1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
I work as part of the audit team on a placement while studying at Reading University. While on placement, I work on a number of clients in differing industry sectors auditing the financial statements. I work as part of a team at PwC and interact with the financial accountant and controller out on client site. I have responsibility for areas of the financial statements, such as cash, liabilities, etc and perform a number of tests on these line items. I also have the opportunity to provide coaching as I progress throughout placement.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I have developed an array of skills; teamwork and communication as well as coaching skills of junior members of the team. Throughout my 4 year programme, I also attain a BA Degree as well as 12 out of 15 exemptions of the ACA exams to become a qualified Chartered Accountant.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I enjoy working as part of a team while on placement, and the people are always friendly, hard working and supportive, which reflects the PwC culture. Also being able to experience the university lifestyle means I get the best of both worlds. The experience and the enjoyment I have received from my programme is beyond what I expected, and what I could achieve from a 'standard' degree.
4. How valued do you feel by PwC?
The responsibility given while on placement at PwC shows that you are a valued member of the team. We are assigned people managers and buddys where we have regular meetings for catch ups which are very supportive. We are also rated in the same way as the full time employees and receive internal recognition in terms of feedback, ratings and development points. We also have regular visits from the PwC early identification team which again, displays value.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
We are provided with a weeks training prior to each placement to teach us the assurance fundamentals, as well as e-learns to assist our learning. As stated, we are assigned a people manager and a buddy while on placement which is the support system which we use with any queries. On our first day, we also receive an induction and it is explained what is expected of us for this placement as well as setting objectives. We also are provided with the study material which is very supportive and valued for our examinations.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
The lecturers at university are very supportive and with them having industry experience, they are also very supportive in relation to queries about placement. The lecturers put great effort into making themselves available in person and by email and provides structured lessons as well as structured revision for our exams.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
While on placement, we are assigned an in-charge on each team which provides coaching and provides support while on placement. We are also introduced to the resource manager which supports us in our timetable and the clients in which we would like to be assigned on. As well as a people manager an buddy, we are also assigned a flying start champion who is very friendly, enthusiastic and approachable.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
It is very beneficial being paid while on placement which assists with living costs at university. We are also provided with living accommodation, all bills included while on placement which means we can apply to the office of our choice. We can also claim expenses from allowable business costs which are incurred. As would be expected, the salary does not meet the costs of university, however the standard student loans are in place.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
While on placement we receive regular emails to attend open days, ICAEW events, etc to promote the flying start programme. There was also social events ran by the office which meant we could easily get to know people outside of the office. As we also lived with the flying starts on the Newcastle programme, we often had drinks outside of work with them.
9a. Would you recommend PwC to a friend? *
9b. Why? *
As PwC's reputation of top employer withstands from my experience working for the company. PwC has a great culture and the structure of the programme is very supportive. The programme also means our career can progress at a quicker rate.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to PwC? *
The application process consists of tests, group work and an interview. There are a number of tests available online reflective of those set by PwC and other companies which are useful to practice. Group work is a key aspect of the job, therefore it is key to display team work skills and to have confidence. In the interview, it is important to display skills which can be applied to the job role. The skills expected by PwC are on their website where there is a lot of information which assists you in preparation for the assessment days.
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