1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
The Business Insight Week is a week long programme for year 12 students. The first day was an induction in Birmingham with everyone who is doing the programme nationally, where we learnt more about PwC and how to conduct ourselves during the week. We were then given our laptops and had training with those.
The next three days were then spent with our buddies in our base office, which for me was in Sheffield doing pensions audit. I spent the first two days working in the office, where I completed a range of tasks for a number of clients that were all household names. I was given real audit work to do that was actually useful, which was really good as I felt like I was helping the team rather than being a burden. We were all fully set up on the PwC system as a real staff member, so we had access to everything on the computer which allowed us to complete all the audit work and feel like we were actually working there. We even got our own PwC email addresses, which I thought was really cool.
On Thursday I went on a client visit to Newcastle, which was really fun as I felt like a real auditor, and I enjoyed actually being at the business I was working on all week. The journey also gave me an opportunity to grill my buddy on what it's really like to work at PwC, so all my questions were answered.
Finally on Friday we assembled in regional base offices, so everyone from the North was in Leeds. We were told in more detail about the programmes that PwC offers for school leavers, and ambassadors were there from the business to answer any questions we still had. We also completed a client project, considering how we could make students more employable and 'business ready'. This was enjoyable and a good end to the week, as we could utilise all the skills we developed.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
The main thing I've learnt is how it really feels to work for PwC, as I was actually in the office doing the job. We had daily video conference sessions on different employability skills and interview techniques, so I feel much more confident for assessment centres now. I could also put skills I'd learnt in Business Studies at school into practice, as I was auditing real financial statements.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I really enjoyed the programme, it exceeded my expectations massively. Everyone at PwC was so nice and friendly, they made me feel really welcome. I enjoyed getting stuck in and doing real client work, this meant that I can now make informed decisions about whether to apply to the Higher Apprenticeship, because I know what the work is actually like.
4. How valued do you feel by PwC?
It was clear that a lot of effort had been put in to organising the week to make it as enjoyable as possible for us. I felt valued at all times and not like I was a burden which was good. We were provided with brand new laptops and laptop bags for the week, as well as PwC hoodies and travel mugs, which were really cool.
After the week we all got a phone call to chat through our experience and what we want to do next. After completing the programme we get fast tracked to an assessment centre for the Higher Apprenticeship programme, which puts us at an advantage, especially with the work experience under our belts. PwC are also keen to keep in contact throught the year, encouraging us to become 'PwC Ambassadors' and providing resources to spread the word about PwC throughout our schools and colleges.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The programme was extremely well structured, we knew what we were doing and where we were going at all times. PwC kept in regular contact before, during and after the programme, and we always had a contact in case we had any problems.
Our buddies, who were Higher Apprentices working at PwC, also put a lot of effort into organising what we were doing in our base offices, for example the client visit to Newcastle was arranged during the week especially for me which was nice.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
This isn't really relevant because we didn't have a training provider for the Business Insight Week, however the student recruitment team were very supportive, and they delivered the daily video conferences on employability skills.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
There was always lots of support available, mostly from our buddies who we were working with, as we could always ask them questions. We also had access to PwC's internal social network Spark, as well as the instant messaging app Sametime, so we could keep in contact with other Business Insight Week students.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
As if the programme isn't good enough, we also got paid! We all got £7.85 an hour, and almost £300 in total for the week which is quite frankly ridiculous haha, all my friends were so jealous. Our travel expenses for the induction and final day project were also reimbursed.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
From speaking to people at PwC it is clear that there are many opportunities. There are PwC sports teams and other societies to get involved with, but also there are many team nights out, often with free bars I was told which sounds excellent! All the apprentices join at the same time and complete their training together, which I'm told gives them the feel of being in like a 'school year' so they all go out together and arrange stuff to do.
9a. Would you recommend PwC to a friend? *
9b. Why? *
The whole week was so much fun, and gave me a real insight into PwC. It is quite simply the best work experience ever.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to PwC? *
The application process consists of the application form with your details, some psychometric tests and a short telephone interview. For the psychometric tests definitely practice them beforehand, I found that many of the questions in the practice tests provided were actually also in my real test too which was a bonus.
For the telephone interview don't stress, the lady doing mine was really nice and made me feel at ease. Make sure you have a look at the resources on the PwC website and in particular the PwC Professional, which all the interview questions are based around. Don't forget to have a recent business news story ready to talk about.
My only other advice would be to apply! I had the best time ever and although the application process can seem a bit daunting, it was definitely worth it.
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