Junior Associate at PwC

Start Date:
Programme Type:
School Leaver Programme
£20,500 annually
Review Date:
18th March 2016

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1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:


The role includes rotations within the firm every 6 months to a different area of Consulting. Currently I have been in a rotation in Consulting Risk and Quality which involves answering queries related to risk for the UK firm - this also includes reviewing contracts and proposals before they're sent to the client. On a day-to-day basis the team has a central query inbox where anyone from the firm can send in a question or document to review, and as a Higher Apprentice I need to get anything I review reviewed by a senior member of staff due to the sensitivity which takes away any sense of independence.

2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?


I've learned all about the PwC client acceptance process which will be useful once I get a client-facing rotation. I've also learnt a great deal as to what is acceptable in a legal contract which is something I didn't think I'd learn in a Consulting role - I've had a short session from our Office of General Commerce team on legal documents. I've also learnt how to conduct myself in a business environment including stakeholder management.

3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?


At this stage I've only been on one rotation, which I haven't necessarily enjoyed due to it being almost the same things to do everyday and not much variety. The programme as a whole in theory should be good, but in reality it isn't as organised or as flexible as it might seem. There is a real limit to what roles you can do during the scheme, and in the end its reseourcing that makes the decision as to where you end up next.

4. How valued do you feel by PwC?


In the role I'm in, as I'm providing assistance to many different people I do feel appreciated by those people as they're grateful for the help, enabling me to feel valued. With my team I feel a mix of feeling valued and not valued depending on the people's personalities - some are grateful for my contribution towards the collective workload. By the firm in general, due to the unorganised nature of the scheme that I've experienced, I do feel slightly less valued as I feel they could have done more to get us to rotate on time.

5. How well organised/structured is your programme?


On paper, as we originally believed, the programme looked quite well structured: rotate every 6 months onto another project, which could either be sourced ourselves or given by resourcing. In reality, once the 6 months were up resourcing hadn't prepared enough to allow us to change roles, which means we'll have less time on a future role due to this setback. There isn't much flexiblity in sourcing our own roles as we were led to believe - it's very difficult to do, and not what they want to be done.

6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?


In terms of coursework for the professional qualification from an external provider I feel as though the assessor is always on hand to provide support should I need it and there are monthly calls or meetings to discuss my progress. The only thing I'd say its there's very few guidance documents available for the qualification.

6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?


PwC assign a People Manager to provide support on a day-to-day basis, someone outside of the team you work on who has an impartial view and can take action if there are any issues. The amount of supprot received depends solely on the kind of People Manager you have. I personally meet with mine every other week. I'd say the support received comes from the people themselves, people who want you to do well rather than the firm as a whole.

7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?


The salary and bonuses received are, in my opinion, good in terms of apprenticeships and not having a degree and roughly on par with other professional services firms/accountancies' apprenticeships. This meets my costs comfortably at this point in time and the choices allow for other lifestyle changes, and it also includes buying more holiday days.

8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?


There are events to attend such as the Young Management Consultants Association which brings together management consultants from across firms, along with management consulting awards etc. There's also socials for the Higher Apprentices every so often and technology socials that allow insight into the future of technology. There are various things to get involved in.

9a. Would you recommend PwC to a friend? *


9b. Why? *

The atmosphere at PwC is very high stress level in the areas I've experienced, and as a result the people can be difficult to manage, as can the workload and stress levels. This scheme could use a little upscaling in terms of organisation, and the rotations available before I'd recommend it. In terms of work experience and pay I would reccommend this scheme, but they'd need to work well under pressure.

10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to PwC? *

To be sure that this is what you want to do. Jumping in to PwC especially as a school leaver may not seem as difficult in the beginning, but it reaches a point where you need to be able to work well under-pressure otherwise you'll end up not enjoying your time there. Remember, work takes up most of your day, 5 days a week so you have to enjoy what you do.

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