Hi, I’m Sapna and I have lived in London for over three years now, but working in the financial services industry in London is very different to the university life I once had here. It has been just over two months since I started working in the London Finsbury Square office as an associate in the financial services tax team. The first couple of months seem to have gone so quickly from full working days to social events in the evenings, and now the joys of revision for my ACA exams.
Now I won’t complain about the London traffic and commute, because I just have to jump out of bed and take a 20 minute walk into the office before starting work, hardly what you might imagine in such a vast city. Working life has been very busy and really exciting so far. I have learnt so much about various different clients we work with and the diverse sectors central to the work of the team; banking and securities, asset management and insurance. It is so true that you learn so much by doing the job. Not only have I learnt a lot, I have also enjoyed a really good social life. From drinks with the team and lunches with colleagues to nights out with other trainees; in a metropolitan hub like this, there is always something going on! One thing I have definitely learnt is how to make the most of my evenings, whether it is going out and meeting friends or being responsible and doing all the household chores, using this time wisely means I can have a fun weekend, taking advantage of everything the city has to offer.
I am sure you have all heard about Bradenham Manor. I have been twice now for a bookkeeping course and a tax induction module, helping prepare me for college. The courses have been really well facilitated and really informative. It is incredible how much you can learn in such a short period of time. Trips to Bradenham are great. It is especially enjoyable to spend time with other trainees from across the country, and having food cooked for you always helps! The courses at Bradenham provide a break from the busy life of the big city, and it really helps you to take a step back and relax.
Another part of working life is attending conferences and seminars. These give the opportunity to learn about different areas of the firm, be it in a certain are such as tax or in a specific industry such as financial services. They also provide an excellent platform to network with those across the firm, which is really important, as the more we know about different sectors, the better the advice we can offer to our clients. I recently went to Bristol for the Financial Services Group concert, and it was fantastic. The two days were packed with information about the different parts of the group and the expanded business consulting unit. In the afternoon, there was a ‘tablet’ treasure hunt. This has to be one of the most innovative ways to get a bunch of accountants to network; it was competitive and really exciting; my team came a very close second!
So, my first few months have been busy and exciting understanding tax concepts and getting to grips with all the different things going on around us. Luckily for me, having studied in London I was already used to the fast pace and bright-lights, with a good social circle to keep me entertained. I am now moving into unknown territory, going off to college to study for my first set of ACA exams. If you have any questions about working/living in London, don’t hesitate to pose a comment and I will respond.