My PKF GO Experience by Rebekka Van Wickern.
Rebekka Van Wickern, is employed at PKF Fasselt Schlage in Germany. She has held the role of Associate for the last two and half years. Rebekka is currently embarking on an exciting secondment opportunity, as a Global Exchange Employee/Associate, to PKF Mueller in Chicago, North America as part of PKF GO from May 17th to August 15th. Rebekka has shared her story on why it was important for her to seize the PKF GO opportunity and to expand her horizons.
I first became interested in PKF GO, PKF’s secondment programme, when I was introduced by Kai Schoeneberger to Dave Nissen (Managing Partner at PKF Mueller) at the Global Gathering in Cape Town in 2018. Dave told me about his secondment experience and that’s when I knew I wanted to undergo a secondment to PKF Mueller for three months!
I chose the US for my experience as the US economy has a huge impact on Germany and since I was already participating in a US / German Collaboration Group, it made sense to explore this option and get to know much more about PKF across the globe.
I didn’t have to undertake any additional learning - my skills were transferable. Although I would say language skills is very important. I speak English as well as German and that has helped me immensely to communicate with my new colleagues and friends.
My biggest achievement
I wanted to get to know as much of PKF Mueller as possible and to find out more about the differences in the two cultures. Since I work in three departments in Germany (accounting services, tax and audit) I am happy I got to switch between these departments within PKF Mueller. I’m able to compare the work they do and can take my new experiences back to PKF Fasselt Schlage which I believe will be helpful.
I have learnt so much about myself
I have previously been an exchange student, so I knew I already liked the area and had some friends nearby. Since starting my secondment I’ve made lots of new friends, not once have I felt lonely as they always keep me so busy! I regularly go to baseball games, evenings out with my team to see the Chicago sights and not to mention kayaking on the Chicago River. I feel very grateful and privileged to have this opportunity.
I’ve learnt to be bold and curious. I’m not afraid to ask questions or to worry that I don’t know all of the answers to all of the questions. Being brave is key - ask lots of questions! This not only helped my knowledge; it’s also helped my language skills too.
I would recommend a PKF GO secondment to anyone who can try it as I’ve found the experience to be very well organised and fulfilling. I’ve really enjoyed attending meetings and getting to know my colleagues and new people. I thought the experience would be good, but not this good!
“It’s a great work experience that I will never forget!”