Five weeks In - Audit at GT Bristol
Luke Skears – Audit Graduate Trainee, Bristol Office
‘’If you give people tools, and they use their natural abilities and their curiosity, they will develop things that will surprise you very much beyond what you might have expected’’.
Although this is a quote from Bill Gates, it could equally be the overall message that I have taken from my initial few weeks at Grant Thornton.
Starting a new challenge always creates a strange mix of emotions. Excitement, anticipation and nervousness are just some of the words I could use to illustrate my thoughts as I headed to the bright lights of Bristol for my first day - unsurprisingly, nine other spritely Graduates/School Leavers felt the same on the infamous ‘’first day’’. Such feelings were soon replaced with a sense of relief, anticipation and more excitement.
So far, I can easily fulfil the cliché that ‘’no two days are the same’’. Starting with the orientation week provided the perfect platform to make friends, learn more about the company and showcase yourself to the office for the first time – what surprised me was how many people took time out of their day to speak to us, making us feel at ease immediately. Even during this week, we faced new challenges each day; from practising ‘’Elevator Pitches’’ to simply working the coffee machine, we were kept on our toes and given a great insight into our future careers.
Typically, training is held at the renowned Bradenham Manor. However, we took the short trip up the M5 to the state-of-the-art conference facilities at the University of Warwick for Talent 18 and Strong Foundations 1. As a coming together of all UK office intakes, this provided an unrivalled opportunity to network with a wide variety of people whilst gaining a basic understanding of accounting and ethical principles. The facilitators were brilliant at helping us understand many concepts we hadn’t previously met whilst also hosting entertaining evenings such as a ‘’riddle night’’ and karaoke evening. Highlights also included talks from Sacha and senior partners which were both informative and inspiring - I will always look back on this week with great fondness as the start of my Grant Thornton career, and such feeling is shared by my peers.
After a couple of years out of academic life, the prospect of college surprisingly excited me and I felt like it was my first day of school all over again as I stepped into the Kaplan building for the first time. There’s no doubt that the learning comes thick and fast but everyone is in the same position and there’s a real sense of pulling together and comradery - the material provided combined with the quality of teaching stands you in an excellent position to pass the exams with flying colours.
Of course, the actual reason we do the training and pass the exams is the word that many people dread…work! It is fair to say that the sort of clients you can expect to interact with will be varied in nature and across a broad range of industries. Such variety helps to keep a sense of freshness both in the location of the client but also in the type of work you will undertake – it is satisfying to be able to put all the training and all the learning into practice and feels like a jigsaw being put together.
I’m only at the start of my GT journey and look forward to adding more pieces to my jigsaw.