As you approach qualification at Grant Thornton you begin to get opportunities to consider what you want to do next in your career and an occasion that allows this is the Unleashing Your Potential event. This year it was held at the Barbican Centre in London and saw people newly qualified or nearing qualification gather to consider where they want their career to go next.
Arriving at the Barbican Centre (once we had managed to find the entrance!) we were welcomed into the Garden Room and met with familiar faces from different offices that we have met through college or Bradenham events, throughout our career as a trainee. Having drunk plenty of coffee and eaten plenty of breakfastwe moved to the auditorium where we were welcomed by Robert Hannah, Partner and member of the Senior Leadership Team at Grant Thornton. Robert gave an inspiring speech that detailed how his career at Grant Thornton had developed and the importance of facing a number of choices throughout your career and make the right ones for yourself.
Following this, Grant Thornton CEO Sacha Romanovitch came up onto the stage and got us thinking about why we come to work and do what we do. This helped us to focus on what is important to us, what our aspirations are for our career and what things could possibly hold us back.
Feeling suitably inspired we moved into the space-themed breakout rooms for a number of sessions that got us to think more deeply about how we can develop our career. These sessions included thinking about what different conversations we need to have and do the consequences of not having them potential pose difficulties for you in future. We were also encouraged to think about what milestones we wanted to achieve to make our next steps and what we need to do to achieve them. The final session before lunch got us to look at what our strengths are and what strengths we need to develop to be more successful.
Lunch was taken in the Garden Room at the Barbican and provided an opportunity for networking with trainees in similar positions to me, from offices all over the country. We then moved back into the auditorium to ‘Meet the Experts’. This was a question and answer session with an Audit partner, a Corporate Finance assistant manager and someone that has left Grant Thornton to pursue different opportunities. We heard their stories and the message to take from this was that there are a range of opportunities for everyone, no matter what you wanted to go into. This re-emphasised the message that Robert Hannah shared with us about making those choices that are right for us.
Following this we went back into our breakout rooms to complete some further tasks that made us consider what skills we have, what we are good at and what is important to us. This included splitting off into groups of 4 with some craft material and a blindfold on and being asked to create something space themed. This was great fun with our final rocket actually not turning out to be too bad…!
Once we had finished these sessions we went back to the auditorium for a final round up of the day and then moved back to the Garden Room for some food, drinks and networking. After a couple of drinks a group of us headed back to Euston to catch the train home and this gave us an opportunity to reflect further on a day that had really made us think what the next step in our career is, and how reaching for opportunities, and having the right conversations can really help to steer you towards the path for you, as you come to important stage in your career.