1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
In the first year of the Accounting and Business course you will study four of the certificate level ACA examinations, which are Accounting, Assurance, Business and Finance and Law, as well as other University modules. In the first term you will attend lectures for about 2/3 modules and in the second term your lectures and workshops per week increases as you will be attending lectures and workshops for 6 modules. The last term is compromised of revision lectures and examinations.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
Throughout the second term especially, attending lectures and workshops for 6 modules has developed my time-management skills. I have also developed my team-working skills in a module held by PwC, where you are put into a team based on your placement allocations and work with this team each week on projects such as presentations skills.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I throughly enjoyed my first year of this programme, as being at University whilst gaining accreditation for the ACA exams really is the best of both worlds. The way this degree is structured allows you to build up your knowledge each year to prepare you for the next set of examinations next year, which is a really useful tool which has been utilised by the partnership between HBS, PwC and the ICAEW.
4. How valued do you feel by PwC?
Competition with others is not seen on this course, and highly discouraged, which personally I think is a huge benefit. I feel very valued by PwC, and I think that self-growth is made easier by the support which is encouraged by them.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The structure of this programme is very organised and well thought out. As it has been running now for 3 years, each year they have improved the learning experience, introducing new modules to help you understand the basics before you start the ACA modules in the following year. They always take your feedback on board, and are very supportive.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
As having started first year without previously studying Accountancy or any Business related subject, I feel that the lecturers are really supportive and always willing to help you, they are very approachable and always willing to go over the basics if you ask.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
PwC hold placement training sessions almost every week in Term 2, these sessions are helpful to give you an idea of what is expected of you when you start your placement. You receive talks from other Flying Start graduates, guidance on ethics and they also help you to develop your presentation skills.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
First year you do not go on placement so you will not receive a salary. Having spoken to students in the higher years they are satisfied with the salary for the amount of hours they put in, and if you are able to live at home whilst on placement you will receive a weekly allowance. Otherwise PwC provide you with accommodation close to your office whilst on placement, which I have seen pictures of and agree that it is of a much better standard than student living!
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
Being at university, especially in first year you are able to participate in all of the regular socials, sports etc. The university of Reading has a club for almost everything! As well as this, course socials are always great fun! The Christmas course social is very festive and a good opportunity to meet students in the older years.
9a. Would you recommend PwC to a friend? *
9b. Why? *
I would recommend the Flying Start programme to a friend as it gives you a great platform. The fast-track means you will come out of university ahead of a graduate from a regular degree as you would of completed 12 out of the 15 ACA examinations. The skills and knowledge gained whilst on placement with the biggest professional service's firm is highly valuable for a career in Accountancy as well as any other finance related career!
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to PwC? *
When preparing for the assessment day, make sure the business topic that you plan on talking about you have fully researched, and are prepared to answer additional questions on the topic you have picked.
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