Tag Archives: Advice

#WWYAB – Seizing Opportunities

One of the most important things for me of working at a large firm such as Grant Thornton is the opportunities that are presented to you. From my induction at Talent 12, I remember our CEO, Scott Barnes, telling us that we are all responsible for shaping our own future. I feel the way each of us can best do this is to work extremely hard along the way and continue to look to challenge ourselves.

My advice for all trainees is…

Read this post

#WWYAB – Introduction

When you visit Grant Thornton, be that through the internet, in our offices or at a campus careers day, we are always asking you one simple but powerful question; what would your advice be? You’ll spot this question because it’s at the core of our brand; we want business advisers who think like business advisers – having critical thinking edge is what sets us apart. Read this post

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.


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.

Introducing a New Member: Natalie

Hi, my name is Natalie and I have recently joined the Spilling the Beans team. I am excited to be part of this project and to share my experiences with you and advise wherever possible.

My first day of being involved in the Spilling the Beans team involved a day in the London Euston office meeting many of the staff members involved in trainee recruitment. It was a real eye-opener seeing how many people are involved in securing the right trainees and I am proud to be a part of this team.

Me with the team getting to grips with the site

My advice to any potential applicant is that it is highly important you maximise your use of these many resources which will definitely benefit you whilst completing the application process. For example the recruitment team arranges many events at university career fairs and social events such as career & coffee mornings and career & cocktail evenings which are great opportunities for you to learn more about the firm and meet staff in an informal environment.

Keep your eyes peeled on our events page here and also our Facebook page ‘Grant Thornton Recruitment UK’ to keep up to date with the events we will be hosting in the new university term. In particular the Spilling the Beans team now has a wide range of members from different sectors and locations so feel free to post on the forum to get first hand answers and experiences!

Unlike some of the other Spilling the Beans team members, I completed a 9 week summer internship in the summer between my 2nd and 3rd year of my accounting degree at Cardiff University which was an invaluable experience. Not only did I gain the opportunity to work in different areas of the firm, including both commercial and public sector audit and tax, but I was able to get involved in very different work such as corporate responsibility. This not only gave me a better idea of what role I would like to apply for under a graduate scheme but also allowed me to learn more about Grant Thornton as a firm and the values they have.

I would advise anyone who is considering a career in audit or tax to consider completing an internship as it really allows you to understand what is involved in day to day tasks, and also allows you to experience the things that books and studying do not! I found it was good to have a knowledge of accounting from my degree but using it in my internship required much more work, really putting my understanding to the test. It’s important to note that an accounting or business degree is not necessary for the internship or graduate scheme (in fact people with such degrees are often in the minority!) and you get lots of help and advice along the way and so you won’t be at a disadvantage.

If you have any questions about our summer internships please let me know and feel free to ask away!