1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
I am a trainee accountant and my day to day work will involve working with our clients to ensure the audit runs smoothly. My job is training to become a senior auditor, I currently help out with the progression of the audit and by doing so I am able to learn all of the different tests. I am also working towards becoming chartered so all of the work I take part in I am able to learn more about it in my studies.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I have learnt how to improve on my communication, verbally and written, with clients and other people in my firm. This involves writing emails, taking phone calls and having physical meetings with the client. It has been great to develop my confidence as I am constantly thrown into new situations that I have to work to overcome issues that may have arisen with the client in a professional manner whilst also ensuring I get an outcome which is beneficial for the audit.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
My programme has been an amazing experience and has allowed me to be open to the world of work at the young age at 18 which has been a huge change. I feel this has massively allowed me to grow up and be comfortable working with a range of ages successfully. I have also been able to enjoy learning about accounting whilst also completing the work as I learn about it in my college studies.
4. How well organised/structured is your programme?
My programme is extremely well structured as we have a whole team dedicated to our learning and development who ensure we have no issues and that are our apprenticeship runs fluently. We have year groups which mean that there is a school like structure which works really well as we can ask for help and clearly understand who will be able to help with our issues. There is also a split between the different ages they take on whihc works well.
5. How much support do you receive from your employer?
As we have a whole department for our learning and development, we receive huge amounts of support from the firm and individually from our managers. We also have buddies who are assigned to us who are a year above us and who are available to help at any time. This system was set up in order to increase the amount of support and overall I would say we are extremely well and thoroughly supported in our apprenticeship.
6. How much support do you receive from your training provider when working towards your qualifications?
We are constantly receiving emails from our training provider First intuition as they are very helpful and on top of all the work required. They provide us iwth indivudal contacted tutors alongside an additional skills coach who works solely with us to help us reach the skills and behaviours we need in order to succeed in our apprenticeship alongside our studying. They have contact calls with us at least once every three months so there is a lot of support. There is also an online portal with all of the exam materials which we can access at any time.
7. How well do you feel that your qualification (through your training provider) helps you to perform better in your role?
My qualification gives me all of the background knowledge and skills htat I require for my job. However, my job also alllows me to practice these skills so that i can confirm my knowledge and it helps to remember the skills so that I can complete tasks with more ease going forward. It has also helped me perform better as I have notes that I can look back on when taking part in some challenging work.
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.)
At workk, I have become part of the social committee and in this committee I have been able to organise a range of events such as ping pong, darts and a cricket evening. There is also a netball team that you can join. I have been invited to many young professionals networking events which is solely for the trainees and allows us to network throughout the departments in the firm to encourage further and complete relations.
9a. Would you recommend Smith & Williamson to a friend?
Smith and Williamson have not only allowed me to feel completely relaxed in a new enviornment but they have also opened me up to many activites, events and experiences that I would not usually be able to be involved in. They have also provided huge amounts of support for every new joiner and are extremely accomodating to any issues or concerns you may have. Smith and williamson are a very caring firm and you have a support team to make sure you are okay.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Smith & Williamson?
I would ensure that they know the values of smith and Williamson as a firm and that the person applying also shares those values as the firm is extremely coherent with them. I would also ensure that as Smith and Williamson is a client focused company, that you work well with people and also enjoy working with people as that is what matters most at Smith and williamson. Finally i would make sure that you are certain that the business line you wish to go into is what you will enjoy as 4-5 years is a long time- although it will fly by!