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Laura Harper is an Associate Tax Director based in Manchester. She has been with BDO for 10 years, following joining on the graduate programme. She is a weightlifting convert, loves to watch Rugby and has recently returned to work from maternity leave. 

What has been your career journey at BDO so far?
I joined BDO ten years ago on the graduate training programme. I spent three years as a corporate tax trainee juggling the world of work, professional qualifications and the endless social events… who knew Accountants weren’t boring?!

My training contract was pretty varied and I gained good exposure to most taxes, although took a greater interest in working with our mid to large corporates, particularly in respect of Tax Risk and Governance. Gradually as I progressed through my career, I have specialised in Tax Assurance and Risk Management and have built a successful career in this area.

Having recently returned from maternity leave I am in the process of discovering a work life balance and hope to prove that you can have a successful career and be a Mummy at the same time.

Why do you apply to join BDO?
Studying Religious Studies and Philosophy at university I had no idea what I was going to do as a career. Although this didn’t phase me, my parents pushed me to line up some work experience as they hoped I would finally find the career for me and I would finally give the bank of Mum and Dad a break.

As a result, I spent the Summer of my second year at university doing work experience at a law firm, PR agency and BDO. I spent two weeks at BDO and by the end of it I already felt like part of the BDO family and returned as a tax trainee following university.

How would you describe BDO's culture?
Open and inclusive, enabling empowerment. 

What has been the best course you have completed whilst at BDO? 

I attended a Personal Effectiveness course as an Assistant Manager and I believe a lot of the skills learnt during this course has been impactful on my career. This course helped me gain an insight into my personality type and the impact that this may have on others who I work with.

It helped me identify ways to improve my own performance but also gave me tips on how best to work with those with differing personality types.
Everyone is unique, but we can all work together, and by making some subtle changes this can improve experience for everyone.

Describe BDO in one sentence
A great business made up of incredible people from all walks of life coming together to provide a first-class service for our clients.

What has been your biggest surprise at BDO?
When I joined BDO I think there were about 30 people in the Manchester Tax Department, and this has more than doubled to over 80 people, yet it still feels just as well connected, and people focused as it did when I joined.