Talent 18: My experience
For those that have read our previous post on Talent 18: What to know, many might be wondering what it is and why we at Grant Thornton are incredibly proud of it. Talent is our annual induction for all trainees that join the firm in the year. Here, joiners are introduced to the organisation and what it means to be a part of our culture and ethos.
This September, GT welcomed a cohort of 382 trainees across all service lines and locations at Warwick University for Talent18. I joined earlier in the year and having spent a bit longer than our new-starters, I was invited to join this fantastic cohort at Talent18. Here, I’d like to share my experience with everyone that was a part of this journey and also those looking to be a part of the wider firm.
The induction itself is a week-long event where on the first day everyone is welcomed followed by some talks from the strategic leadership team and others on our purpose, strategy and culture. Upon arrival to the venue, all trainees are assigned a table and split up into smaller groups which was facilitated by more experienced trainees. This gives everyone a chance to meet other trainees across different service lines and locations. After a short introduction and welcome by the host – CJ Bedford, senior members of the organisation - Sacha Romanovitch, Simon Jones, Malcolm Gomersall, Jonathan Riley and James Brown introduced some key topics crucial to starting a career at GT: our purpose, strategy, culture and quality. Here, the speakers encouraged everyone to share their thoughts on some key questions that drive the organisation - what would make GT a future-fit firm, what a vibrant economy meant to us as trainees and what culture meant to us among others. This gave the trainees a chance to reflect on their purpose here, vision for the firm and imbibe the culture. It was great to see the speakers engage the audience and welcome their opinions and thoughts on the firm’s culture. The day ended with a simulation activity where each table were assigned a task intended to allow us participants to put the CLEARR values into practice. This was followed by some feedback from the facilitator on values where we did well and how we could make further improvements. Here at Grant Thornton, providing honest and constructive feedback is integral to our culture. We want to help colleagues reflect and improve on their performance.
The day had significant focus on the Vibrant Economy initiative. It is a simple and unique approach to measuring success – growth is more than economic prosperity and there are people work to further it. As a trainee, it is scope to be a part of something bigger than the day-to-day role, an opportunity to get involved in conversations that foster the growth of your neighbourhood or city. Within GT, trainees like myself are provided with scope to interact with people and businesses who are working to further growth in a sustainable manner.
Talent 18 concluded with a lovely dinner reception where some partners and members joined the trainees for the evening. I was joined by a member of the recruitment, a partner and some trainees from my office. It was a great chance to interact and socialise with everyone. A partner panel addressed the trainees later in the evening and it was refreshing to hear from them. Needless to say, it was a terrific end to the induction where we met people and shared our experiences over food and drinks.
As most people like myself come either from university or school with little to no experience in corporate life, Talent 18 is followed by Strong Foundations. It is a four-day long training session where everyone is introduced to the basics of their service lines. It certainly was a challenging few days - absorbing the basics of audit (my service line) and learning it from scratch. The facilitators were aware of this and balanced the learning with games and little chats maintaining a relaxed atmosphere. Having always considered myself a slow learner, I felt well supported by my peers and the facilitators who were happy to provide one-to-one support when required. I appreciated the incredible patience and dedication of my colleagues to ensuring that everyone received the support they required. The induction however was not limited to learning. We were a part of some brilliant socials in the evening – quiz night, karaoke, riddles and more. My favourite was the quiz night- everything from the turnout to the energy was incredible and great to get to know other trainees.
Sooner than I would have liked, the week ended, and it was time to head back. We exchanged farewells and headed home, hoping to meet everyone again.
The week was fun, intense and exciting and I had the chance to meet some wonderful people who I will work alongside in the years to come. There is more learning and challenges to follow but Talent 18 was a good taster of what’s to come and worth looking forward to. :)