I enjoyed studying accountancy at A level and felt that I was good at it, so I followed it from there.
Did you do any work experience that you think helped you get the job?
I attended PwC’s Talent Academy in my first year of university which gave me an insight into the world of professional services. I then completed an internship with PwC in my second year before being offered a graduate job. I would definitely recommend this route, as it gives you a good base level of experience before starting the graduate scheme. I also think that it’s important to do something extracurricular at university – such as a society or sports club – and to get involved with running it if you can. You will pick up skills which are applicable to the workplace and it will give you lots to talk about in an interview.
What are your main responsibilities on a day-to-day basis?
I work directly with clients to obtain the information required to audit their financial statements. My role within the team can change depending on which client or team I am working with, but generally it involves visiting clients and gathering the necessary information to perform their year-end audit. Additionally, I am on a committee to help design the company’s new office in Leeds, as well as the ‘Connecting Networks’ committee which organises networking events for recent graduates in the Leeds area. I enjoy being able to take on extra projects beyond my day-to-day work.
What has been your biggest career challenge to date?
I was working for a client in Grimsby that operates a fish factory and was nominated by the team to take a factory tour – despite my hatred of fish. My suit had to go straight to the dry cleaners after that day!
What sort of training have you received?
There has been a mixture of job-specific training, which is quite technical and applicable to my day-to-day work, as well as support towards the training for my ACA qualification. I have been given time to study for this as well as support from the accountancy training firm Kaplan. Since starting the role I have found that my time-management skills have really improved, along with my ability to evaluate my own work and performance in the feedback process at the end of a job.
How is your work/life balance?
January to March is a busy time in assurance so the hours are generally longer during this period, but for the rest of the year the work/life balance is fairly good. The best way to find a good balance is not to be afraid of making personal commitments, but to ensure that you communicate these to your team so that they can be accommodated – there is a lot of support for flexible working.
Name the top three skills for a career in accountancy.
- Commercial awareness.