Jessica has been at BDO for five very busy years. During her time here she’s seen a merger, a firmwide rebrand, a pandemic and the communications team go from strength to strength. She also managed to fit in a diploma and worked with a wide range of different teams on different projects. Find out why she thinks she’s only just getting started.
How did you end up working in communications?
I think I’ve always liked to be part of this world. I suppose I’ve always been quite creative in my approach to work and that’s what I liked to be involved in. I studied History at university which I think lends itself quite well to that creativity, especially when it comes to writing which is something I have always enjoyed. I thought marketing would be something I’d work towards, but a shift towards communications naturally flourished. I began to see how much my skills just lent themselves to it and I haven’t looked back since. Communications is something that I think a lot of people do as part of their day-to-day role, more than they may even realise., it’s then our job to help champion that.
What brought you to BDO?
I’ve been here for five years. I was originally brought in by a colleague in marketing that I’d previously worked with and she sold BDO to me as this incredible business with an amazing culture that she really enjoyed working in. I’d been doing more and more internal communications so when the opportunity came up, I thought I had to go for it.
How has the communications team changed since you joined?
From the first time I came into interview, I absolutely fell in love with the people. The culture was so clear to see from my very first meeting and I’ve been here ever since. The communications team has grown massively since then. We’ve gone from a team of 5 people when I joined, to 12 people now. It’s been amazing to be part of that journey and see how valued communications are not just as a team but in what we do for the business. We get to meet with stakeholders across the business in every department. It’s a hub of BDO activity and it’s amazing to part of.
How has BDO supported you in your career?
BDO have been incredibly supportive. After two years in the role, I made the business case for myself to study for an internal communications diploma. They not only paid for it but supported me all the way through. I was given time to focus on it and deployment in internal communications once I achieved it. It was good to get a qualification, but it really cemented a lot of the stuff I was already doing. It spurred me on to focus more on the strategic side of communications and helped me get to the next step much quicker.
It’s something I’m really grateful to the firm for, especially how they looked after me while I did it. To me that’s what put BDO head and shoulders above other companies; they really invest in their people. If you can put a business case together, they’re always considered. It’s an amazing thing for a company to do for somebody.
What are you most proud of having achieved at BDO?
When I look back at the past five years, I’ve actually been involved in some really crucial moments of business change. I was heavily involved in the merger with Stephens, our firmwide rebrand, and the launch of our new values. But I think the COVID-19 communications would be at the top of the list. I mean that’s something you don’t really plan for and to be part of a worldwide communications team during a pandemic, you really see the value in what we can do for the business.
Within a matter of weeks we became a remote working workforce. We had to communicate with everybody at home, we had to bring people together at a time they weren’t physically together. It really made me see the value of what we do and made me really appreciate my role. It was a time that I felt really proud to be part of BDO because I think you really saw people coming together to support each other and be there for one another.
What does the future look like for the communications team?
We’re only getting bigger! We just seem to keep growing which is amazing because we create these roles for people as we get to work with so many different departments and they’re all starting to see the value of great communications. It means we keep growing, and we develop even more breadth and reach across the business. It’s amazing to be part of.
It’s great that there doesn’t seem to be a glass ceiling, we just continue improving and value increases. Our previous Communications Director is now a Partner, so she now was a seat at the table which will only help us improve that value even more going forwards.
What makes BDO different?
I would say that a lot of companies really promote this idea of having a great culture and a lot of times the reality doesn’t add up to what they promised. I think BDO is one place I can guarantee you will get what you’re promised from a culture point of view. It’s a great community to be a part of.