I joined the firm six years ago as a graduate and I'm now an Associate Director working specifically in VAT.
One of the first things I noticed at the company is the flexibility. We had the option to work from home long before COVID-19, which has really suited me. My partner works evening shifts so agile working allows me to spend time with her during the day and work in the evenings. There’s also a lot of top-down communication about the importance of taking breaks and not exceeding your contracted hours when working from home. It's a really important message that's shows the way for people-first cultures.
Deciding my own path
I’ve worked with the food and beverage sector for the past few years, becoming almost a specialist in understanding its concerns and helping companies achieve their goals. Food and beverage is a big area in VAT so this has been a great opportunity to develop my technical expertise.
Grant Thornton supports managers to decide their own path and specialisations, so every member of the team controls the direction of their career.
A faster career ladder
What separates Grant Thornton from other large firms is how much responsibility you have from the outset – and the chance to show how you can handle it. Senior people really place a lot of trust in junior members of the team: you get to be client-facing, lead calls, and generally have people believe in you and the different perspective that you bring to tasks. The partners have all been very supportive of encouraging junior people to climb the ladder rather than always recruiting senior staff externally.
This responsibility is one of the things I enjoy the most. I’ve been trusted to build my own portfolio of clients, and unlike other firms where only senior managers or above can raise bills, Grant Thornton empowers assistant managers with such tasks. There’s a demonstrable commitment to responsibility being passed down the chain, and not just reserving it for directors and partners. That is the way it should be.
This is what I would say to new associates. Grant Thornton careers can develop at a faster pace than you'd find elsewhere. I can honestly say that I've never experienced any barriers to progression at the firm.