1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
I work as a trainee associate auditor at PwC. I work on clients (these vary from pension scheme audits to corporate audits of banks/manufacturing companies/high street shops) auditing their financial statements. I will interact with the clients I'm working for as well as other PwC employees. I'll perform audit testing and will be responsible for certain FSLIs which a manager/senior associate will oversea.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I've learnt a lot of new skills and gained a number of qualifications. I've taken 6 ACA accounting exams which has provided me with the 'CFAB' qualification. I'm also currently working on a Level 4 diploma which I've nearly completed. I'm gained soft skills such as how to coach new apprentices, how to talk to clients, improved confidence and I've also gained a lot of technical knowledge.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I enjoy meeting new people on a day to day basis and working in a team. I like the fact that although I'm an apprentice I'm valued as much as a graduate/experienced hire. It was very different to what I expected (we are given a lot more responsibility than I anticipated) but this has made the whole experience more valuable.
4. How valued do you feel by PwC?
I do feel valued by people at PwC and I often get praised if I've done a good piece of work in the form of recognition vouchers and good feedback. I also think the pay is good and this also shows how much PwC value apprentices.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The programme was only in it's 2nd year when I joined therefore I do think there were some teething problems. The induction was good although the details were sent over to us very last minute. The training programme is generally well organised however the communication between the training coordinator and our manager's isn't always good. We get adequate study leave time and our people manager's support our studying and understand that studying is the main priority.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
We are rarely contacted by the central apprenticeship team and it's not always clear who our training coordinators are therefore when you have a question you don't always know who to ask which is a big problem. As a result I don't always feel like I'm well supported by the training provider and will sometimes rely too much on my people manager for questions/support.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
I receive a lot of support from my employer in general. All manager's I've worked with have been happy to help me in all situations. If I've every had questions with HR they have been able to help (i.e. when I needed help with joining the pension scheme). Support is always available however it's not always clear where to go for for certain help i.e. you might go to one person who will refer you to someone else but in the end you'll always find someone who can help. It's never looked down on to ask for help and the general attitude is 'if you're not sure, ask'
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
Generally I would say the pay meets my costs, living costs are quite expensive in Manchester therefore I am breaking even (i.e. not managing to save much money) and in addition you're expected to pay for a lot of expenses and then you will subsequently have to claim them back which is usually fine however when I worked in the US for 2 weeks I was a bit worried about not being able to cover my own expenses! Luckily other people in the firm with credit cards helped me out. Train fares are expensive therefore it would be nice to have subsidies for something like that but overall the pay and overall package is good.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
There are a lot of social activities and company events available for example we have an annual away day where we will go and do a team building activity and then stay over at a hostel/hotel all together. We have a lot of corporate drinks such as 'end of busy season drinks' and annual balls where we're all able to let our hair down. We have a day a year called 'one firm one day' where we can all do a day of volunteering. They have just introduced a yoga class plus there are a number of sports teams such as netball/hockey. It would be nice if there were more after work classes such as language learning classes however I think there's already an adequate number of social opportunities!
9a. Would you recommend PwC to a friend? *
9b. Why? *
Not only do you gain a lot of experience in a short space of time, you also gain a valuable qualification and make a lot of friends!! You are being paid a decent wage (similar to that of a graduate) and therefore you are able to move out and live an independent life even though you're not at university.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to PwC? *
Do your research, this applies especially to the interview as the interviewer will expect you to have knowledge of the apprenticeship, business as a whole and qualifications you'll be taking. For the assessment days remember everyone is in the same position therefore try not to be too nervous! The onboarding process is well organised however there are quite a few forms to fill in which may get confusing. I would have liked to have been told not to worry too much about the interview process as it's not as scary as it seems!
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