1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
As part of the Flying Start Degree programme, we undertake paid placements with PwC Assurance Department. While some students get to undertake risk assessment work, most of us spend the bulk of our time planning and executing statutory financial statement audits, which essentially means that we work with clients on a daily basis to perform testing over their financial statement amounts (e.g. revenue, creditors, and so forth).
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
You develop significantly in a very short space of time due to the intensity. Technical knowledge is naturally developed, while constant communication with clients, fellow team members, managers and partners ensures that communication skills are developed. As you progress with the firm organisational skills become fundamental as you could be working on various different jobs at once.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
There are various enjoyable aspects; there is plenty of support, the people and staff are fantastic, there is areal community spirit and you know that what you're doing is worthwhile from a careers perspective. Audit work can, however, have its dull and stressful moments, but most jobs do.
4. How valued do you feel by PwC?
You get constant feedback with PwC. Positive feedback and recognition awards (e..g vouchers) make you feel valued. Everyone is very friendly, approachable and supportive, which also helps to make you feel valued. You get fully utilised and get given a lot of responsibility early-on if you are capable.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The course has been running for 10 years now and is finely tuned. The university, ICAEW and PwC are in regular contact with us and we always know what we need to do, where and when. The course is very well structured with regards to how exams fit around placement.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
The university provides a lot of academic and other support. Even on placement we are able to contact the university with any problems or issues we may have. The staff are very approachable and professional.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
Within PwC we have buddies and Flying Start Champions, as well as a dedicted manager contact. These 3 contacts help us to settle in. Team members are very friendly and supportive on the job.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
For a student you will be well off on this programme, as you get paid a wage during placement, you get a student loan and PwC pay for accommodation costs while relocated for placement. It should be noted, however, that as you become fully utilised as a resource, this wage is earned.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
There are plenty of opportunities both at university and with PwC. Specifically at PwC, there are football teams to join, volunteering activities and various other office initiatives, such as social group activities.
9a. Would you recommend PwC to a friend? *
9b. Why? *
The training and development you receive is second to none. There are many challenging and stressful moments, and the the workload can be quite intense as you are fully utilised as a resource, however this is a great start to a career within accounting and finance.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to PwC? *
Be yourself at your interview. It is quite common for Big 4 interviews to be quite casual and informal, as they're really interested in getting to assess your personality, and whether or not you'd be able to competently interact with clients and colleagues.
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