Don’t just take our word about what a great place MacKay LLP is to work: Read what some of our recent students have experienced in some of our different locations and what they think about starting their careers with us.
I have been working at MacKay LLP in Kelowna since January 2008, first as a co-op student, then part-time while I finished up my last semester at Okanagan College, and now as a full-time employee. I chose MacKay LLP because I wanted to be in a mid-sized firm – not too big that I would get lost among the other students and not too small that it did not have the resources I needed. MacKay LLP is just the right size for me. I have been given all the training and support I could possibly want and my individual strengths and weaknesses are known to all the partners, associates, and managers. I am challenged every day I come to work and leave with a sense of accomplishment.
The greatest part about working at MacKay LLP in Kelowna is the people and the culture. The partners work very hard to develop a culture that revolves around work-life balance, encouraging people to be active, happy, and to have fun every day.
Libby MacKenzie, Kelowna
Starting out as a fresh graduate from the UBC accounting program, I felt like I was on top of the world after being hired in a field for which I have developed a strong passion. Like most young graduates, I believed that everything I learned in school would have prepared me adequately for the job. That myth was quickly dispelled after my first week. There were times I felt very helpless and realized that there is no substitute for practical experience. Nevertheless, people at MacKay LLP were very supportive and understood that the position has a very steep learning curve. Seating me in a bullpen with experienced hires helped me a great deal; not only were they able to show me the ropes, they also shared their experiences and explained how they had the same issues and problems as I did when they first started. Although there is still a great deal to learn, I feel more comfortable in my role and I am confident that I can tackle any new challenge that may come my way.
My favorite part about working at MacKay LLP is the diversity of clients. There are times when I have to handle a client by myself, which trains me to develop the soft skills like communication and professional judgment, and there are times when I work in groups, developing the more technical skills with the more complex accounting issues.
MacKay LLP has exceeded my expectation in terms of its culture and learning experience. The firm encourages teamwork by organizing social functions, which allows everybody to mingle and get to know each other on a personal basis. I feel just as comfortable talking to a partner as I would another student, knowing that everybody is seen as equals in the firm. Our open-door policy and people’s natural tendency to be helpful has allowed me to ask questions without hesitation. As my mentor at the firm has repeated to me on several occasions, “There are no stupid questions.” One of the most important things about MacKay LLP, which I believe is vital to work satisfaction, is our ability to form close relationships with our fellow teammates. I have been blessed to meet many great individuals with whom I have been fortunate enough to develop close friendships. The past year at MacKay LLP especially has allowed me to grow professionally and personally, and I hope to continue this trend for years to come.
Peter Lok, Vancouver
As a student it was important that I chose a firm where I would get experience and support that would help me succeed in CASB and my career. From my start at MacKay LLP as a co-op student in 2007, I noticed that the size of the firm was a real advantage; it allowed me to work on files from beginning to end and exposed me to many different technical areas. It also allowed me the opportunity to meet and build relationships with clients.
I have been given the opportunity to work independently on files that allowed me to develop my analytical, problem solving, and technical skills. The work has been stimulating and never boring – if I do well on something I will get more complicated files to work on, so I’m always learning. And there is always someone there to help me when I get stuck (which seems daily!). Our office has an open-door policy, so if I ever have a question there is always someone who can help me or point me in the right direction – regardless of how busy they are.
The type of work that I did as a co-op student complemented my studies at university; it reinforced material from previous courses and made traditionally challenging subjects seem easier because I was looking at everything from a different perspective. Even now as I am going through CASB much of the material covered is something that I’ve dealt with at work and this makes my modules easier.
As far as how I feel working for MacKay LLP, I actually felt welcome before I even started! The firm is like a family and they even stayed in touch while I was at school. It’s more than a workplace for me – yes I enjoy the work, but I also enjoy the people that I work with. We have plenty of social events with the Vancouver office such as the Christmas Party, Tax Party, and Golf Tournament. The Surrey office also has many other social events like team lunches and activities during busy season to take some of the stress away. And it’s not unusual to see us hanging out with colleagues outside of work hours. Last year I took golf lessons with some of the other students and this year I am training for the Vancouver Sun Run!
I wanted a balanced workplace and MacKay LLP has certainly met my expectations; the work is challenging and the people are like family. With the support I get from this firm it’s a place where I can develop the skills I need to succeed.
Rachel Thomas, Surrey