National Apprenticeship Week Part 2 – The Grant Thornton Experience

In part 2 of our National Apprenticeship Week blogs, we hear from Declan who obtained a permanent position at Grant Thornton through an apprenticeship.

Whilst at school I decided I wanted to work in accountancy and an apprenticeship would be the best way into the sector. Finishing school, I got in touch with an apprenticeship agency, City Gateway. City Gateway provides prospective apprentices with support in preparing for, and accommodating the facilitation of, apprenticeships. It was through City Gateway I found out about Grant Thornton and the apprenticeship they had to offer. I applied, and was successful for the role, and my journey with Grant Thornton began.

Upon arrival at the office, the team secretary greets me. She brings me to my people manager to be. “Hello James, it’s a pleasure to meet you” he says shaking my hand. “Likewise, but my name’s Declan?” I quite nervously utter. A burst of laughter soon surrounds us as we all realise I am standing in the wrong team.


After that speed bump my day began. I was introduced to the team and my actual people manager who helped me set up at my desk with my laptop. I started on the orientation pathway for Grant Thornton’s new joiners which gave me a CLEARR idea about the business.

From day one, I played an active role in the team getting involved in variety of tasks. Research and data analysis for remuneration surveys, supporting the set-up and maintenance of an internal international database of technical knowledge; providing assistance on client related projects; and generally supporting the team with admin functions.

In addition to the experience gained in the office, I was also attending a college for classroom based study for my NVQ. I was able to learn skills in that class which directly related to skills I needed in the office which in turn proved pivotal to me developing in that role.

Looking back to when I started and considering where I am now, I can see the apprenticeship helped me develop in a number of key areas. Including my written ability, analytical thinking, networking, due diligence and generally my confidence in performing work tasks.

Towards the end of my apprenticeship I knew I wanted to stay on and develop a career at Grant Thornton UK in Tax. I really enjoyed the work I was doing and I valued the people and work culture of the business.

About 9 out of the 12 months into the apprenticeship, I had my final appraisal with my manager and my City Gateway assessor. We discussed my progress and any potential future prospects. The team were happy with my performance and agreed to put me forward for the newly formed School Leaver programme to become a Tax associate.

Now I have a permanent position at Grant Thornton and I am on track to achieve my career aspirations.

Twitter @ST_STB, Instagram @gt_trainees

17 March 2016 at 1:58 PM    |   Posted by Guest blogger

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