Samuel's top tips
I joined the Grant Thornton Liverpool office in September 2021, as an audit associate. I had previously been with the firm for a 12-month placement during my degree, and enjoyed my time here so much that I knew I wanted to join the graduate programme once I finished, so I didn’t apply to any other companies.
I have learnt so much over the last 12 months and wanted to share my top tips for others joining the firm and help you to make the most of life as an associate.
- Throw yourself in
As a returner to the firm, you are in a fortunate position to have knowledge of the office and know people there already. Make the most of this. Registering interest for committees such as Sports & Social or Staff Committees allows you to use the insight gathered from previous experience.
- Push yourself
Don’t worry if you think you will have forgotten everything from your placement. I found that the auditing skills come back to mind very quickly - almost as if you never left. It is worthwhile pushing yourself on to more complex work instead of remaining comfortable at a basic level. I have always felt that the work is more interesting when I’m responsible for sections so trying to pick up where you left off will serve you well.
- Be disciplined with time
Whilst on your placement there are no exam pressures, however you will have these once you join as an associate. The first couple of weeks can come as a shock going through college and sitting the first few rounds of certificate exams therefore it is important to be disciplined with your time. Make sure that you leave enough time to revise after work! And don’t be afraid to ask for support from your colleagues, either other trainees who are going through the same experiences as you, or those who have already qualified.
- Reach out to your team
By laying good foundations in the early weeks, asking for help when it is required is made much easier because you are familiar with the people around you. So, before you return, reach out to people you know from your placement and let them know you are returning. It’ll help you feel that bit more relaxed on your first day.
- Spend time with your team in person
My fifth and final point is the most important. Grant Thornton work in a really flexible way, allowing people to maintain a good work/life balance. This can mean it’s sometimes challenging to get the whole team in the same place at once. Going into the office or spending time on client sites is the best way to build good relationships the department and learn as much as possible from the people around you. I recommend spending time with the team at least twice a week and engaging with the social events as much as possible.