I’ve never been to the United States – so you might think it quite odd that I’ve chosen to blog about why I think Grant Thornton UK LLP is like the United States. Keep reading however, I think you might agree…
I’ve been with Grant Thornton now for a little under three years, working in the audit department of our Edinburgh office. It’s been a rollercoaster of interesting and unusual things (a bit like Florida, but Edinburgh’s weather is much, much worse!) My audit career takes me all over Scotland; to clients like whisky manufacturers, charities and even to a company that produces fake teeth. I’m always learning about something new or meeting new people. It’s part of what I really enjoy about my role here – I get to meet and talk to such a diverse group of people in my daily life. This mix of people and cultures is ever changing. I get to work and socialise with all sorts of people; be they colleagues, clients or fellow students I have studied with to become a Chartered Accountant. It’s a great way to build a fast business network whilst having a lot of fun along the way.
As vast and as varied as my audit life is, there’s still tonnes of other exciting opportunities on our doorstep, which is why you might see Grant Thornton as the “land of opportunity” – so long as you’re engaged and keen to broaden your horizons. I’ve been lucky enough to land some great roles that have boosted my profile within the office and the firm, such as becoming involved in some cool and important projects that I might not have had the chance to experience elsewhere, particularly at such an early stage of my career.
This year our firm undertook a piece of interesting strategy work, where we looked out into the future and tried to think about what the world might look like in 2028. It’s an interesting thought; 14 years from now, what will you be doing? Where will you live and how will you work? We came up with some fantastic insights and some really plausible scenarios of what could happen – it was a really interesting project to be part of. I was then lucky enough to help present our findings at this year’s Partner Conference in London. Despite being one of the most nerve-wracking experiences of my career to date, the Partners couldn’t have been more supportive. They really seemed to understand that current associates are the future of the business (up to and beyond 2028).
Finally, north of the border I’ve recently become what’s called a CLEARR Rep. Each office has at least one representative who’s role it is to understand and promote the CLEARR Values – these include Collaboration, Leadership, Excellence, Agility, Responsibility and Respect. These might sound quite corporate, but in Edinburgh we are great at pulling together, working as a team and delivering exceptional client service. To do that, we each need to work within our values and really push the boundaries of how our office thinks and runs. That’s why CLEARR reps are involved in some of the important decisions our leadership teams make; making sure that everyone in the team has a voice at all times. At Grant Thornton, if you do something well and go beyond what’s expected, the rewards are there (often in the form of CLEARR points, which can be used for shopping vouchers, hotel stays, you name it!). The CLEARR points system is a great way to say thanks to a colleague – and paying thanks is often one of the best ways to uphold our values – everyone likes to know when they’ve done a good job!
If I was to give one piece of advice to an aspiring member of Grant Thornton, it would be not to be afraid to throw your hat into the ring and try something new. Whether that’s boarding the rollercoaster for the first time and completing your application form a little differently, or taking a little time to think what makes you different and why you’d make that great speaker at the Partner Conference. Then go for it!