Supporting role: Vicki McDonald and Brittney Marshall

January 4, 2016

Newcastle-based chartered accountancy firm UNW LLP offers a mentor system whereby graduate recruits can benefit from help with preparing for their professional exams and enjoy a smooth induction into the firm. One such mentor relationship in 2015 has provided award-winning results …

Vicki McDonald
Senior audit manager

I have been with UNW for almost three years and am part of the UNW induction process for all graduates. I met Brittney on her very first day at UNW when she joined our graduate programme and my first impressions were that she had great potential and displayed the right ambition, quest for knowledge and overall attitude.

Our mentoring system at UNW is two-fold. I mentor all of the students with regard to their exams and also help with a successful induction and training programme into the firm.

It soon became clear that Brittney didn’t need much help when it came to exams – she has passed every one first time with very high marks, winning a number of regional prizes and most recently coming number one in the world for her taxation compliance exam. This is testament to Brittney’s own hard work but I, the rest of the managers and her peers have all encouraged and supported her throughout and will continue through our ongoing mentoring culture.

I am particularly impressed with Brittney’s hard work, dedication and ability to be a team player. I predict bright things are ahead for her.

Brittney Marshall (pictured)
Audit assistant

I started at UNW LLP just over a year ago now as a graduate on the first step of the ladder to becoming an audit assistant. I met Vicki on my first day when I was given a tour around the office and she introduced me to all the staff. I immediately warmed to her friendly approach.

Vicki became my mentor soon after we met and she helped ensure I knew what my objectives were. She is there for any technical issues, as well as being someone to talk to if I am ever feeling overwhelmed by the process.

The main things Vicki has taught me are to look for opportunities when they arise, to build good relationships with clients, and to believe in myself more. I was quite quiet and shy when I first joined UNW but Vicki has given me the self belief to come out of my shell.

There are a number of opportunities and paths to follow at UNW. The next hurdle is to get through the final exams, which Vicki will be there to help me with. I am looking forward to taking on more responsibility, leading an audit team myself and offering help to the next round of new starters.
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