Meet Zaib. He moved from Melbourne to join the HLB Mann Judd Sydney team in February 2021. Seeking a graduate role in the middle of the pandemic was a little stressful, however he is now enjoying his time in a new city.

What’s your ‘Team HLB’ story?

I always had a clear set of career goals in mind. After graduating, I wanted to work for a mid-tier firm which took an interest in continued learning as well as having an established CA support program. I reviewed the AFR Top 100 Accounting Firms and saw that HLB Mann Judd was well positioned in the list. A little more research uncovered that this was the firm that checked all my career goal boxes! The only decision left was whether I should relocate to a new city…

After accepting the grad role, HLB gave me the time and support for the move to Sydney and I haven’t looked back!

Follow Zaib as he walks us through a day in the Sydney office

Before starting work, I have a morning ritual that helps me win the day. I start by making my bed (the goal is visual tidiness not four seasons). Then I start brewing my “titanium tea” while I meditate for five minutes. I then get ready to make my way towards the office. Living in the CBD helps beat the commute and get a head start on the day.


My mornings are preoccupied with emails and working on project jobs that are given through the workflow program. We have our tax team huddle where we share ideas and discuss important tax matters. On a lighter note, we also share stories of exciting life stuff happening outside of work.


HLB is really flexible when it comes to lunch breaks (anytime between 12pm and 2pm). If I’m occupied with client work, I will delay lunch till 1pm and then head down to the nearest food court. There are plenty of great options…kebabs, sushi and vegetarian/vegan options. Usually, I go out with my fellow grads and we walk around Barangaroo reserve. One of the many benefits of working in the CBD is enjoying Sydney’s spectacular views!

Mid-afternoon onwards 

After lunch, I will try to meet with my reviewer and discuss all the queries that need to be presented to the client and then proceed with finalising the project. As a grad, I will also regularly catch up with my coaching partner. Over a cappuccino we discuss key development areas and my overall progress.

After knocking off all agenda items for the day, I feel a sense of ease and accomplishment. I call it a day and head home where I will call my parents, who are overseas, and catch-up with them while prepping for dinner.

It doesn’t happen everyday however…

One of the most interesting and fun days I have had since starting at HLB, was the Sydney firm’s 50th anniversary celebration. It was held at the Terrace on the Domain which is a beautiful place. The food was great and the company was splendid. These events make you realise there is more to ‘work’ and it gives you an opportunity to form long-lasting relationships.

Zaib’s advice for graduates

I have two tips for grads. Firstly, don’t be afraid to ask questions. Secondly, always remember that first impressions last.