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Timo Siegel's life in secondment at Baker Tilly Spain

11 January, 2024

We would like to share Timo Siegel's experience in his secondment in the Madrid office for two months.

How was your experience in the Madrid office?

My experience in Madrid was two months, during which I was able to support the audit department. At Baker Tilly Germany, in Frankfurt, I started my internship during my studies and now I have been working there for about a year. Currently, I work in the Financial Services Audit and Advisory team, where I mainly focus on auditing banks and financial institutions.

During my time at school, I participated in an exchange program in Spain, so this secondment was the perfect opportunity to return to Spain for a longer period of time.

I found it very rewarding to see how large and at the same time small the Baker Tilly network is, due to the close connection between Germany and Spain. Of course, I noticed the cultural differences, but I had the feeling that I was working in the same company. For example, we use the same software in the audit department. 

It took me a month to realize that in Spain it is not common to wear jeans and sneakers to the office, while in Germany it is normal to go to the office with white sneakers, jeans, shirt and jacket. Not in Spain. It took me a while to realize that almost nobody (not even in the city) wears jeans because probably Spaniards are more fashionable than Germans. Spanish brands like Zara and Mango have a great range of pants that are not jeans. 😊

Why did you want to do this experience?

As I mentioned before, I wanted to go back to Spain for a longer period of time to get to know the culture, mentality and daily working life better. I also wanted to get to know my dream job as an auditor better. Learning about auditing in Madrid and various Spanish companies, including auditing non-financial reports, has broadened my horizons considerably and I am glad to have had these experiences, as they have changed my perspective for the future.

How has your experience been and how have you found your team?

My stay in Madrid has been very enriching and exciting. I have had the opportunity to significantly broaden my previous experience in the financial services field, dealing with audit issues in industrial companies. This will be very useful for my future development in auditing. I was surprised to discover the many connections with Germany, as some clients have German subsidiaries in Spain and are audited by Baker Tilly, something I did not expect. I greatly appreciated the warm and friendly welcome I received, as well as the open and helpful way in which I was welcomed into the team.

I was also very impressed by the quality of the work. In Spain and Germany the same examination program "Caseware" is used and I realized how advanced and high quality this program is. In my opinion, the working papers in Madrid are very good and guarantee a good quality of work and audits.

What do you highlight most from this experience, do you encourage your colleagues to take advantage of these secondments?

I am convinced that a secondment is a unique opportunity to develop both professionally and personally. I believe that a secondment benefits both the host country and the host country, as both parties can learn and grow together thanks to this secondment.

I found the visit of a German client very interesting. We had colleagues, both from Baker Tilly and in the client's team, composed of Germans and Spaniards. I found it a great example of international cooperation and understanding, but also a sign of how connected this sector is.

I also highlight the team spirit in the Madrid office. For example, we went to play soccer together. We enjoyed everything from a coffee to a hamburger at Alfredo's, and a beer after the soccer. Overall, I want to emphasize that I am very impressed by the team spirit and solidarity. I did not expect to be welcomed so well in the team, and I am delighted to have not only been with a good team, but also to have brought friends from Madrid with me.

Without a doubt, I would highlight the invitation to the Christmas event, which was held just a few days after my last day. I was very happy to receive the invitation, and I would have loved to be there. I think Madrid is a very cultural and exciting city to live in. I would love to go back at some point.

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