As a graduate taking my first steps into my career flightpath, it was crucial to me to choose a graduate programme that would equip me with a strong foundation of skills and knowledge. It was also important that I found an organisation with an environment which was supportive and helpful so I could reach out for support if I needed it – HMRC became that organisation for me.
I was keen on starting a career in tax which is why HMRC’s Tax Specialist Programme appealed to me initially. Upon further research, I learned about the level of training received as well as the development available – it seemed like an opportunity I could not miss! The programme provides a clear structure of progression over the length of the course which includes a variety of different tax areas, such as VAT and Corporation Tax.
The working environment is very friendly and supportive. This is an intensive course, but help is always available if you need extra support both professionally and in your personal life. This is across the board with all colleagues at all levels, from senior management to trainees. It is a diverse workplace where the HMRC values are truly embodied by all.
I am currently 7 weeks into the programme and I have had the chance to work on live cases. This consists of helping to look through information, assimilate and analyse and also shadow the work of more complex cases. It is extremely interesting to work on these cases and see the different approaches different colleagues take. I have learned a great deal in just a short space of time.
Everyday tends to be different. I could be doing anything from attending meetings, e-learning, or casework. Within the casework we have the opportunity to work on real life cases providing support to experienced colleagues. For instance, I may analyse records, create excel spreadsheets and write briefs for analyse reports.
I would say the three biggest challenges are:
- Managing your time effectively as you are juggling both studying and training at work
- Successfully adapting to a new working environment
- Keeping up to date with the new skills learned daily.
My team have been great at helping me settle into the role by showing me how systems work and always helping when I am having complications with a task. Also just establishing a healthy work life balance helps me manage my time more effectively, but support is always available if you need to reprioritise tasks.
What I enjoy most about my role in HMRC is the level of responsibility I am given and being trusted to work on live cases as a trainee. I like a good mix of collaborative and individual work which is exactly what I get in my job role.
If you are unsure on how to take the first steps towards a career in. then HMRC’s Tax Specialist Programme is a great way to get a start. You’re able to learn about different taxes which allows you to see which areas you may like to specialise in.
HMRC also offer tax internship roles if you’re looking for something less intensive than the graduate scheme, or you currently don’t have tax experience.
The three skills I think you need most in this job role is to be detail oriented, resilient and patient. You won’t learn new skills overnight so it is important to be patient with the process.