From new start to firm smart: Celebrating National Apprenticeship Week
To celebrate National Apprenticeship Week, we asked some of our new joiners what inspired them to work at Grant Thornton, how they found the Talent20 onboarding process and what their ambitions are to help shape the future of our firm.
Every year National Apprenticeship Week celebrates the diversity of opportunity and value that apprenticeships can bring to employers and individuals.
The theme for the week this year is “Build the Future” and we’re celebrating with stories from some of our new trainees starting out in their careers, who all now join the firm on an apprenticeship programme.
They talk to us about their experience of their first few months working at the firm in a virtual world. Here’s what they had to say…
I applied to Grant Thornton because I heard great things about the firm’s culture and ethos, which stood out amongst the competition. When I joined, I’d only met a few people face-to-face before we entered a national lockdown. It was difficult to adjust to home working at first but over time, working virtually has become the norm. The virtual onboarding at Talent20 created a welcoming environment for new starters to connect which really helped me feel settled in.
I’ve noticed how the firm cares about its talent. My people manager helped me with transitioning into home working and has guided me on some challenging work too. I’d like to continue expanding my knowledge and building a network with like-minded individuals across the firm, either within my daily role or through charity events, social events and in leadership roles.
Prospective new joiners need to consider Grant Thornton alongside the big four because the company culture here is unmatched and that’s something I’m proud to be a part of. My advice to future joiners would be to apply if you think Grant Thornton’s values align with your own. I started on a six-month contract helped me understand the business and role too before moving to a full-time position.
I knew instantly that I wanted to join Grant Thornton, as I could tell that the people across the firm genuinely care about each other, which you can’t say is true for all firms!
It’s been tougher to build connections with others online, but everyone I’ve met virtually has been so welcoming and I’ve felt well supported throughout the onboarding process as well as from my people manager and buddy.
I want to continue expanding my knowledge to become the best accountant I can be and earn a good reputation at the firm, so others can have confidence in my ability on projects in the future. I hope to make an impact by sharing my opinions, applying my life experience at work and being a positive, friendly face for others in the corridors (when we eventually return)!
I originally intended on joining a big four firm, but after coming away from my interview at Grant Thornton, I felt extremely valued as a person and still feel the same six months in. The firm is very accepting and inclusive which resonated with me. The onboarding experience was so encouraging and it was great to see senior management emphasising proper conduct and culture as the backbone of our firm.
If I had to describe my experience with the firm so far, I’d call us all one big family. My people manager and buddy have both helped me settle in by giving me advice, encouragement and best practice teachings to help me build a future career at the firm.
Working at the firm, I hope to bring value to our colleagues, clients and wider society. My aspirations are to become a Data Analysis Champion to help support the technological advances within the firm. If I had to give anyone else advice looking to join the firm I’d say, just be yourself.
I wanted to join a firm that cares about its employees’ growth. Working at Grant Thornton is much more than just a day job and finding this was really important to me. I believe work isn’t just about the work you produce, but the colleagues you meet, knowledge you gain and how you grow.
Despite only meeting a few people in person, I still feel fully part of my work team. At first, it was a challenge speaking to people virtually, but using Teams has made this a lot easier. One manager really lifted the team’s spirit by creating a dance challenge for everyone! It’s these things that have helped me settle into the firm.
Learning about the firm’s purpose and opportunities it offers cemented why I chose Grant Thornton for my graduate scheme. I’ve always been passionate about charity work throughout my school and university life and I’d like to continue my passion for charity working here. In my time here, I’ve already joined sustainability calls, helped with virtual experience days and even become a buddy myself.
My advice to anyone looking to join the firm is to be yourself and you will find your place. As long as you keep being yourself, people can help you reach your goals to truly make the impact you want to make.
The firm’s highly rated apprenticeship scheme encouraged me to join Grant Thornton and the positive atmosphere across the firm is what really set it apart from the rest. I especially noticed during the assessment day - everyone was so welcoming, whatever level they were. The whole process, from application to Talent20 has been digital and despite this, the entire onboarding experience has been seamless.
So far, I’d describe my experience as an exciting challenge! It’s clear that there’s a challenging, proactive work environment here and it’s great to know that I can develop my skills alongside people who will encourage my development. I hope to help enhance the firm’s great reputation by creating strong relationships with clients and carrying out high quality work.
I’d like new joiners to know that the experience you’ll get with clients whilst being around colleagues who are welcoming, supportive and motivating is unparalleled and Grant Thornton is one the few firms that creates this atmosphere. Before joining I’d heard about the firm’s lovely employees and great working environment – having now joined the firm I can say this is because its 100% true.
I was drawn to Grant Thornton by their trainee blog and diverse workforce campaign. The ‘Spilling the beans’ blog written by trainees about topics, like managing mental health and exam stress, shows how transparent the firm is and their awareness of how challenging balancing work and study can be.
My onboarding experience was positive and engaging. During my experience day, I learnt about the firm and got a feel for its culture, which confirmed it was the right fit for me. Joining in a virtual world has been surprisingly straight forward. Alongside weekly team audit meetings, my offices have arranged weekly coffee roulette meetings where you’re randomly paired with someone else for a catch-up. One of my pairings was with Andrew Howie, Managing Partner for our Scottish offices. Talking with him was so insightful and something I’d unlikely have chance to do in an office environment.
I’d describe my experience so far as really encouraging. My people manager always finds time to catch up with me and is really encouraging about study and learning on the job. Going forward, I’d like to gain technical experience and knowledge of our clients and sectors and I’d also love the opportunity to work internationally.
New joiners should think about why Grant Thornton is attractive to them and consider their skills and abilities in line with that. The firm looks for candidates who would be a good cultural fit and how you come across in the process is just as importance as your degree result.
Find out more about our school leaver and graduate apprenticeship programmes here.