This Indian Auditor found an opportunity at a Big 5 accounting firm in London. Here is how he went about it.
Jashpal is a chartered accountant of India, who moved to the UK in 2018 and managed to land a job at Big 5 firms BDO UK. Give yourself sufficient time and the right opportunity will come.
- Hi, I am Jashpal Parmar, a Chartered Accountant (CA) of India who got to fulfill his dream of working in the UK.
- Inspired by my father who is a CA, I too decided to become one.
- Over the years at EY and two other Big 4 firms, I got to work with multinational clients, which made me look for global opportunities.
- When trying for one of the Big 5 accounting firms internationally, I learned that there can be many rejections before the right opportunity comes.
Starting my career with the Big 4s
Inspired by my father, a practicing chartered accountant in India, I too decided to be one.
With the intent to get an all-rounded exposure I moved to Mumbai, the city of dreams.
Fast forward to 2008, when I was looking for an accounting firm to do my article training, I saw my roommate training with PwC, a Big 4 accounting firm.
Seeing that, I got an urge to learn more about the Big 4s and I made all the possible efforts to associate myself with them.
And one fine day I got a call from Deloitte’s Mumbai office to join them as an article assistant.
Auditing was mandatory for my article training, however, moving ahead in my career I genuinely started enjoying it.
After qualifying as a CA I moved to Deloitte’s Bangalore office, as an Assistant Audit Manager.
My family was in Ahmedabad. To get closer to them I joined my dad’s firm, only to realise that I was meant for a much longer journey with the big accounting firms.
I then moved to EY Delhi in 2015.
Dream to get a global exposure
Over the years, I worked on projects with several large multinational clients.
Those experiences taught me to work more collaboratively with large teams, focus on self-development, and engage effectively with people to build great relationships.
My biggest learning was adapting myself to different organisations, and cities.
Working with global clients made me look at the bigger picture.
I wanted to associate myself with one of the Big 4 or Big 5 firms at their prime international location; be it in the United Kingdom or the United States.
The goal was (and continues to be) to build a long-term career with them at that particular location eventually becoming a Partner.
London was always on the top of my priority list. But the big question was- how do I go about it?
Several rejections later... an opportunity in London
By 2017, I had worked on several large multinational audit projects (some of them were UK groups) and gained extensive experience.
I could now showcase them on my CV along with my skill set, which would help me make a smooth transition.
Given my preference for London, I applied to 3 of the Big 5 accounting firms in different locations there. I applied directly through their official website and engaged with the right connections on LinkedIn to increase my chances of success.
I didn’t meet the requirements for most of these interviews, but they prepared me to ace the next ones.
Many rejections later in 2018, I finally aced the interview at BDO UK.
As a process, I was interviewed by HR, the director, and partners through different rounds. The wider BDO team supported me through all this, which was truly heartwarming.
It took me around five to six months to start my new job in the UK, from the day of the application. I joined them as a Manager within the consumer markets audit team.
A dream come true.
Settling down in the UK - Is it hard?
There is a lot of information available online for people coming to the UK. I used this method to get relevant insights on immigration laws, visa requirements, etc.
I was able to settle in pretty quickly after moving to the UK. My organisation (BDO) was a great support. They provided all the necessary guidance and assistance to help me settle down within the first six months of the move.
Given I joined BDO pre-COVID, we were working at the office or the clients’ locations on weekdays.
This gave me sufficient time to build relationships with my peers and partners. I learned the different practices and ways of communication that are useful in the UK.
Looking for an opportunity in the UK?
For any person coming to the UK with a long-term goal, you must have patience. There can be many rejections before the right opportunity comes.
Here are a few pointers that you should keep in mind if you are looking to work in the United Kingdom.
Intra-company transfer: This is the best and the most efficient way of finding an opportunity abroad. Check if your organization is willing to sponsor you and that's all for the visa application. All the Big 4 or Big 5 accounting firms generally sponsor the candidates.
You need to create an application and demonstrate that you have the right skills that will be beneficial for the recruiting organization.
Interview process: The overall interview process takes around a month and a half, as it goes through different levels, be it with the HR manager, senior managers, directors, or partners. You need some level of experience to crack the interviews.
So don't get discouraged if the first few don't work out.
Lots of Paperwork: You need to go through a decent amount of paperwork and the Visa application process. You can apply for a work visa three months prior to joining your new organization in the UK.
The duration of the process: In my case, it took me around five to six months to start my new job in the UK, from the day of the application. Also, it varies from company to company.
There are always pros and cons of moving to different countries.
I think when one has to make the decision of moving to a new country they should list down on paper the opportunity it provides the positives and negatives.
One has to make up their mind if they can relate to that particular country and the location quite easily and if they are quite comfortable in transitioning to it.
If you are actually looking for recruitment internationally it is quite essential that one build experiences when they are working in India.
That would be an easy way to demonstrate that you have the right level of skills and knowledge to transition well to the role that you are applying for.
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