1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
I work in audit which involves a variety of different tasks each week in different areas, these include planning, fieldwork, completion. As a Junior/Semi-Senior my levels of responsibility vary between each job. Most of the time I am out at client sites carrying out fieldwork.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I have gained the CFAB qualification which was very pleasing - the exams helped with my technical knowledge. I have also learnt a lot through our regular internal training sessions.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
The firm has certainly exceeded my expectations in terms of enjoyment - we have a very tight knit group which helps a lot when you are working in different teams each week. We also have regular social events which has helps to retain a strong team bond.
4. How valued do you feel by Smith & Williamson?
I feel very valued by Smith & Williamson - a lot of time is put into our schemes and our development. At the end of each job, we are given feedback by our Seniors which helps us to develop. The Managers and Partners also invest a lot of time into helping our development. Annual reviews also show which areas we are able to develop in and which areas we are doing well in which is very useful in terms of development.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The programme is very structured - our exams are already provisionally booked up until case study which is 3 years away. Training and jobs we are working on are generally booked 6-12 months in advance so we are always aware of our upcoming schedules. We hold meeting every time we go out on site also, so the team is always well organised and knowledgeable.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
I receive a lot of support from my Kaplan training advisor which is very useful. I am almost at the end of my apprenticeship thanks to the help and support I have received.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
I receive a lot of support from my employer through a variety of different streams. I am able to approach anyone in the office if I have any concerns and each staff member has also been issued a mentor which is very useful when you need someone to contact. Guidance is always available through helplines, HR and the intranet.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
As a higher apprentice, my salary could be higher given the type of work that I do. I have a long commute into London so my salary is mostly spent on travel. From speaking to peers at different firms in London, my salary is not as competitive.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
There are lots of opportunities outside of working for us as mentioned previously. Our company events are held almost monthly which creates a great working environment and gives us something to look forward to. We are also given discount gym memberships and other benefits which allow us to keep active outside of work.
9a. Would you recommend Smith & Williamson to a friend? *
9b. Why? *
Smith & Williamson is a great employer and I believe they recognise hard work that is put in. The training scheme is also very well structured which helps for long term planning. The employees are all very friendly and welcoming which also creates a great bond between the teams.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Smith & Williamson? *
I would make sure that others put in a good level of research into Smith & Williamson and make sure that they know what it is that they do, and what the role that they are applying for entails.
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