Associate at PwC

Start Date:
Programme Type:
Degree Apprenticeship
£18,000 annually
Review Date:
May 2019

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Review Score

8.9 /10

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


I have been placed in assurance for my three placements, working mainly in external audit. I have audited a wide range of clients, from public services to the financial sector and CIPS clients. Flying starts have much the same responsibilities as graduate associates, and are offered increasing responsibility across the three placements.

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


I have built a lot on the technical accounting knowledge that I have been introduced to at university. I have developed my client communication skills greatly and learnt how to deal with a wide variety of clients. My audit and general business acumen is much better from having been on placement.

3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?


I have really enjoyed the university part of the programme. The work placements are interesting, if a little challenging at times. I worked in Glasgow for my first two placements and was given really nice accommodation in the city centre, which was really nice and I loved living right in the heart of the city.

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4. How well organised/structured is your programme?


The structure of the programme is really good because it allows you to have a university experience whilst also studying towards your ACA. I have gained 12 exemptions from the 15 papers, and I feel that the practical work experience really helps to solidify the knowledge that I accumulate while I am at university.

5. How much support do you receive from your employer?


There is a really good support network whilst on placement. We have a main PwC contact who deals with our course specifically. There is also a flying start champion in each office, and we are assigned a career coach who is on hand to help with any issues. On some placements I was given a buddy, but not on my final placement.

6. How much support do you receive from your training provider when working towards your qualifications?


Because it is a relatively small course, I felt like the tutor to student ratio was really good and I got to know my tutors quite well. We receive lots of communication from university both during term time and while we are on placement, so I have always felt connected to uni even when I am working.

7. How well do you feel that your qualification (through your training provider) helps you to perform better in your role?


The teaching staff at the university have all been really good and there are definitely sufficient contact hours as well as being the option to drop in when needed. The exams are challenging, which really helps in preparing you for the world of work and the ins and outs of audit and assurance.

8. Are there extra-curricular activities to get involved in at your work? (For example, any social activities, sports teams, or even professional networking events.)


There are extra-curricular activities, though I feel like more of an effort could be made to get flying starts involved with these, as we don't have a year group as such while we are on placement, and therefore I have sometimes felt like an outsider. The social culture was better in Glasgow than in the East Midlands.

9a. Would you recommend PwC to a friend?


9b. Why?

They pay you sufficiently for your hard work, and flying starts get paid for all overtime, though I feel like the overtime arrangement for more senior employees is not fair. There is a good support network and they give you plenty of study time for your exams to give you the best chance of succeeding.

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

Be prepared to work long hours, especially during busy season (January-April), and potentially sacrifice a few weekends. The work is very mixed - it can be monotonous at times but at others is really interesting so definitely persevere. Also, don't underestimate the difficulty of the exams - they require a lot of study time.

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