1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
I am an audit associate. This involves undertaking external audits for our clients ensuring that their financial statements are presented true and fairly. This means a of the job is client facing as you request information and comes with a number of responsibilities - this includes leading jobs in your second/third year, being a point of contact for clients, ensuring your technical knowledge is up to date to deal with the demand of the job as well as ensuring that you are organised enough to meet vital deadlines.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
One of the perks of this career is that you work through an accounting qualification which is fully funded for by GT as well as giving you study leave in order to study for the qualification. There are a number of internal training sessions throughout the year where you are kept up to date with any new standards/training. As a school leaver, all the technical skills you learn are completely new as they're outside of your normal subject curriculum. Skills are also a new learning experience as the skills are a lot different to what you'd go through in school - technical, communicating with people high up in the leadership ladder etc.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
The firm culture is what invites people to apply at GT - the culture of working with growing businesses and businesses that are not corporate give us a wide range of clients with different opportunities. It definitely met my expectations and showed me why i chose GT over another firm. I do see GT changing into a more corporate firm in the past 6 months. I hope this isn't an insight into what is to come.
4. How valued do you feel by Grant Thornton?
It depends on who your line manager is as the line manager you have will determine whether you are able to grow, given opportunities to grow etc. I do think pay for school leavers is competitive but not for the amount of work you are made to do. Appreciation from partners is not always there either.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
I think it is well organised and structured - with exams and personal study being mapped out as well as the jobs you are booked too. However, with the changes made at GT in the last 6 months, we are made to work harder.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
A lot. Kaplan are used for exams and do feel they do give time to everyone in order to get you to pass your exams although again i think this depends on what office you are from, what tutor you have and how many people are in your classes. But for me, our training provider has been wonderful.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
I would say that we do receive support although the type we get depends largely on what we need support for. Support for personal reasons or for holidays - I don't think we do. Support for personal development to make us greater in our role - we are given a lot of support. Support in terms of maintaining a work life balance - i don't think we are given,
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
You are able to expense fuel back so you are never out of pocket however you have to pay to get into the office. Due to our office being quite central, this often stacks up and find a large portion of my salary does go on train tickets although this is offset against the fuel per mile you receive from the firm which covers the wear and tear of your car.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
Not as many as I'd like aside from socials. In terms of opportunities to create a difference outside of your workplace, create a difference to help others using your work platform, I don't think there is a lot which often contradicts Grant Thornton's mission to help locals, the environment or the vibrant economy.
9. Would you recommend Grant Thornton to a friend?
I do think they have put me in a good position going forward as a 21 year old who is now able to gain a qualification, develop skills and go further in the world of finance if i choose to stay in this field. At my age, my peers are at university looking for jobs or graduate position whereas i will be three years ahead of them.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Grant Thornton?