When one thinks of public accounting, it is rare that activities such as sand dunning, hiking dormant volcanoes, and black water rafting come to mind; however, for Leanne E. Halemeyer these activities became common place when she agreed to live and work in Auckland, New Zealand, for four months as part of an exchange program at RubinBrown LLP, her current employer.
RubinBrown LLP is a member of Baker Tilly International, which is an organization comprised of middle market firms located across the globe. Also part of Baker Tilly is Staples Rodway, a chartered accounting firm in Auckland, New Zealand. It is through this relationship that an exchange program has developed allowing RubinBrown accountants to travel to Auckand for their busy season - April to August. Staples Rodway accountants in turn travel to St. Louis for tax season.
During her 2005 stay in New Zealand, Halemeyer worked in assurances, performing audits on a variety of companies. In her free time, Halemeyer took full advantage of this opportunity to submerge herself in New Zealand culture. Some of her adventures included attending rugby games, sand dunning (which is basically surfing down sand dunes), climbing a dormant volcano, black water rafting in a cave in search of glow worms, seeing a geyser erupt in a geothermal park, horseback riding along the beach, and zorbing (a New Zealand favorite).
According to Halemeyer, it was an unforgettable experience. She said, "Living and working in New Zealand is very different than simply visiting. I was engrossed in their culture from day one. The whole experience was truly rewarding."
Article originally appeared in the 2007 Graduate Schools Newsletter