This spring Weaver had four visiting staff members participate in the Weaver Secondment Program. See what Katherine Toyer from Pitcher Partners had to say about her experience at Weaver and in the United States.
Secondee Interview Questions:
Name: Katherine Toyer
Position: Senior Analyst
Dates: Jan – April 2019
Location: Dallas, Texas
Local Firm: Pitcher Partners (Melbourne, Australia)
What were the objectives of the secondment?
I saw the objectives of secondment as being able to be completely immersed in a different culture and working environment, to gain new professional experiences, to meet new people and to get an opportunity to travel.
Briefly, detail your secondment experience.
Secondment overall was such a great experience, something I’m so happy I participated in. At Weaver, I worked predominantly with Financial Services clients from the Dallas office. I spent a couple of weeks out with clients but mainly worked from the office. We have a close-knit financial services team in the Dallas office, so I felt at home right away. Weekends were either spent travelling to other places (Austin, Houston, San Antonio, Vegas) or spent exploring the Dallas/ Fort Worth area.
What have you learned as a result of the secondment experience?
I learned a lot about financial services in general, given I had not worked on this type of client back home so it was a good opportunity to develop in this area. After getting my head around the different systems and some of the different acronyms and lingo, I learned that overall the way things are done are relatively similar so skills are quite transferable.
What was something that surprised you about the local culture?
I just found everyone extremely warm, friendly and hospitable. I loved how chivalrous everyone was too! I hardly had to open a door for myself the entire time. I also enjoyed how patriotic and proud Texans are of Texas. I can understand why.
What was a challenge you had to overcome while being in Dallas?
Driving was definitely a terrifying experience at first; the speed, the overlapping freeways and driving on the ‘right’ side of the road. Tipping was difficult to get my head around at first as this is not common back home. I was never confident where, when and how much. The imperial system was difficult to get used to; when someone mentions “it’s 30” I expect a nice sunny day, not below freezing! The very hardest for me is writing the date MM/DD/YY instead of DD/MM/YY, I am still not sure I have overcome this challenge.
Did you pick up a local phrase or habit while here?
I definitely find myself saying y’all a bit or saying ‘ah-huh’ as a response to thank you. I have started expecting lunch very early around 11:30 AM, I would have never done that at home.
Name a favorite experience from the trip.
My favorite experience was just hanging out with and getting to know the people in Dallas. It’s such a good group here.