Georgia: my journey to Grant Thornton
I had my heart set on a professional services firm and I managed to get onto the Grant Thornton apprentice scheme, after working for two years in a supermarket during the pandemic.
I started thinking about my career during my GCSEs in high school and doing something within finance and accountancy really stood out to me, so I studied those at A level. I realised that in the accountancy profession it makes sense to go into a traineeship, as if you do a degree and you still have to do three years-worth of professional qualification exams anyway.
I originally applied to Grant Thornton in 2020 and didn’t get past the second stage of the application process, but I was provided with tangible feedback that showed me where I had fallen short and what I could do improve. It was the best feedback I had been given, and really gave me the incentive to apply again in the next round of applications and show that I had listened to the feedback I was given. So I did, and I was successful in securing a place on the apprenticeship programme.
The social life has been brilliant as an apprentice at Grant Thornton. Because we join as a cohort, we have that university feel of everyone studying for exams together. Also, everyone goes out to celebrate after exams. I’ll say to my cohort, “let’s all go out for a drink next payday. Now that we've all got that out the way we can actually all breathe now.” And when a big audit job finishes, we'll go out with our audit team, which is great because we then mix socially with the directors, managers and assistant managers, more than we would do normally when we mainly stick to our peer group. I like that our socialising isn’t just about drinking, and is inclusive for everyone within the teams.
The post A level apprentice scheme is very flexible, you book your own exams so can choose a time that works for you. And I’ve found that at Grant Thornton there's always support from people that have done them, who you can ask for advise and guidance when approaching your own exams.
I definitely think I’ve made the right decision because I've got a good salary, good benefits and a good support group of professional peers to talk to, along with excellent managers that can guide me and help me. I am also three years ahead of anyone who’s gone to university, and working in the finance and professional services feels like a good sector to be working in as it’s so aware of the cost of living crisis.