Date posted: 28/08/2020 5 min read

Meet the CA turned LEGO Master: Trent Cucchiarelli CA

He showed that risk assessment and meeting tight deadlines are all in a day’s work, especially in a LEGO competition.

In Brief

  • Trent Cucchiarelli CA is most famous as the CA who made the final of Nine’s LEGO Masters in season two.
  • He drew from his background as a CA to help him through the competition.
  • LEGO Masters taught him greater communication skills, which he is now using in his accounting job.

As told to Seamus Byrne

Trent Cucchiarelli CA has worked for Ernst and Young (EY) and Origin Energy and taught tax law at the University of South Australia. But he’s now most famous as the accountant who made the final of Nine’s LEGO Masters in season two. Cucchiarelli tells Acuity how his work and play fit together.

Trent Cucchiarelli CAPicture: Trent Cucchiarelli CA. Image credit: Nick Clayton.

How did you end up on LEGO Masters?

I’ve been a toy collector for 22 years and hosted a podcast called Toy Power for the past four years. On the podcast, we talk about toys, of course, as well as pop culture and movies. We were big fans of season one of LEGO Masters and we got to interview one of the contestants, Bilsy. From that conversation, I thought, “I love LEGO. I love toys. Why not give it a go?”

What were your favourite parts of being on the show?

I thought the building would be the best part, but that was really stressful. There was a lot of pressure and time was always ticking away. The true highlight was the relationships we built with the other contestants. We are all good friends now. We’re still hanging out online.

Did your accounting skills help?

I drew a tremendous amount from my background as a CA. The biggest one was the ability to work under pressure with a teammate to a defined brief and time frame. My teammate, Josh, didn’t share my belief in risk assessment, which was funny because he would leave critical things until the last minute. The best example of this was when we ran out of time to build a treasure chest in our final build of a massive pirate ship. There was a monkey on the ship and Josh was obsessed with getting a set of keys into his hand. My accounting brain saw that, from a risk point of view, smashing the monkey with five seconds to go was not worth it. Those moments make great TV, though.

“My accounting brain saw that, from a risk point of view, smashing the monkey with five seconds to go was not worth it.”
Trent Cucchiarelli CA

Did you learn anything from LEGO Masters that you will take back to your work as a CA?

Yes, actually. In business, there’s more and more talk of soft skills being very desirable. I’ve definitely enhanced my communication skills from the show. It refined how I get my message across and collaborate in pressure situations. And working on TV – where you have to communicate ideas to an audience – you have to be super-clear in how you explain things to the camera.

Do you think there should be more LEGO in the workplace?

I was involved with designing a team-building day for the tax team when I was at Origin Energy. I integrated LEGO into the day with a number of activities. If you ask anyone about that day, they’ll remember the LEGO part. It’s such a therapeutic exercise and super-rewarding, and you build something tangible.

I’ve toyed with the idea of doing a mini LEGO Masters-style activity for corporate clients; going out with a portable brick pit and doing challenges. I think there is a real market for that style of learning activity in the workplace.

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