January can be pretty hectic when it comes to tax filing deadlines. It also involves attending client meetings, which enables you to build meaningful relationships and provide the best possible service.

What three skills are essential to your role?

Being personable, having a good attention to detail, and being open-minded.

What part of your job gives you the most satisfaction?

Providing clients with the best possible advice so that they are able to achieve their own personal goals and satisfy their intentions. In my department, we focus on building client relationships, not only focusing on providing effective tax advice, but also making sure the general wellbeing of our clients is also a priority.

What are the challenges?

Complex analysis work for certain individuals who have a non-domiciled status in the UK as this is a particularly grey area from a tax perspective. Challenges also include managing workloads and priorities especially during our busy season through December and January, but this is always balanced well.

Describe your job at BDO in three words.

Authentic, rewarding, and taxing (no pun intended).

What are your career ambitions?

Now that I’m an assistant manager, I want to develop the skills that I have gained, become a coach/mentor to those going through their training programme, and work towards becoming a manager in the next couple of years.

What training and development have you received at BDO?

I received a lot of in house technical training with experienced tax specialists as well as support from my buddy and counselling manager throughout the apprenticeship programme.

What advice would you give to others thinking about joining a school leaver apprenticeship programme?

Do your research. Find the right firm that fits in with your values and take advantage of all the amazing opportunities offered to you.

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