by Richard Buckley, Editor, Business Eye

This October, BSc Accounting students from the Ulster University Business School are to take part in the BDO Interview Award for the 6th year running. Organised by the Business School as part of the BSc (Hons) Accounting and the BSc Finance and Investment Management programmes with support from BDO Northern Ireland, the Award process comprises interview skills training provided by BDO senior staff as well as a series of mock interviews undertaken by senior staff from both organisations.


The top performing students will each receive a monetary prize and an internship with the firm as well as mentoring support from BDO Northern Ireland during the remainder of their university studies.

Launching the programme for its 6th year, Laura Jackson, Partner at BDO Northern Ireland said,

“Across our firm, we believe strongly in developing talent and providing meaningful experiences that help people to excel in the workplace. We were delighted to have Amy, Tom and Hannah join us over the summer as part of the award scheme. Their energy and enthusiasm for the work and their appetite to learn made it so enjoyable to have them in the team.

Going forward we are thrilled to support such a valuable initiative once again, now in its 6th year. Strengthening our partnership with Ulster University Business School, this award scheme supports our strategy and has helped deliver positive outcomes for students over the last number of years. We are proud to support this work-focused competition and give back to our invaluable local educational institutions.”

Commenting on the award and the benefit to the students, Laura Morgan, Lecturer at Ulster University added,

“BDO delivers an excellent workshop to the accounting students providing useful advice and tips on how to improve their interview techniques. BDO interviews all students along with a representative from the Ulster University. This element of the module facilitates the growth and development of our young people in preparation for the workplace by given them real life experience that money simply cannot buy. By adding a leading employer’s input such as BDO to this module, it adds to our students’ experiences and exposure to local industry.”

Due to the Covid pandemic the interviews and training sessions as part of the 2020 BDO Interview Award took place virtually, however, that didn’t stop Amy Davis, Tom Maguire and Hannah Ross coming out on top. As part of their award, all 3 students took part in a weeklong summer internship with BDO NI and their audit team.

Tom Maguire, one of the 2020 Interview Award winners spoke about the benefits of the Interview Award process for her future career,

“I found taking part in the UU BDO mock interview process was a great opportunity which allowed me to experience a virtual type of interview, which are now more common due to our new world of work. I valued the instant and constructive feedback and the experience helped me further develop my interview strategies, improve my communication skills, and reduce my stress levels.

The internship provided me with a unique insight into the business and working life at BDO. It allowed me to gain a real understanding of what a graduate career would be like. My internship experience in BDO has undoubtedly allowed me to see that Audit is a fast moving and exciting industry to join. It was a really enjoyable experience and opportunity and one which I would encourage other students to apply for.”

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BDO NI Partner Laura Jackson

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V12 MPU e/Nov21

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