When we came to choose the topic we wished to write about during the #WWYAB series, ‘Add value and build reputation’ stuck out for me as the one which epitomises what working life at Grant Thornton is all about. Whilst working at the firm there are three main ways in which you can add value and build reputation, all intertwined and each as important as the next…
The first of these is your contribution to Grant Thornton – in short, what you are paid for. Your responsibility as an employee is to generate income for the firm (rather than make the tea as may be the case in some trainee roles), bringing in more money than it costs to employ you i.e. adding value. Through delivering a high level of work, you are in turn building the reputation of the firm, who are then able to go and win more work, whether that be through tender, recommendation or otherwise, because of the trust that people have in Grant Thornton as a brand and us as individuals. The reputation that is being built is not simply around the quality of excel spread-sheets produced but also the reputation of the culture of the firm and the personalities of the people who work here.
The second way you are adding value and building reputation is to a client’s business. Various advisory roles throughout the firm will be helping clients to save money where possible and even where direct savings are not being made, the prestige of having Grant Thornton as a company’s auditors, tax advisors etc. adds to the reputation of that company –a clean audit report from a firm such as ours is a symbol of a company’s health and one that investors and stakeholders are likely to rely on. Again the more value we can add to our clients the better as that helps to retain and win more work (see the previous paragraph).
The third and arguably most important thing (maybe they aren’t all as important as the next) to which you can add value and build reputation is yourself! For those looking for a job with the firm this will include exam results – but also a whole host of other things. At our recent recruitment training, the ice breaker for the day was for people to say what they were passionate about in their personal lives. One by one people went up and said what they are all about, each as captivating as the next but with great variety (apart from travelling which it seems everyone loves!) and then it struck me – we want to hire interesting people!
There is no pro-forma for an interesting person, it may be your work experience from the carpet shop you used to work at, the band you play in at the weekend or a ballet career that you had previously embarked on – all of these experiences are adding value to you as an individual as they have skills that you can draw upon when you start work here, not to mention that they make great interview discussion (asking about the grades you are on track for can only take so long!).
Once you have started work it’s more of the same, adding value to yourself and building your reputation within the firm through your professional studies and work, yes – a requirement, but also through getting involved with some of the other great opportunities within the firm; joining a sports team, organising social events, joining your university’s alumni team, or even getting involved with the Spilling the Beans team…
To conclude, if you keep adding value to and building the reputation of Grant Thornton, our clients and yourself – then it won’t be long before that is recognised, whether that be a job offer following your upcoming application or when you sit down at the dinner held to welcome the new partners!
Health warning: remember that you will be embarking on a 50 year career, you are not expected to know everything at your interview, in your training period, or ever. Neither are you expected to be a rock n’ roll ballerina with a part time job in a carpet shop. What’s more important is that you are a well-rounded individual: good academics and a good social life; with some work experience and some decent extracurricular activities thrown in you’ll be well on your way to an offer and a successful career.
If anyone has any questions then leave a comment below, send me a message on Twitter @GT_Rhys or for those Students at the University of Birmingham, I’ll be at the careers fairs on October 16 and 23 so come and find me there (I’m presuming complimentary pens will be provided).