School Leavers – Challenging Mainstream Education by Rachael Sumner
" I look back on my choice to join straight from school and it’s the best decision I’ve ever made."
Rachael Sumner, Audit Associate
I joined Grant Thornton in 2016 as a school leaver straight after Sixth Form.
For a while, I’d known that university was not the best option for me – the thought of moving away was daunting and trying to finance a degree was unrealistic. Continuing my education was important to me but earning money and having stability was also a big driver in my decision to get a job. I started my journey by looking for jobs which offered further learning and qualifications – that’s when I found Grant Thornton.
Working my way through the recruitment process from the online tests to the digital interview, I progressed right up to the assessment day. Being that I was still in school, I didn’t have much experience with interviews as I’d only ever held a couple of weekend jobs. Leading up to the assessment day, I was nervous but excited to have the opportunity to join the school leaver program. I approached the challenge as best as I could. Much to my surprise, I received a call shortly after with an offer. I couldn’t wait to start my career!
Whilst I received other offers, Grant Thornton was my preferred choice as the firm’s CLEARR values resonated with me. I wanted to work somewhere where I felt valued and appreciated; somewhere that would support me through my career progression, whilst also providing me with opportunities to continuously challenge myself.
I quickly learned the advantage of the school leavers program – no student debt, a stable income and, most importantly, development of my personal and professional skills from a young age. I look back on my choice to join straight from school and it’s the best decision I’ve ever made. Choosing to get a job instead of going to university surprised everyone – little did they know that I could become a qualified accountant without a degree!
The journey is challenging but rewarding and the people are supportive. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed being part of Grant Thornton’s school leaver program and continue to learn and grow every day as I enter my final year.
The best piece of advice I have for people looking to apply to Grant Thornton is to be yourself and be confident in yourself. Grant Thornton look for talent that they can nurture and develop so don’t worry if you don’t have the best grades or work experience of a financial nature. Be yourself, be confident and let your talent shine through on its own.