The School Leaver Series 2016 – Frazer
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!
A little about me, I’m Frazer, I’m in Audit at the Milton Keynes office and I started in September this year so I have been with the company about 2 months so it wasn’t long ago myself I was applying for the job.
I chose to come to Grant Thornton as a school leaver over going to uni after weighing up both sides for a long time.
Finally, I chose to come here after to going on the work experience placement in October 2015 and talking to both leavers and graduates and resting on the conclusion that the only difference was the qualification you study and you can reach the same point at the end of your qualification. So it was just a preference of how you wanted to get there. For me being paid in a job in the same amount of time as going to uni was a good option as you get all the experience and connections at work and still be able to travel and have a weekend out to see your friends at uni and have the same fun but can actually afford it!
Another reason is due to my learning style I felt like I would learn a lot more from having a hands on approach with the work than being taught like how you would be in lectures and seminars.
Since starting the job I feel like it’s been a very steep learning curve for me. I’ve joined a firm where you get a lot of responsibility from the start, but you always have someone with you who you can ask questions or get help from as everyone has been in the same position as you in one way or another, regardless of whether they joined as a school leaver or a graduate. Everyone I’ve met in the firm is really supportive and understands that, whilst there’s a lot to learn to get up to speed, you won’t know it all and they try to help.
The training facilities at Bradenham (the massive manor you go and stay in) are really good with specialised days for getting your knowledge up on certain areas for when you go out on jobs, as when you start you specialise on certain jobs and documents to gain and understand and start branching out.
I have my first exam on the 9th of November, so I am yet to try and balance an exam and work. In regards to college work leading up to this, I have been attending college every Friday 9am-5pm where we are in a group of 30. At the start of studying AAT, the work is based on a lot of fundamental concepts are relatively easy to grasp, but there is a lot of it so it’s always best to try and get all the work done on the Friday night and over the weekend where possible. That’s not always what happens, but it would depend on your learning style.
My tips for applicants this year is slightly limited as I missed a large chunk of the application process from going to the work experience and getting to know people in the company.
I know the video interviews at home can be a bit unnerving but maybe write a sticky note on the screen next to the camera so it looks like you’re looking at them or get someone to sit behind so it doesn’t feel like you’re talking to yourself. This can really help you feel like you’re interacting with the interviewer, if you’re speaking to someone, and creating that environment for yourself.
When it comes to the interview I would look up some ‘wild card’ facts about the firm for when the interviewers ask you what you know about them or what you think of it, as everyone looks up the ordinary facts and it will help you to stand out. It’s also important to just relax because the interviewer only wants to see how you are as a person, as well as your ability to demonstrate your capabilities and they will respect your opinion.
I currently have my fingers crossed for my exam, but if you have any questions, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch via my email, which is: