Introducing new team member: Ed

Hello there – I’m Ed! I joined Grant Thornton in September 2012 working in the Norwich Corporate Tax department. I have recently joined the Spilling the Beans team and hope to help potential applicants make the right career decisions by giving a first-hand insight into my experiences of being a graduate working in tax and studying for the ACA qualification.

Having settled in at university I gradually started thinking about the future. The big question arose – what did I want to do for a career? Accountancy? I didn’t know. It wasn’t the first thing that sprung to mind. Having never studied accountancy I was unsure whether it would be a suitable career for me.

Unlike some members of the Spilling the Beans team, I didn’t undertake a Grant Thornton internship or summer placement. All was not lost! After completing my first year of university I was lucky enough to have an eight week placement with a local firm of financial advisers and accountants.  Over the summer I worked in a variety of departments, experiencing a range of work and services provided by the company. To use a cliché, this small taste of accountancy had ‘whet my whistle’, and I went back to university wanting to know more about potential careers in accountancy and financial services.

Research. The single most important element of applying for the job. Knowing what I wanted to do, where, what department, what qualification and how my extra-curricular activities could help me get that job. Two things here. Firstly, I can’t stress enough the importance of fully researching the company, and secondly, being able to highlight the skills you’ve attained from extra-curricular activities throughout the different stages of the application process. Enter the Spilling the Beans Website.

Spilling the Beans was an invaluable resource for me. From completing the application form to attending my final interview. No other firm had anything like it. The blogs, tips and general information about what it’s really like to work for the company not only helped in interviews and researching the company, but made me sure I could work there.

Attending various careers fairs, one event really caught my eye – Grant Thornton’s pizza nights. Free pizza (what student wouldn’t be interested?!), being able to chat to recent graduates working for the firm all whilst having a beer. This relaxed approached, the insights and the people were great. It certainly helped me decide that I wanted to follow a career in accountancy.

Despite receiving a couple of job offers, the decision on which to accept was easy. Grant Thornton made me feel wanted and valued – something they still do to this day. The nature of the final interview, the friendly emails, and most of all, the Easter eggs I received through the post made up my mind.

Being just over half way through my three year training contract, a fair assessment of working for Grant Thornton would be that it has far exceeded my expectations! The range of experiences and opportunities available are vast, the emphasis on both personal and professional development helps you feel confident in undertaking your job, the work is varied and the people are great!

Just to support these points, despite working in the corporate tax department, I am in the process of having a 3 month secondment to work in audit finalised, have provided an alternative approach to Budget 2014 with fellow STB member Rhys (See: Budget 2014 – The announcement, Budget 2014 – Key points and changes, Budget 2014 – Budget Breakfast), have attended local university careers fairs and am now moving on to exams 13 and 14 of my ACA qualification!

If you want to know more about life as a Grant Thornton trainee, working in corporate tax, the ACA qualification or have any general questions, feel free to get in touch by posting on the forum, by email: Edward.i.passmore@uk.gt.com or on Twitter: @GT_Edward.

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