By Keiter CPAs
Keiter sabbatical benefit spotlight
One of the benefits Keiter offers qualifying employees is the opportunity to take an extended leave of absence every five years.
This past fall Macy Irvin, Business Assurance and Advisory Service Manager, used her time off to solo travel around South Korea for two months.
Macy began her time at Keiter as a busy season intern in 2014. The next year, she joined as a Tax Associate. After a year in tax, she transitioned to the Audit team, where she has been a manager for the past few years.
Around the time she was nearing her five-year tenure at the firm, she heard of the sabbatical opportunity, an extended break from work with the intention to help employees return rested and energized. Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic she decided to wait for a later date to take her sabbatical. This turned out to be beneficial as she became very interested in Korean culture, immersing herself with the media, language, and cuisine.
In the fall of 2023, she was able to take her sabbatical. Through the planning with partners and colleagues, as well as the informed communication with her clients, she began this trip with the ability to fully step away from her work.
While in Korea she was able to experience many elements of the country. For most of the trip she used Seoul as a “basecamp.” While there she got to hike Namsan mountain to N Seoul Tower, go on a market food tour with other solo travelers, take night walks along the Han river and Seoul City wall, read at Seoul Forest, visit the palaces, and walk around the many art galleries in Gangnam.
While still on the main peninsula she went to the city of Busan, her favorite mainland destination on the trip. Busan is a location that has the mix of a big city, beach towns, and mountain villages. She spent her time hiking coastal and mountain trails, having beach days at Haeundae, Songdo, and Gwangalli, and ate plenty of the fresh seafood available on the peninsula.
While based in Busan she took a day trip to Pohang, a small industrial coastal town. Pohang is home to two art installations that she wanted to see: Hands of Harmony and the Space walk.
She also went to Jeju, South Korea’s largest island. The island was formed two million years ago after the eruption of an underwater volcano. Jeju is now a top vacation destination for South Koreans, and after visiting, it is also Macy’s favorite place in Korea. Her favorite thing about Jeju is the Olle – a 425 km network of trails (28 in total) that go around the entirety of Jeju. During her time on the island, she hiked trails 6, 7, and 8. She also enjoyed a day of exploring Snoopy’s Garden, a place she was recommended to visit while on the island.
After experiencing many parts of Korea, Macy did have to leave and come back to Richmond, Virginia. When she did, she found herself rested and at ease. Before the trip, she was feeling the need for a break after taking on many responsibilities over the years at Keiter as she moved from associate to manager. This program helped her reset and come back excited and eager to work.
She is looking forward to her next sabbatical, where she is planning another destination in Asia or New Zealand.
The sabbatical opportunity is just one of many benefits offered to the team at Keiter. These benefits are in place so employees can have a healthy work/life balance and strive to do the best work possible for the clients. Learn more about benefits for Keiter employees here.
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