Howdy Y'all: A Secondee's Experience at Weaver Part 2

Weaver offers unique opportunities to temporarily transfer staff (typically for three to six month periods) to a participating member firm to help execute specific projects. The program provides global development opportunities for staff members – such as learning international regulations, building technical and communication skills, and gaining cultural awareness – all while expanding the firm’s international network.

This year Weaver had four visiting staff members participate in the Weaver Secondment Program, two working in Dallas and two in Houston. See what Sean Brennan from Pitcher Partners in Australia had to say about his experience at Weaver and in the United States.

Name: Sean Brennan

Position: Senior Associate I, Audit, Houston

Dates: January – April 2016

Hometown: Melbourne, Australia

What were the objectives of the secondment? 

I wanted to gain exposure to different industries, most notably oil and gas, as our Melbourne firm does not have many clients in that industry. I thought it would also be interesting to see the similarities and differences in audit methodologies. However, the main reason was the opportunity to combine work with my passion of traveling.

Briefly detail your secondment experience. 

I truly have had the time of my life while in the United States. To be able to see the many different aspects of American culture each day is something that I do not take for granted. The experience has been made 110% more enjoyable due to the overly friendly people I’ve met and the ability to share the highlights with one of my best mates from back home. 

What have you learned as a result of the secondment experience? 

I have learned that audit procedures are pretty consistent between Weaver and Pitcher Partners. At times there are some differences in the approach to the fieldwork, but the end results are the same. The exposure to a completely foreign accounting software program was something that I had to learn very quickly, which at times made me really miss home! 

What was something that surprised you about the local culture? 

Things that continue to surprise me: People eat lunch at 11:00 a.m. The Australian accent is hard to understand. You get free refills if you are at a restaurant. People drink on Sundays. People drive everywhere no matter how close the destination.

What was a challenge you had to overcome while being in the United States? 

As mentioned above, the exposure to a new accounting program was difficult. Merging onto the freeways is much more difficult than at home, as some people are trying to exit at the same time (poor road design if you ask me!).

What was your most/least favorite Texas food that you have tried while in the United States? 

My favorite places were Salata, Chick-fil-a and Potbelly Sandwiches. I never realized how mediocre our fast food selection is in Australia. I am honestly looking into bringing Salata as a franchise back to Australia – it would literally print money!

Name a favorite experience from the trip.

This is like trying to pick a favorite parent. Mardi Gras in New Orleans, SXSW in Austin, Houston Cook-off, Houston Rodeo and ice hockey in Dallas were all incredible experiences. I honestly can’t pick a single experience as my favorite. We are going to Vegas this weekend so that might top them all.