Evan: Why I chose an Apprenticeship
Evan joined Grant Thornton as an Audit Associate on our Apprenticeship programme in 2022. We invited him to reflect on his first year with the firm.
I joined Grant Thornton as an apprentice after finishing my A-levels in 2022. I’ve always been interested in business, and really like the idea of running my own business one day so joining a firm like Grant Thornton felt like the natural place to begin my career. I’ve always been quite confident with numbers and felt that careers in accountancy would be a great way to understand what it takes to make a business succeed and the administration side that would be involved in setting one up and keep it running.
As I already knew I wanted to work in accountancy, it made sense for me to join as an apprentice rather than go to university as it meant I could start working towards my qualification straight away. All being well, by joining as an apprentice, I will qualify a year earlier than my peers who chose the university route. It’s not to say that an apprentice is the right route, but it was the right route for me.
It’s been a great first year here and I love the people and culture at Grant Thornton, everyone is really supportive and the variety of clients we have means you can get lots of exposure to different kinds of businesses which is great so early in your career. My highlights for my first year would be the wide range of people I have met, both colleagues and clients, passing my exams and just being here, in my first corporate role.
Looking back to before I joined the firm I definitely had some misconceptions about what a career in accountancy would be like. It isn’t as focussed on numbers as I had thought, it definitely helps being good with numbers, but you also need to have good literacy skills – there is a lot more report writing than I had expected.
I’ve learnt a lot over the last year, I think there are three top tips I would have for future trainees, firstly, be organised, and then, be ready to learn and finally understand the importance of communication.
The more organised you are from day one, the easier you will find it when you switch between jobs and need to keep track of your conversations and provide updates on your work. So really look at how you can get on top of your organisation skills.
And be ready to learn, you will be learning all the time throughout the first year (and beyond), so go into your career with an open mind and a willingness to learn new things and skills will really help you make the most of it.
I would also stress the importance of honest communication with your manager and team. You might put pressure on yourself to take on everything and not ask for help, especially if you are nervous because this is your first corporate job. But the support is there if you need it, and everyone is very understanding and just wants you to do your best, and open and honest communication will help you in every way.