1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
I am an accountant working in the audit department as an audit assistant in my firm. This means my day to day role varies heavily. On the one hand, I enjoy in depth training whether it be at college, online or at my one of firms offices in the country. In addition to this, I work on different clients, who change almost weekly. The clients could be a local business or large multinational firm. My role is to review the financials of a client and ensure that they are true and fair. This involves testing different areas of the client's business analytically and substantively.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
My skills in information technology have improved vastly. There is a particular emphasis on Microsoft Office, specifically Excel. I have begun to use complex formulae to manipulate data in order to better understand what is going. Furthermore, I have also developed my team working ability due to the fact most of the job is client interaction and working in small teams of your colleagues. There are also particular courses I can attend which further develop my ability in this regard.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I enjoy immensely that the programme is so varied. This means that it is very hard to get bored due to the dynamic nature of the job. The company culture is supportive and very much based on helping you develop not just as an employee but also as an individual. This level of support helps when you are first starting in something so new as an apprenticeship.
4. How valued do you feel by RSM?
After ever week working on a client, I fill out a self review form showing what I think I did well and how the experience went generally. My supervisor and manager will then fill this out with their thoughts and areas of improvements. This means I receive constructive feedback on an on going basis to help me improve. These forms accumulate and my personal manager will review them bi-yearly and discuss my performance. This great deal of focus makes me feel valued by RSM.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
From the very start of your programme, everything is tailored to helping you find your feet and passion. There is a great support network and you are assigned a mentor to help guide along the way. You receive a schedule showing what kind of clients you can expect over the next 6 months or so. Also, you are starting with quite a few other people in the intake so you never feel alone.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
My tutors at college are very helpful. They always take the time out to ensure I understand everything completely. My training provider gives me great learning resources both online and in paper. There are excellent facilities at the college as well to ensure you don't miss out on any resources. It's quite different from school as it is more laidback with a lot more breaks given in between lessons which I really like. They also email me regularly during exam time to ensure that everything is going smoothly.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
I believe this is the greatest asset my employer offers. There is so much training. I have a mentor, a personal manager and an exam training manager from who I can receive help from if I choose. My employer invests heavily in training. Even whilst on clients, my supervisor is assigned time to train and educate me. This means that throughout my time on the job, I am constantly learning. We also have access to the HR department should we come across any problems.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
My salary is relatively high. It is in line with the salaries of other similar firms. The travel costs are almost completely covered by my firm. The costs of working away from home in hotel for example are also completely covered by my firm which is nice. The overall package is quite extensive, offering private healthcare, rewards for cycling, investment opportunities etc. In this regard, my overall package adequately covers my daily and living costs.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
Every week brings new opportunities. The events at work include things such as sports day, bowling and dinners and football. We also have social events with other accountancy trainees. This means interacting with people from my firm and other firms also. Such events include dance balls, football and golf. My firm also offers voluntary opportunities such as helping the local community recycle. We also do a lot of fundraising for events such as skydiving and marathons. I personally have been involved in many of the events listed above.
9a. Would you recommend RSM to a friend? *
9b. Why? *
It is a great alternative to university. You get excellent qualifications such as AAT & ACA. You meet great people and ensure you don't get involved in debt of university. After 5 years, you have developed your soft skills such as leadership & responsibility that you are ready to go out in the world with extensive experience in your field and gain a real head start in the professional world of work.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to RSM? *
The application process involves filling in an online questionnaire where you say a bit about yourself. The next process are the online numerical and verbal tests. After this is the first stage assessment centre where you do the above two tests again in the office. After this is the second stage assessment centre where you have a group exercise with other applicants, a manager interview and then a partner interview. The important thing is to relax and ensure you have done enough research that you can describe to someone why you want the job and what it involves. Also, just be yourself.
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