Having started my audit placement at Grant Thornton three weeks ago I understand how daunting it can be beginning a new job at such a respected firm. Whilst excitement prevails, there was definitely a part of me that was scared I wouldn’t be able to perform my job in line with the standards of this successful family. My personal experience in accounting prior to this job was extremely limited and so knowing I was starting work with my first client in my second week was a pretty scary prospect. However, looking back now, I wish I never worried.
Everyone in the firm I had spoken to had always said that us placement and intern students were very much thrown in the deep end. Whilst this was exciting as we knew we were given responsibility from the start, it was also unnerving to think we were expected to go from knowing nothing to everything in such a short time frame. This is where I was wrong.
You aren’t expected to know everything at the end of your first day. You’re expected to have a resilient attitude and a passion to learn. Yes, you are immediately doing the work you probably will perform at a plethora of businesses throughout your time here, but you aren’t ‘thrown’, you’re ‘introduced’, as how else are you to learn?
In my first official week of work I was guided through every step of the way, but never spoon fed. It was up to me to take initiative, explore areas of this work and learn through both the assistance of my teammates as well as my own personal curiosity. Therefore, even though you do find yourself in the deep end, it’s a dive not a fall; an exploration not an accidental disaster.
The truth is, everyone you’ll be working with has been in your position before. They’ve had a first day, they’ve had a first client and they’ve learnt along their journey to be where they are today, so why would you be any different? This common ground instils an empathy across the entire firm that not only make colleagues patient with questions, but also provokes a desire to be a helping hand in the learning process.
Something I was told so many times in my introductory week was that ‘no questions is a stupid one’ and that is meant so sincerely. No matter what your query is, just ask – likelihood is it’s been asked a hundred times before and everyone else has been worried over its validity as well. You always have a team and you are always a part of the wider GT family, so have both confidence in your part of that family and trust in the family you are part of.
So, enjoy your first few weeks and indulge in the unknown. It’s such an exciting time, and an introduction I’m sure you won’t forget. The deep end can be a scary place, but if you always paddle on the surface you’ll never know what’s down there.
By Sky Hormbrey – Audit Placement