The School Leaver Series 2016 – Sam

Over the course of this week, we will be sharing a number of blogs from a few of our school leavers from across the firm. In these blogs, we will be sharing some of the great experiences we’ve had since working at Grant Thornton, whilst at the same time, talking about the key themes that come with joining as a school leaver, as opposed to being a graduate. We hope you find these useful!

Just over two years into my career and I’m currently reflecting on all the great things being a school leaver at Grant Thornton involves. This blog is the second in our School Leaver series, with the intention of shedding light onto the life of a School Leaver at Grant Thornton, as I begin my third year in audit.

As an associate in commercial audit, you are continuously out on site at different clients, meeting new people, and working with different teams. As you progress and have a few more years of experience under your belt, you come to accumulate more responsibility for the newer members of the team, whilst being a main point of contact for clients whilst on site . Recently, I’ve been doing a lot more of this and taking responsibility for other people’s work as well as my own, on jobs that I have been working on. It’s a big challenge, and throughout the whole of your training contract, you are continuously learning how to help manage your workload whilst helping others to understand how to manage theirs, as well as developing your technical knowledge of accounting and auditing, and building up your people and business skills to accompany your job…so we’re always pretty busy!

In the last few months, I’ve been busy working in a variety of different places. As I write this, I’m currently in my new rented place in Norwich where I’m living for sixth months on secondment, so I’m working on clients that we have in the East Anglia region whilst having the chance to live with a group of friends, which is a great experience. I’ve been on audits in London, Norwich, Milton Keynes, and other cities (and sometimes working at clients with offices in the middle of nowhere!) on a variety of clients in different sectors and industries. This is something that is pretty common as an auditor – there’s a lot of travelling, commuting, and sometimes staying away in hotels. It can be a great experience if you’re willing to accept the challenge, but be sure to run it by trainees if you’re attending pizza evenings or speaking to people from our offices, to try and get a feel for what you can expect, if this is something that’s important to you.

The development and training you go through is pretty extensive, and you often always feel like you’re constantly learning. I’ve still got a few more exams to sit over the next year or so, and there are always plenty of changes and improvements to audit methods and approaches, so there’s never a dull moment. Apart from the exams that you study for, internal training isn’t any different if you’re a school leaver or a graduate . You’ll probably find a few of the grads saying things like: ‘I remember something about that from uni…’, where a school leaver may not have had the exposure to certain parts of accounting without having done it in sixth form. But apart from that, the way you learn things at Grant Thornton is more or less the same, college tutors and those that run training sessions, are always really helpful with any questions you have.

You gain a lot of knowledge and experience as you progress through the role, and throughout your whole training contract. There are loads of people in your position around all the offices in the firm, so you’re not likely to feel like you’re being thrown in the deep end without enough support!

If you have any questions on anything specifically that I’ve talked about, then don’t hesitate to get in touch via my email: and good luck with your application!