Tag Archives: Tips

Six tips from six interns

The Euston interns at the Confidence in Presenting conference in the Birmingham office!

As us Audit interns in Euston started our internship three weeks before those in other offices we thought we would each give a quick insight into what we’ve learnt so far and helpful tips for those who have just started the program or for those thinking of applying in the future.

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Managing your Career

Having now almost qualified, I was invited by our firm along with Lucy, Nick and Will to ‘Unleashing Your Potential 2013′. A two-day event, which aims to make us aware of all the opportunities available to us within Grant Thornton once we qualify and teaches us how to manage our careers.

The event involved many workshops as well as talks from Scott Barnes (our CEO) and other members from the National Leadership Board. It also involved listening to a guest speaker Steve McDermott, a motivational and inspirational coach considered by many in his industry to be Europe’s number one motivational speaker.

So what did we learn with regards to future opportunities in our firm? We continued to learn more about the many service lines within our firm as well as the many secondment opportunities available to us both within the UK and globally within Grant Thornton International. That said, as Nick has written a blog on the event, I thought I would focus on the tips to managing your career.

The first and most valuable tip is learn how to make the right impression. Many believe, like Steve McDermott, that the first four minutes are vital. What is key here is even if something may go wrong when you first enter the room, so you may arrive late or arrive wet having been caught out by the weather, don’t give up. Let your enthusiasm and passion for the interview shine through. When asked questions think rationally, logically and clearly. This will guide you well when in an interview, at business meetings or even with your collogues. Never forget this, it is key to managing your internal and external network.

Secondly, plan ahead and set goals, don’t allow yourself to be three, five or even ten years down the line stuck in a rut having not reached any of your goals. Take time to see where you want to be in the next five maybe ten years and plan accordingly. Reflect every three months to see whether in one form or another you are making progress. If you are not, why are you not progressing and what must you do to get back on track. Be proactive.

Thirdly, embrace learning. This means take courses, listen to other peoples’ advice and get feedback. All of these allow you to develop and grow as a person. Whilst it is important to make your own mistakes in life and learn from them, it is equally valuable to learn from those more experienced than you. They will have gone through what you might be going through, and if you take their advice you may develop quicker.

Fourth, be persistent but don’t rush. Things may not always go your way, if they don’t, do not give up and try to blame someone or something. I know at times I haven’t always been as persistent as I could have been, but you are the only one that can drive your careers so if you are not driving it no one else will. That said, one should not be forceful with their career. The skill is knowing when to make the most out of your current opportunity and when to move on.

One of the partners shared an experience he had, when he had just qualified in audit. He was advised by his then line manager to hold back a year before taking on a secondment. Although first dismayed by the idea, he later said that this was one of the best things he did. It allowed him to gain another year as an in-charge, leading younger trainees before he moved on.

I hope the tips above prove to be helpful and aid you during your application process and beyond.

If you have any questions feel free to raise a question on the forum or ask me on twitter; @GT_Victor.

Victor

Introducing a New Team Member – Alex

Hi everyone, I’m Alex and I’ve recently joined the team at Spilling the Beans. I look forward to answering your queries and filling you in on the fine details of life here at Grant Thornton.

I began working in Corporate Audit in the Birmingham office in August 2012 after securing a place in February. If you would like to know more about my background, check out my profile on the Team Profiles page, but I thought I would give you some tips on applying for the role and a glimpse of the things I’ve been getting up to whilst at the firm.

Spilling the Beans was an important part of my research into Grant Thornton and the advice certainly helped me secure the job. So if you are about to apply for a role I would recommend scouring all the past blogs for any information that may give you the edge in terms of Grant Thornton knowledge.

Turning up to the regular Grant Thornton career events is another great way to learn about the firm and is useful to bring up during your interview in order to prove your interest in the firm. If an event is not held at your institution try to attend one at a nearby university.

When you reach interview stage, it’s important to emphasize the reason you chose our firm. There is plenty of information on the website to read through, and a number of graduate advice websites that have further information on the company and the various roles you can apply for. It’s also important to demonstrate a good level of knowledge of the professional services industry and the wider UK economy.

You will also need to show a focus on working in your chosen service line (audit, tax etc). Candidates that appear to have cast their net widely in applying for graduate roles tend not to get very far. So ensure you are committed to starting a career in the role. And you may be asked what other positions you’ve applied for!

During my time here at Grant Thornton I’ve had the chance to work in a range of areas that wouldn’t have been possible at most of our competitors.

I have worked with the Business Development team to research potential new clients for the firm, producing a document listing 15 companies I believed would be appropriate for our partners to target. I chose and have also taken part in the recruitment process for the firm, attending three universities to promote Grant Thornton.

Although I work principally with profit making private companies I have also worked for charities and a number of my peers have had the opportunity to work at public sector clients.

Throw in the fact that we are required to complete a secondment to another service line (typically Corporate Finance,Recovery and Reorganisation or Tax) and you can see the diversity of opportunities here.

The experience I have gained in the last five months has surpassed my expectations and I genuinely enjoy the work I do.

Feel free to comment below if you have any further questions or add me on LinkedIn.

Megan’s application tips

Research. Application. Phone Interview. Assessment Centre. Employment offer. Degree Finals. Graduation. Office Induction. Talent12. Work! The past 12 months have been pretty hectic, but it was just 12 months ago that the wheels of motion started gliding along my path to Grant Thornton. My name is Megan and I started in the Public Sector Assurance department in the Bristol office two months ago, and here is my first ever blog.

Throughout my application process I kept up to date on all things Grant Thornton through “Spilling the Beans” so jumped at the chance when Will asked me if I fancied writing a blog. I will share with you a few pearls of wisdom which helped me (I believe) get through the masses of applicants to end up with an offer and will also let you know what I’ve been up to since I started.

For anyone hoping to become a part of our Grant Thornton team here are a few pointers which I think are helpful on how to perform to your best in the application stages:

Be confident: Not everyone has the confidence of Lady Gaga especially as phone interviews and assessment centres can be nerve-wracking, but do try to take a deep breath, smile and have conviction in what you are saying, it will create a positive atmosphere and show that you can perform under pressure.
Be prepared: As the saying goes “failing to prepare is preparing to fail” so do your research, figure out what it is about Grant Thornton specifically which attracts you and demonstrate your passion and enthusiasm for the firm as well as the wider business environment (maybe even slip in you’ve read this blog).
Be yourself: We’ve got plenty of people, all with different hobbies and interests. So whatever it that that floats your boat let us know and make your application stand out.

Read through the back-posts on this site as there are loads of great blogs to help you get a feel of what it is like to work for Grant Thornton and the work we do. I did mention I’d let you in on what I have been doing since joining as a graduate trainee two months ago, it’s been a busy time so keep up.

Firstly, all of the new trainees joining the Severnside (Bristol and Cardiff) offices came together for a two-day an induction which included juggling, building Lego trucks and networking. It was great fun to meet all those who would be starting on the same journey and making some friends even before beginning work in the office.

Next, we all travelled to London for the highly-anticipated Talent12, a two-day event where we received presentations from members of the National Leadership Board, participated in workshops aimed at helping us get a real feel for the firm but best of all, went on a cruise down the river Thames whilst eating a swanky dinner. All of this and we are only four days in.

Since then I have started studying towards my CIPFA qualification and have worked on various projects within the office where the second or third year trainees are always on hand to offer me a little help should I require it. I am currently preparing for my first set of mock exams, working away in Wales on my first client. I will also be visiting various university careers fairs to answer any questions that anyone has about the firm or my experiences so far.

I hope this had been helpful and good luck with your applications.

Megan.