A new chapter - Grant Thornton straight from University

As cliché or as predictable as it sounds, finding yourself starting a ‘new chapter’ always arrives with a multitude and variety of emotion. Just 3 weeks after I had sat my last examination at Durham University in Philosophy, I found myself back in my childhood home, starting the first day as an FTC associate in Public Sector Audit here at Grant Thornton. Armed with a mug of coffee and a freshly bought notebook in anticipation of all the new information that would be learnt, it really hit me that from now on, I was no longer a university student. Gone were the days of lecture theatres and the cobbled streets of Durham. Settling back at home in South London with a new wardrobe full of office suitable attire truly made me wonder how fast these past few years had flown.

A ‘new chapter’ for me, does not mean to say that my previous memories, skills and passions have been completely erased. Instead, it is finding how those ideas in the past can become compatible with the future, how I can build and nurture the seeds planted many years back. At first, I was not sure how my degree in philosophy was able to merge into the field of public sector audit. Yet, even on my induction day, myself and my cohort were taught to question, to prompt, to be skeptical. To ask why and how. I chose to study philosophy because I have always been keen to know more, to not settle with what I thought I already knew and to remain open-minded of new possibilities and ideas. It is in these past few weeks - with today marking 8 weeks into my time as an associate - that I have seen how applicable my degree is to audit.

With a new chapter comes new people, new settings, new challenges. Joining during the NHS season meant that I got to see PSA at its most busy state, every day being a learning opportunity to witness different parts of the audit completion. Whether it was sitting in client meetings, getting to grips with Voyager and Inflo or trying to create the most user-friendly and aesthetically pleasing pivot table, every day presented itself with a fresh opportunity to throw myself in and learn as much I possibly could have. Starting online may have been a challenge at first, and whilst I knew I would be made to feel welcome; I did not imagine how friendly and supportive the people I would work with would be. My audit knowledge may have been slim and rather minute at the start, but the enthusiasm and genuine support I have been given has made my PSA knowledge grow far quicker than I thought it would.

‘Unlocking new parts of the map’ is what I like to call ‘finding new places to eat during lunch’. Having a rather simple commute into the office (and being double-vaccinated) has allowed me to go into the office once a week, with this hopefully becoming more regular in the next few weeks. Having just discovered the gnocchi eatery Nyokee close to the office, I know my wallet will not like my indulgent 4 cheese deluxe gnocchi lunch, but I aim to convince anyone I know to try it.

I started this new chapter unsure of what it may hold for me. Now, I can confidently say that I will be greeting the future, here at Grant Thornton and post-university with open arms.   

19 August 2021 at 4:31 PM    |   Posted by Madeleine Storm

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