A team member discovers a canine-friendly culture and builds her skills at our U.S. Tax Desk in Munich, Germany, through an international secondment.
Adrienne Lindquist always knew she wanted to work abroad.
“When I started at Baker Tilly, I quickly became aware of some fellow auditors on assignment outside the U.S. on secondment. When I saw an opportunity at the U.S. Tax Desk in Munich, Germany, I reached out immediately because I knew it would be a great step in my career and a positive life-changing experience.
Adrienne’s dream came true, and, in May 2021, she and her husband, Ross, sold their house in Minneapolis and moved (with their black lab, Reggie) to Munich for a two-year assignment with Baker Tilly Germany’s U.S. Tax Desk.
The secondment experience
As a U.S. secondee in Munich, 50% of Adrienne’s work is with the German firm and 50% is with her U.S.-based office in Minneapolis. The role is unique in that the secondee is still able to connect with their home team and clients, while also learning about various international tax topics including extensive tax treaty analysis with the German team.
“I enjoy the variety of projects I have been working on,” Adrienne said. “Not only am I able to stay connected with my clients back home, but I’ve had many research, networking and presentation opportunities with the U.S. Tax Desk. In May, I am presenting at the U.S. Embassy in Berlin and meeting with potential clients in connection with international tax issues.”
“The secondment opportunity supports our purpose to unleash and amplify talent,” said Partner Robena Jafari, specialty tax practice leader. “I applaud how Adrienne took this chance to learn and gain international tax perspective.”
In her role as a secondee, Adrienne is a resource for both Baker Tilly US and our German firm and serves as a liaison of expertise for both teams.
Of course, there are challenges when working across different time zones. “I have been continuing to navigate best practices to be available for both my U.S. and German-based clients, while also finding time to disconnect. One thing that is always key is communication,” she said.
Discovering German culture
Moving to Germany was a smooth transition, with team members in Munich helping Adrienne find housing, connecting her with a relocation service to help with the immigration process, and welcoming her to Munich. “They even helped me with little things, like making a reservation in a German restaurant.”
Adrienne has learned to appreciate many aspects of German culture, including how welcome dogs are in most places. "We are able to take Reggie to restaurants, on public transportation and, most importantly, biergartens.”
Although Adrienne isn’t fluent in German, she is learning. “Fluency isn’t necessary for the work I do on a daily basis, but the German I’m learning helps when I’m out and about around the city,” she said. There is also a certified translator on the U.S. Tax Desk team in Munich to translate any work-related documents.
When Adrienne is not working, she is exploring the Munich area, traveling around Europe and hiking the mountains in Bavaria. “It has been such a wonderful experience to travel with our dog. In the last nine months, we have been to Austria, Switzerland, Italy and around southern Germany. I would absolutely recommend a Baker Tilly secondment to anyone interested in international accounting and living abroad.”