The School Leaver Series 2016 – Theo
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!
Hi, my name is Theo, and I am a school leaver in the Milton Keynes office.
I felt that after completing my A-levels, I wanted to do something with my time that wasn’t 100% education. I wasn’t aware of what opportunities there were outside of going to university, but all I knew is that it probably wasn’t for me. When I thought about apprenticeships, I instantly thought ‘builder’ or ‘electrician’… never ‘accountant’. But the school leaver programme is so much more than a regular apprenticeship. It gives you the opportunity to gain high quality levels of practical experience in accountancy, whilst also sponsoring a part-time education. For someone like me, who wasn’t ready to give up learning but also wanted the challenge of a professional workplace and the added bonus of a payslip, this was the perfect opportunity.
Having been at Grant Thornton for over a year and seeing new faces join the firm, I have realised just how far I have come in a short space of time. I feel comfortable having advanced discussions with clients and also giving my ideas to the team. Without even realising it, my skills have grown exponentially just through my constant exposure to the working environment. What is even better, is that Grant Thornton make sure that you have the right level of encouragement and always make sure that your voice is heard.
The learning aspect of the school leaver programme is greatly supported by Grant Thornton. Whole days are timetabled for training, tuition and revision, with added benefits like study leave around big exams. My study technique is to make posters and flash cards and I find that writing down information and constantly testing myself is the best way for me to take everything in.
Some advice I would give, is just be yourself throughout the application process. Grant Thornton believe that a successful service can be provided by being a genuine and likeable person. Everyone is different and stands out in their own way, just like how Grant Thornton wants to stand out from the competition by the way that we work with our clients. Something I have also learned is to just be honest. If you don’t know something, just admit to it, but also show that you are willing to learn. This is a great way to earn people’s respect.
Best of luck with your applications, I hope to see some of you in the future!