Why were you inspired to do this?
Friends of mine became Chartered Accountants and went to work in Bermuda for big US$ tax free. This left me envious and I became very interested in Bermuda. My parents pointed out that my great great grandmother was from Bermuda and they had a picture of her family home on their wall. That was the tipping point I was sold this is where I wanted to go live and work.
What were 3 things you did to make this happen?
I needed to become a Chartered Accountant. In 1996 I entered the fast track program with the CA Institute in BC. For a year I took summer courses and correspondence courses to complete the pre-req’s to join the CA program.
I needed to be hired by a CA firm to join CA program. I was turned down by the big 5 firms for not having enough experience. At the time I worked for a resume company who redesigned my resume and the next interview I went on I was offered the job on the spot with BDO. When they saw my resume they just needed to meet me. That resume made all the difference.
Getting a job in Bermuda. During a summer course I met two Bermudians (Jonathan and Roddy) who worked for PwC. We kept in touch and after I wrote the Uniform Final Exam they introduced me to PwC HR who offered me a position pass or fail. Thankfully, I passed and was on way to Bermuda exactly 3 years after starting the process.
How did you feel once you had accomplished this?
When I looked out the window as the plane approached Bermuda I have never felt so much satisfaction and excitement. I remember thinking here we go, have CA will travel. I felt like a financial mercenary for hire, bring on the scooters, sun and sand. What an awesome feeling. I spent almost 6 years in Bermuda with PwC and loved it. The work was great and challenging in spite of those who felt it would be a parking lot for my career. The money was great and our lifestyles were awesome. It was university with a gold card!!
Additional notes and tips:
Check out the book “Tea With Tracy” by Tracy Carswell. A survival guide to moving to Bermuda to live.