1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
Student on the Business Accounting and Finance programme based in Newcastle University. September to December and then April to June are spent at the university studying, with January to March spent working at one of PwC's offices in an associate role in Core Assurance.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
From the 3 months spent working at PwC during the audit busy season, had to very quickly learn how to manage my time, and communicate with a team of and issues I was having. Felt my communicative skills greatly develop from dealing not only with my PwC audit team, but also from exposure to the finance teams of my clients - experience that is hard to come by at such a young age.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
Very much - having been running for 13 years now, there is a definite programme 'identity' within the business school and university. Often social events allowing us to interact with people in other years of the programme.
4. How valued do you feel by PwC?
The teams we are sent to work on know we are joining them as students, so almost all of the people I worked with were very willing to spend extra time coaching me through procedures. Compensation is reasonable, and accommodations is provided for free my PwC. Everyone is set up with a 'buddy' and 'people manager' in order to help settle in. However, in some larger offices (London) it can sometimes feel, and rightly so, that you are a very small cog in a very large machine.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
Several people in different functions dedicated to ensuring the transition from university to working at PwC. Very clear expectations set out for us, as well as the examination schedule, what we need to be doing each semester and regular progress tests, ensuring we are on top of the curriculum.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
Two weeks of training provided before the placement begins, as well as refresher training sessions before each placement.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
Whilst you are very much thrown in at the deep end when you join in January, there are people on the teams you work on that are always willing to give you extra attention in order to help you develop - everyone joins the firm with know practical experience of audit.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
The salary is fair for the level of work we are doing, particularly considering early on in the first placement it takes a few weeks to be able to get up to speed and work efficiently. Combined with being provided fully paid for accommodation a reasonable commute away from the office (utilities and bills included), as well as the option to expense evening meals after a set time - overheads are very low whilst on placement.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
The work load during in busy season (January to March) is significantly more intense than the rest of the year - coupled with often being dark outside when finishing work, there aren't perhaps as many social events happening as would have liked. That being said, they do make the effort to organise meals/drinks for new joiners and people in the business unit when they can - better than nothing.
9a. Would you recommend PwC to a friend? *
9b. Why? *
Very good place to start a career. Provided with very high quality training, gaining paid, practical work experience whilst studying for the ACA qualification. Many exit opportunities are available with this qualification if you don't wish to continue working at PwC, and if you do, PwC is an excellent place to build a career.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to PwC? *
Stay up to date with current events, particularly in areas you are interested in/you office has many clients in. Look at PwC's global core competencies, and think of specific examples of how you fulfil them. Ensure you communicate points clearly, remain calm, ensure all tasks are completed within the time limit, ask your team mates on the assessment tasks of their opinions too.
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