Our experience week at GT's Reading office
Hi, my name is Ish. I go to sixth form study Business, Geography and Applied Science. I have always wanted to understand what it is like to work in the corporate world and I came across the Grant Thornton Work experience programme. The process to apply has been beneficial to me because I believe it has enhanced my competence, and it has given me an idea of what it is like applying to jobs.
So far in the programme, my most enjoyable part has been our time in corporate finance. My understanding of audit and tax and how they operate has also increased. It has made me realise that communication and attention to detail is important, especially in these departments.
Hi, my name is Erica and I’m taking part in the Grant Thornton work experience programme. I’m currently in sixth form, studying Business, Maths and Spanish. I decided to do the work experience programme at Grant Thornton because I wanted to gain an insight into the industry to see if I was still interested in having a career in accounting.
Hey I’m Sas and I am currently on my one week work experience at Grant Thornton in the Reading office! I am currently doing my A-Levels in Maths, Economics and History at sixth form. From a young age if I was asked the question what I wanted to be when I grow up I always said an accountant, but I was never sure what an accountant really did or what their day to day job entailed. With the pressure increasing of what my plans are post year 13 I decided I wanted to take part in some kind of work experience to give me a real insight into the career I want to do. GT is the UK’s 5th largest accountancy company and when I saw they were doing a work experience programme I jumped at the chance to apply!
SAS’ EXPERIENCE OF THE APPLICATION PROCESS:
The application process had multiple stages involved and after talking some of the people at GT I learnt that it was very similar to graduate and school leaver application processes. I’m grateful for the opportunity to have experienced the application process which will definitely benefit me for the future. The first part of the process was standard with filling out my personal details and some questions about why I wanted to join. Then after being successful with my initial application I had to do a 30-40 minute online strengths assessment. GT was really helpful at explaining what I had to do and providing any tips. After this came the digital interview which I was most nervous about but again GT made the process really simple telling me how to do everything and the questions they asked made me think on the spot which is a really valuable and transferable skill and allowed me to showcase what I know and am able to do. Then I waited to hear back from GT and soon I was given a call by someone from the team telling me I was accepted!
WHAT WE GOT UP TO:
Coming to GT like many others we came with the view that accounting was just about numbers but within only a few days we found out about many other different aspects of GT as a firm. So far in the programme, our favourite area of GT was corporate finance. We learnt that:
• It’s mainly project based
• They work on multiple projects (at different stages) in small teams
• Projects normally lasts for 9-12 months, and gives them a chance to build relationships with their clients.
Our task was to research companies and insert data into a document which was used to help the corporate finance team. We felt like we had a lot of responsibility working on a real project. We found it really interesting how Will (Corporation Finance manager) explained the role of meeting new people through networking events and how flexible his hours are, depending on time of year.
Audit is the largest department in terms of employees in GT and we thought at the start of the week that was what all the employees did, but this is certainly not the case. Although the audit team is very large, it is not the only service GT offer. We learnt how there are many clients and Steve (Audit Director) explained how he liked his role as there is a lot of variety when working with the different companies especially in GT. There are two routes in audit, the school leaver and the graduate scheme, and we now have a better understanding of the AAT and ACA qualifications after speaking to various employees in the office.
Tomorrow (Thursday) each of us are being sent to client sites for different audit jobs, which is making us all nervous but also incredibly excited! We are again really thankful to be given the opportunity to experience what an audit associate does day to day and be given the responsibility to join them. We are hoping to gain real inside knowledge of the client job and also do some work for the audit!
It was good to find out about the different departments in GT especially as prior to this our knowledge about the industry was so little compared to now. We all feel like we have a good understanding and insight to GT and accounting. It has definitely opened up many ideas for our future, all thanks to a few days with GT!
END OF WEEK UPDATE:
It is now the end of our week’s work experience at GT. Yesterday we got to visit a client site for audit which was a great experience. We really got to see what it’s like to work on an audit. It was quite scary meeting the client at first, but after we soon learnt it was part of the job. Overall we were really grateful to have such an eye opening experience especially as we were all given different clients in different industries such as housing, software and farming.
Our last day today was really helpful, not just learning about the school leaver programme but also to help develop our personal brand and to transfer these skills to other aspects of life. The group assessment center and interview was useful as this was a similar process to what a school leaver or graduate would have to go through. It was especially exciting as the interviews could help us to secure a permanent role as a school leaver once we leave college.