Tag Archives: Graduate

My first month… as a Graduate

spilling-the-beans

Name: Alistair

Office: Finsbury Square, London

Service Line: BGS Associate Programme

 

 

Top 3 highlights…

  1. Being able to interact with different clients across all sorts of niche markets.
  2. Being given exposure to different functions with the department as part of my rotational programme; including marketing, operations and service delivery.
  3. The learning and development side of the programme, whether its coaching sessions, workshops or trips to Bradenham.

Top 3 things I’ve learnt so far…

  1. Managing people’s expectations is key.
  2. If you plan your day, your day will go to plan.
  3. Always ask the question, no such thing as a silly question.

Best piece of advice for current applicants…

My best piece of advice would be to grab every opportunity you get, whether that’s something that you have experience in, or something entirely new.

 

 

Name: Callum        

Office: Oxford

Service Line: Corporate Tax

 

Top 3 highlights…

  1. Going to Bradenham – this helps break you into your role and have a laugh in the process.
  2. Attending a partner meeting – this allowed me to see higher level decision making and witness the role that senior members of staff play in specific processes.
  3. Meeting my fellow intakes during the induction period, especially during the talent 16 event.

Top 3 things I’ve learnt so far…

  1. Getting to grips with Alphatax (tax software), which has been pretty helpful considering how fundamental it is to a career in tax!
  2. What roles each of the service lines within Grant Thornton do, which helps build a bigger picture of what the firm can provide to each client, enabling you to help them further.
  3. The importance of networking, not just with external parties but within the firm itself as well. The will help build relationships with other service areas, who you may have to ask advice from in the future.

Best piece of advice for current applicants…

Don’t be afraid to ask people questions, whether they are senior managers or first year associates, everyone is always willing to help and offer friendly advice. Therefore, make sure you take advantage of the help and resources everyone can provide you.

 

luisa

 

Name: Luisa

Office: Finsbury Square, London

Service Line: Strategy Team, Advisory

 

 

 

 


Top 3 highlights…

  1. Talent 16 (which allowed me to network with many of the new joiners nationally and hear Sacha and Robert talk about the vision of the firm).
  2. Visit to Bradenham Manor for the ‘Breaking Records’ workshop with other new graduates and school leavers.
  3. During our local induction, we were provided with the opportunity to experience the ‘CEO Room’ with one of the London Audit Partners, Peter Gamson.

Top 3 things I’ve learnt so far…

  1. Through an extensive local orientation, I have learnt a lot about the different teams within the advisory service line, how they work together and where I fit within my new role.
  2. After 2 weeks of college in my first month of work and our first set of exams soon approaching, I am beginning to learn how to manage my time between advisory work and studying towards the ACA qualification.
  3. The many events that I have been able to attend during my first month at Grant Thornton have allowed me to further develop my networking skills and begin to establish an internal network of professional relationships within the firm.

Best piece of advice for current applicants…

Invest time in research around shared enterprise and become familiar with Grant Thornton’s purpose and vision. These elements shape the firm’s culture, which is one of the key things that differentiates Grant Thornton as an employer!

josh


Name:
Josh

Office: Finsbury Square, London

Service Line: Business Consulting (Rotational Advisory Programme)

 

 


Top 3 highlights…

  1. Talent 16 – This is the firm’s big welcome to all the graduates and school leavers. This year the 3 day event was held at the university of Hertfordshire and involved lots of hands on activities, games, a business simulation and BBQ! It was a great opportunity to meet and mix with the 200 plus new recruits to Grant Thornton and to gain some practical business experience playing the two-day business simulation.
  2. Bradenham Manor – Grant Thornton’s training manor house near High Wycombe where all of the new graduates attended the Breaking Records course (an introduction to basic accounting and book keeping) soon after joining the firm. It’s a great space to learn and interact with your colleagues with afternoon tea and cake, huge grounds and an onsite bar.
  3. Starting the work – After a month long induction you come into the office ready to start on the main reason you joined the firm in the first place: the real work! A personal highlight for me was joining my new team properly and getting into the office. Fortunately, the day I joined Business Consulting fell on the same day as the quarterly Business Consulting update day; where the whole team gets together and goes over what everyone has been working on for the last quarter. It was a great way to meet everyone in the team and learn about what they’ve been working on (and what I might be working on soon.)

Top 3 things I’ve learnt so far…

  1. Asking questions is always good – it’s the best way to find out what you need and no question is too stupid!
  2. Everyone is in the same boat as you and no one has all the answers so don’t worry!
  3. Get involved – opportunities always come from saying yes.

Best piece of advice for current applicants…

Know the area you are applying to and have some interesting information (news article or something recent) around it, it shows you’re interested in the role and the sector.

 

 jade-bgs-ap-headshot

Name: Jade Donaldson

Office: Finsbury Square, London

Service Line: BGS Associate Programme

 

 

 

Top 3 highlights…

  1. Being given the opportunity to attend external client meetings so quickly after starting my new role.
  2. Attending the Growth 365 team away day, which involved taking part in workshops with the entire service line – from partners to associates.
  3. Gaining exposure to coaching from Grant Thornton’s business school, and learning how to have insightful conversations with clients.

Top 3 things I’ve learnt so far…

  1. If you want to know something or need help there will be someone in the department or building who knows the answer – just ask!
  2. Attention to detail will get you far – formatting is as important as content.
  3. The good pieces of fruit go first – incentive to get in to the office early.

Best piece of advice for current applicants…

Get to know as many people as possible and understand their roles and unique experiences.

 

 

Corporate Finance – Operational Deal Services

View from the Thames river cruise

Hi, I’m Nick and I work in a team in Corporate Finance in London. Having joined our Southampton office as a tax graduate straight from university, I’ve now spent four years with the firm. After completing my CTA, I took the plunge into a different role in a different city and here’s an insight into my first year with the team.

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Real Taxing – Marco’s Guest Blog

Hi, my name is Marco and I started working in the Real Estate Tax team at Grant Thornton on 1 September, having never previously done any accountancy internships, nor studied it at university. Having studied History of Art, I was rather nervous about starting at Grant Thornton as it would see me pick up a calculator for the first time since Maths A Level. Alongside two other graduates who started at the same time as me, I am studying towards the ACA qualification during my training contracts. Some of my initial fears were allayed at the plush introductory event for all new graduates and school leavers nationwide, held in a Hammersmith hotel the week before I started in the office. Talent 14 was designed to truly make you feel a valued member of the firm from day one, and consisted of a motivational after dinner speech from a polar explorer, as well as a whole day of teambuilding exercises and talks from longstanding members of the firm – including Scott Barnes, the CEO of Grant Thornton UK. If anyone had underestimated their achievement of securing a job at Grant Thornton, the speakers instilled a pride and honour for working for Grant Thornton, and made us all extremely eager to start in the office.

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Offer Accepted – Dan Williams

Our last #offeraccepted profile of the week (but possibly not the series, watch this space…) comes from Dan Williams who recently accepted a job in the Birmingham Audit team.  As a result of increased workload and Dan’s availability, Dan joined the team not long afterwards and has been working on audits and learning on the job for the past month.

As with the other #offeraccepted blogs, Dan talks us through his application and thought processes on joining the firm.

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Do I Need an Accounting Degree?

A question I have been asked a lot by friends and student at careers fairs is whether you need an accounting degree to obtain a graduate job at Grant Thornton. The simple answer is no, you don’t. There are obviously advantages to having the experience and knowledge behind you but the help and support from Grant Thornton means that within the first six months of work you will definitely have the same level of knowledge as those who did join with a relevant degree.

Having graduated with an accounting and finance degree from Cardiff from the start I was confident looking at client accounts and understanding double entry concepts. However the other graduate who joined the office with me has a Maths degree and by Christmas I can be sure to say he felt just as confident in his ability, having no prior accounting experience. Within our first few weeks we both attended the Breaking Records course at Bradenham where you learn a lot of the underlying accounting concepts and double entry bookkeeping. This course is unique to Grant Thornton and is a great starting block for college, whichever qualification you are going to pursue in the future. The course gives you a head start at college during the first round of exams. It can be an intense learning curve but tutors aim to mix those graduates with accounting degrees with those without to provide additional support in a relaxed and friendly environment.

Having a non-accounting degree means you can still draw on skills you have learnt from university such as time management which is key to completing client work efficiently and also developing relationships which is a key daily aspect of our client work. Within the Cardiff and Bristol office in recent years there have been more graduates employed without accounting degrees than those with which reiterates that this is not a key point that Grant Thornton are looking for in their staff. Enthusiasm and willingness to learn these new skills is key in new graduates and so it’s essential to have this attitude throughout the application process. This willingness could be shown through arranging some short term relevant work experience or attending careers fairs and spending time speaking to Grant Thornton staff members learning more about the different job roles available.

As always if you have any questions about degree relevance or any other aspect of the application process please don’t hesitate to post a comment on this blog. All the best with your applications!

The Big Four – the obvious choice?

When I first decided that I wanted to work within professional services, I trawled the internet for all the national firms which offered the opportunity to start on a pre-determined graduate support role with a training contract. Having worked in a small firm of accountants in my hometown during my placement year from University, it had become clear to me that I wanted to work for a large, national firm, with international scope. The next step was deciding which one I wanted to work for.

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