PKF GO - A Summer in Scotland


Anna Katharina Villbrandt

Anna Katharina Villbrandt

25 November 2019


Johnston Carmichael is where sharp minds meet…from all over the world! Our membership of leading global accounting network PKF International not only gives our clients access to on-the-ground advice and support in over 150 countries, but also gives the combined PKF team of over 18,000 people a chance to experience a country and culture they might not otherwise have the opportunity to. Anna Katharina Villbrandt, a Senior Consultant at PKF WULF & PARTNER in Germany, recently spent three months working in Johnston Carmichael’s Glasgow office on a PKF GO secondment. Here, Katharina shares her experience of her time in Scotland.

My PKF GO experience started with the idea of doing something abroad; something beyond the usual holiday experience. I wanted to be part of another team, another company in a different city, and ideally the British lifestyle.

Great Britain was my first choice. As I am a fan of Great Britain, its people and language, it was obvious for me to choose a British destination if possible. Luckily my colleague, Daniel Scheffbuch from PKF WULF & PARTNER, had some good contacts at Johnston Carmichael, the PKF member firm in Scotland. This was the beginning of my great PKF GO secondment in Glasgow!

My secondment at Johnston Carmichael started in May and I was excited to take on the role of Audit Senior. I did my degree in accounting, taxation and business law, focused on audit, and this opportunity allowed me to build on the knowledge that I already gained through my studies and work.

Johnston Carmichael gave me the opportunity to work as a full member of the team on different clients. Besides improving my English, this enabled me to learn much about their procedures, their systems and the way of working in the UK.

My colleagues at Johnston Carmichael were very friendly and helpful. They really made me feel welcome and part of their team. On my last day they even surprised me with some lovely presents including a special speech from one of the partners, who made the effort to include some special German sayings - this was very impressive.

One of the main personal learning points I have taken away from my secondment is that each experience and challenge is part of everybody’s progress, and it is so important to stay open-minded in terms of trying new things and meeting new people. I am also happy that I have been always right in saying that British food is amazing! I fell in love with Scotland and its diversity of restaurants, including the best mussels I have ever tried! I really enjoyed the beautiful landscapes, the impressive architecture, the traditional pub culture and the unique museums all over Glasgow and Edinburgh. I can only recommend visiting this beautiful country.

Following my experience, I definitely recommend a PKF GO secondment. It is a perfect chance to work in a different country or even continent and become part of another business environment and culture. In my opinion PKF GO strengthens the link between network firms. This is the beginning of an important and successful relationship for our firms and our clients.

Finally, many thanks to the partners and my team at PKF WULF & PARTNER and to Johnston Carmichael who made this possible for me. In particular, I would like to thank everyone in the audit team for their help, especially Karen McBride for all her support from the beginning of my secondment throughout my time at Johnston Carmichael. Big thank you!

So there you have it - a summer in Scotland and a wish fulfilled! With over 400 offices across the world and a culture founded on collaboration, there’s no shortage of opportunities for growth at PKF International; both for our team and for your business.