1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
On a day-to-day basis, I would be going to client site and working with a PwC team of different grades. It would include a lot of talking to clients and building a rapport, as well as working with a team of different grades to gain experience and exposure. Most days are pretty busy, it involves a lot of managing your own time and making sure you know what's in your workflow to be getting on with.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I have been able to really develop my excel skills this year, as well as technical capabilities in terms of audit. Learning the theory of audit at uni and actually practicing it are two different things - it was pretty interesting to perform audit procedures and then after realise them back to the theory I learnt at uni. I also feel like I developed my interpersonal skills - the job does involve a lot of interaction with the client and other members of the firm everyday.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I have really enjoyed my time at PwC. I think my favourite part about working here is the fact that you manage your own time mostly. You'll be on an engagement for a few weeks and within that time you know what work you need to complete. The way you do it is based on how you work and what process works best for you. I feel like this really boosts my productivity as I can create a list for myself and tick things off as I go. I already know what I need to do next and so don't need to check in with anyone to ask them. The social aspect of the job is also great. As you join with a cohort of people taking the same exams as you - business placement and graduates alike - it's an easy environment to have a social life.
4. How well organised/structured is your programme?
I thought it was very well organised. As joiner's there is a fairly large intake each year and hence you have lots of people with you in the same position. There are lots of socials at the start of the year to welcome the new joiner's in and I think this really helped integrate us into the office. Once you start client work it is quite intense but it doesn't feel like you've been thrown into the deep end. The way it's structured means you will always have people to ask for help and coaching, especially at the start.
5. How much support do you receive from your employer?
Being such a large company, PwC does provide you with a lot of support throughout. There are buddies assigned from the cohort who joined the year before and that is very helpful at the start as they recently went through it and hence understand your silly questions and confusion. Otherwise, you have lots of points of support - for me I got this especially from my assigned people manager.
6. How much support do you receive from your training provider when working towards your qualifications?
PwC use kaplan to provide our training and college time for our exams. This is great - we have classroom sessions as well as online support and testing. I always feel like I have enough resources to revise - across the books, what we learn in classes at college and all of the online resources provided to us by Kaplan. The regular testing is also great as it gets you used to how the exam will be.
7. How well do you feel that your qualification (through your training provider) helps you to perform better in your role?
The ACA is needed for a role in audit. With each exam taken you go back to work with more knowledge and understanding of audit then before you took it. The exam process and the way they are laid out is also good as we do a lot in the first few months. This really helps with understanding of the job, and it was a good recap and development of what I already knew from uni.
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.)
The social aspect of the job is great. When you first join there is a lot of socials to integrate the new joiners into the office and we spend a lot of time together in training as a cohort. Moreover, PwC has a lot of societies and sports you can partake in that bridge with people from firms all over the UK. And there is events with the student society for the region which is with students from other firms.
9a. Would you recommend PwC to a friend?
I think PwC is a really good company to work for. They care about your wellbeing and support you through exams. This year, I've really appreciated the way they've also ensured to address other issues, such as the black lives matter movement, and the way they've done this - it made me feel proud to work at PwC. The atmosphere and people are great, it's a very welcoming workplace and it makes it enjoyable to work here.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to PwC?
The application process is quite gruelling - you just have to keep at it. Do your research for the initial stages, make sure you understand the company's values. The assessment centre - the main thing here is to find a balance. Be talkative and facilitate others to talk as well. Make sure you're listening and responding. It is a busy year and you are expected to handle revision and exams alongside that. Make sure that's something you want to get yourself into.