October has been a month that has seen me really start to pick up the pace of revision. With my first two ACCA exams taking place on the 3 and 9 December this might sound like a lifetime away, but what with working full time and trying to squeeze in a little bit of a social life, the revision has to start now. This has caused me to feel somewhat like a working, revising robot so, at the end of a hard days revision, for which I had taken a day’s holiday, I treated myself to…
…a nice massage, prompted by Megan’s blog ‘The Importance of Time Out’. You may be surprised to hear that I would use a precious day of holiday to revise, but the reality here is that many trainees do. However, I don’t see it as such a loss given that at Grant Thornton we have the luxury of being able to build up a TOIL balance (time off in lieu for any inevitable extra hours worked) as well as the opportunity to buy up to 10 days extra holiday a year.
To add a little excitement to my month, I had the opportunity to work in London for a week. Whilst I had worked on the client last year, it had been in an office more local to me. This year I was able to take the knowledge that I had built up of the client and apply it to their sister company in London. I’m always surprised by the difference between our regional clients and our city based clients. For me, there is a more laid back feel to our local clients and I find it more easy to build a rapport with these clients. Having said that, I like the challenge provided by the different culture of a client in London and it is an opportunity to grow and explore outside of my comfort zone. Whilst working away, I decided that rather than staying in a hotel, I’d take the opportunity to visit my brother who lives with his girlfriend and my cousin. Safe to say it was a fun experience (made all the more exciting by my celebrity spotting in the local Sainsburys of a member of the Saturdays – although I think my brother was happy to pretend he didn’t know me as I snuck a glimpse of her down the dairy aisle!)
Back to the real word and this month also saw the introduction of the ‘Engagement Day’, something which is being trialled across the Central region (that includes the Ipswich, Cambridge, Norwich, Milton Keynes and Leicester offices). It was a day that saw the entire Ipswich office get together – managers, partners, secretaries, audit, tax, VAT, CLEARR reps and more, to discuss best practise, take part in team activities and discuss what we love about working together as a department, as an office, as a region and as one firm. It was a day where we got the chance to group together in small teams with the partners and have truly engaging conversations where the partners listened, and more importantly acted upon our queries and ideas. I left feeling inspired and like we were all truly a part of the big picture and journey at Grant Thornton.
The day wouldn’t have been complete without some kind of quiz (you may have noted from my previous blogs that the Ipswich office love a good quiz) and this was one in which everybody in the office divulged a secret about themselves to one trusted manager, which was then broadcast to the entire office in an extremely bizarre game of Bingo.
To round off the month, the Spilling the Beans team and I got together to discuss our developments going forward, and you can be sure to see some video material coming soon – much to our embarrassment I’m sure. So watch this space – and good luck to those of you continuing, or beginning your applications. We’re loving your questions, so keep them coming, and as ever you can message me directly on Twitter @GT_Molly