Date posted: 16/08/2017

Joshua Robb: from Intern to Associate Director

We speak to Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CA ANZ) Achiever Programme success story, Joshua Robb about how participating in an internship helped kick-start his career.

In Brief:

  • The CA ANZ Achiever Programme can help students gain experience in the different fields of accounting.
  • Unsure about accounting? The programme could help you discover the right specialisation for you.
  • Joshua Robb credits the programme for helping him achieve his rapid and satisfying career progression.

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Joshua Robb admits that selecting a degree was a difficult choice for him.

He was fascinated by law and worked part-time as a law clerk while at school, but was advised that accounting was a more practical choice, so he made the choice to pursue a Bachelor of Commerce degree at the University of Newcastle.

"I hedged my bets by enrolling in commerce and doing some law subjects on the side," Joshua says. It turned out to be a great decision.

He applied for the CA ANZ Achiever Programme in his first year of university and after a four-week internship at PKF (formerly Lawler Partners), was offered a full-time role in their insolvency practice.

Juggling full-time work and university, by the time he graduated four years later, he had already progressed to a senior liquidation role. It's an area of accounting that he loves.

"I really enjoy the business restructuring side of insolvency, it's so rewarding to take a business with real issues and turn it around into a viable going concern," Joshua says.

Joshua is now an Associate Director at SV Partners. A registered liquidator, he'll shortly become a trustee in bankruptcy. He credits the CA ANZ Achiever Programme, that he began as a first-year university student, for helping him achieve his rapid and satisfying career progression.

"I think I can safely say I wouldn't be at the point I am, being a partner in a liquidation firm at just 29, if I didn't do that programme to start with," Joshua says.

“I did the internship so that I could gain some experience in different areas of accounting and see if there were any areas I liked… But the day I started in insolvency, I realised – this is what I want to do from now on!”
Joshua Robb Associate Director of SV Partners

First weeks

Joshua says that joining the CA ANZ Achiever Programme was fairly straightforward. After completing the initial application and interview, he was offered a placement at Lawler Partners, a large accounting practice with an excellent reputation.

The initial placement was for four weeks and he spent one week in each of the company's key divisions: business services, tax, audit and insolvency.

"I didn't even know that insolvency existed at that point," Joshua admits. "I did the internship so that I could gain some experience in different areas of accounting and see if there were any areas I liked."

At this stage, Josh was still contemplating changing to a law degree.

"After a week in business services and audit, I was ready to move on. And while I liked tax, I wasn't sure I could keep doing it. But the day I started in insolvency, I realised - this is what I want to do from now on," Joshua says.

Career move

After the four week placement, Joshua was offered a role in each of the firm's divisions, and he immediately accepted the offer of full-time work from the insolvency partner.

"I had no intention of working full time - but when the opportunity came up, I just had to take it," he says.

Joshua juggled his timetable and managed to also attend university full-time, doing four subjects each semester, with most of his classes taken at night after work.

"Lawler Partners offered study leave, and then for anything above what they gave me, they were pretty flexible; if I had to spend an extra two hours at uni then I'd just make up for those two hours by working earlier or later," he says.

Joshua is a big fan of the CA ANZ Achiever Programme. "If you're thinking about it, my advice is - go for it. There's no way I would be where I am now without it."

Interested in taking part in an internship placement? Find out more about the CA ANZ Achiever Programme.