Senior Max Hannon has always had a destination, but not a map.
“For years and years, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do,” Hannon said. “But I’ve always wanted to travel.”
Through a series of connections made via Oglethorpe, Hannon will achieve his goal when he graduates this month, and joins Deloitte New Zealand in Auckland as an Audit Analyst in the Assurance & Advisory line of service. Hannon will frequently travel through Oceania and Southeast Asia to work on client projects in his analyst role.
But before he made it down under, Hannon worked his way around Atlanta. As a volunteer in the A_LAB Career Development office and student representative on a Board of Trustees committee, he met Cameron Bready ’94, senior executive vice president and chief financial officer of Global Payments, where Hannon secured his first internship in the acquisitions department in summer 2017.
There, he also met his mentor, Sandya Figueiredo, with whom he stayed in contact after he left Global Payments and began an audit internship with Assurant. Figueiredo, who previously worked with Deloitte New Zealand, alerted Hannon to the potential of working abroad.
“My story is certainly wrapped in the power of a simple, ‘Hello,’ and the inviting fear of the unknown,” Hannon said. “I had a passing conversation with someone, I expressed some interest in there, and I got to the opportunity I have now.”
Surprisingly, metro Atlanta and New Zealand have roughly the same population, often leaving the country searching beyond its borders for talent to fill jobs. Besides an impressive resume and academic record, it’s another reason the Flowery Branch native will be able to easily procure an essential skills visa to work in the country.
However, working in a different hemisphere created another interesting challenge. Because university schedules also follow their seasons on the other side of the world, the position starts in February, and for Hannon to be able to apply for a visa, he first has to have a college degree. That led to the senior graduating with a Business degree instead of what he had intended.
“I did not know I could graduate early until my advising meeting in the spring. If that didn’t happen, then I wouldn’t be able to take the opportunity at all,” Hannon said. “I was a math major up until my last three classes when I realized that it would keep me from graduating a semester early.”
Hannon will start at Deloitte New Zealand with a class of about 25 other recent university graduates and will work mostly at client offices in the region on a project-by-project basis. He is planning on staying for a minimum of three years while he finishes his Chartered Accountant certification, a Commonwealth country equivalent of a Certified Public Accountant certification that transfers back to the U.S. if he wishes to continue working in the industry here.
It’s more likely, however, that Hannon stays abroad and continues life as a working expat. Encountering new people and places are what will further his work life best, Hannon has decided.
“People and places. Those are the two things that throughout my college career I’ve come to learn defines and drives me,” Hannon said. “I want to meet different people. I want to see their different opinions, learn their languages, experience different cultures, and I want to do it in amazing different places and explore the natural wonders of the world and see the world we live in. Not just from one perspective.”
He thinks others should also consider what else the world has to offer in post-grad life.
“There’s a mindset that the country you were born in kind of defines the balance of where you can live,” Hannon said. “There’s a huge world. Why just vacation for three weeks to the other side of the world when you could live there for six, seven, eight, nine years. That’s really where my mindset comes from. There’s so much out there.”