Location special : Liverpool
I always wanted to go down the apprenticeship route, and I felt that being good at maths and working well with new people meant that a role in finance would be best suited to me.
During my last couple of months in Sixth form I was applying for roles within the finance sector. I was able to secure interviews and even attended some assessment centres but nothing really grabbed my attention. Whilst at sixth form, the Career’s advisor who worked at the school introduced me to a charity called “Leadership through Sport and Business (LTSB)”. The purpose of LTSB is to give young adults an opportunity to find a role in finance, by developing their soft skills as well as their accounting knowledge.
They achieve this through two stages, a pre-apprenticeship stage and then eventually an apprenticeship. During the Pre-apprenticeship phase, the Charity allowed us to attend college and study for the AAT Level 2 qualification. I found this useful as prior to this I had no accounting knowledge.
The charity would run numerous sessions a week in partnership with the Liverpool Football Club Foundation. These sessions were focussed on developing our soft skills, such as interview techniques, presentation skills and our team leadership skills. The activities we completed to achieve this varied from presenting a piece of art at the Tate art gallery to the public, to refereeing city-wide primary school football tournaments with the LFC foundation at Anfield Sport’s centre.
At the end of the pre-apprenticeship phase, LTSB run a speed-interview session. This gave us the chance to interview with numerous different firms in one night, including Grant Thornton. After the Speed-Interview event I was invited to an Assessment centre at GT along with two other lads and all three of us were offered a role in commercial audit after this.
The ten months that have passed since we started at Grant Thornton have been the quickest ten months of my life. Everyday I have spent at GT has involved working with great teams of people and lots of learning. Not only do I feel like I am becoming a better auditor with every client I work on, but I also feel I am becoming a better person. Working at GT has helped me mature and allowed me to make loads of new friends and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it!
I am currently on the Leadership through Sports and Business programme (LTSB), this programme helps young professionals find a career in accounting and finance through a number of skill developing sessions and integrated workshops. While being on the programme I have been offered a 15-month placement at Grant Thornton where I have been given all the responsibilities of working in an audit team, and have the chance to progress onto a full time training contract at the end of my placement.
Since joining Grant Thornton I have met some great people who are working towards the same qualifications as me, meaning I have built a great network on people and grew my accounting knowledge greater than I had previously just attending college. I have worked on huge well known clients throughout my journey at GT and had the opportunity to travel to Ireland, London and many other great locations for work.
As I mentioned above at the end of the programme I hope to be offered a full time job with Grant Thornton, so I can continue to network and develop my accounting knowledge while working towards a globally recognised qualification (ACA). To people who were in my situation of wanting to study accounting but couldn’t find a place of work to go with this, I would strongly advice looking into the LTSB programme and grasping every part of it that you can.