Hi, I’m Laura, a trainee from our Leicester office. The office is based over two floors in Regent House, in the city centre, with Audit and Business Services Group taking the ground floor, and Tax being upstairs. Our office managing partner is Chris Frostwick, an audit partner, but in total there are 10 partners and directors. We are an ever growing office, having acquired another accountancy practice at the beginning of the year, and 2012 is the biggest intake for new starters, with five in Audit and two in Tax.
The office dynamic is fairly relaxed: all the desks are open plan and partner’s doors are always open. Office hours are 8.30am until 5pm, but there are usually people around before and after that. We have a ‘hot desk’ policy here in audit, so managers have their own desk, but other staff are free to sit where they like ? which is a good way to get to know different people.
With a graduate and school leaver in take every year, there is always somebody who has been where you are. Although I am from Leicestershire, some of the graduates in my intake have relocated from all over, and from all different academic backgrounds, so there really is no odd one out. (I should know, I studied languages!)
The office is based centrally to the city, just a short walk away from the High Cross shopping centre, and equally a stone’s throw from Leicester train station. It takes less than an hour on the train to get to Nottingham, Derby and Birmingham, and the fast train to London is roughly an hour long. We are about half an hour from East Midlands Airport, and the M1, M42, M69 and M6 are all easily reachable from the city.
Having two universities in Leicester can give the city a real student feel during term time, and it means that there is plenty of affordable accommodation in and around the city centre. There also seems to be new buildings going up all the time, so there are some neat new apartment buildings for something more professional. If you don’t fancy living in the city centre, there are some quite nice areas on the outskirts of Leicester with good transport links into the city, that offer something a bit different.
In Leicester, you cannot ignore the amazing cultural diversity that we enjoy. You can eat from a different cuisine every night of the week, and the ‘Golden Mile’ for curry houses is a must do. Sports fans can take advantage of Leicestershire County Cricket ground 10 minutes away from the office, Leicester Tigers Rugby, which can be seen from the upper windows of the office, and the King Power Stadium for Football, again within walking distance.
In fact, the office Christmas party was held at the King Power last year, and it was a great night. We had a black tie dress code, and it was brilliant to see partners and trainees alike all dressed up, although I know in the past the party has been fancy dress! The office holds a few social events in the year, from barbecues, to a night at the races, to team building events. With our office being based over two floors, they are great opportunities to find out more about people who don’t necessarily work in your department. Also, LENCASS, the society for accountancy students in Leicestershire, holds regular events for trainees from all the firms in the area.
As far as the work is concerned, the clients are quite varied. We do have a fair few Motor Retail clients in Leicester, but so far I have found myself working on clients who make labels, provide e-learning resources, sell caravans, build houses, and a specialist school, to name a few. Despite most of the clients being based in the Midlands area ( Leicester, Nottingham, Derby) I have worked away in Manchester, London and Wrexham, and even lent a hand in the Belfast office so far. When they say two days are never the same, they aren’t lying!
Leicester has a lot to offer the Grant Thornton trainee, for work and for play. I hope I have done Leicester justice, but please don’t hesitate to ask if you have any further questions.