I always knew I wanted to go into financial services. While I was studying for my A levels, I also started to explore my career options: I used careers websites to see what possibilities were available to me at that point in my education. That’s how I found out about PwC’s apprenticeship schemes, which meant I could get a great job as soon as I had my A levels. I also used PwC’s website to really understand what the opportunities would lead to in the future.
I still applied to university, and I thought I would go, until I got offered this job. Always keep your options open, but university is far from the only way to be successful. Picking the right apprenticeship for you could be the best way to further your career.
The application process
Applying to PwC was quite simple. There were four stages in total, beginning with an online application. I’d recommend people take the time to make theirs the best it can be, so that it really stands out. The next stage is a telephone interview. Do well, and you’ll be invited to an Assessment Centre. If you’re successful at this stage, you’ll then be invited to a final interview. It’s after this that you find out if you have the job.
My tax apprenticeship
I’m on the Tax apprenticeship programme with PwC. This means I’m studying towards the Association of Taxation Technicians (ATT) qualification. Not only will I gain this qualification in two years’ time, but I’ll have the benefit of lots of work experience and have started to build my business network much earlier than most.
Every day is different. I can be corresponding with clients, dealing with queries, attending briefings, analysing spreadsheets, running reports and working on projects for clients. It’s varied and that’s what I like about it.
I wanted to start my career early, because I wanted to be paid a competitive salary, but still be fully supported in gaining a professional qualification. This balance of starting work earlier, earning a salary, but still learning and training, really works for me. It’s all invaluable when I compare it to getting a degree, and the routes I could have taken. Plus, you don’t build up debt!
One of the challenges I’ve found in my job is being confident in saying no to things when I need to; I could very easily take on too much work. I’ve found being honest about my work commitments, whilst still being ambitious and enthusiastic about working on challenging projects, is the best approach. It’s a fine balance, but it’s something that is important to get right.
I’d recommend starting your career at this stage. It’s a great way of getting your foot in the door and a superb alternative to university. Everyone talks about the rising cost of going university, but for me even if university was free, I’d still have chosen what I’m doing now. I’m gaining a qualification at a top firm, while gaining experience in my day to day role.
Plans for the future
I plan to work my way up to the top of the firm! I wouldn’t rule out working for another company in the Financial Services sector either, as I’m sure they would love the fact that I have completed an apprenticeship with such a prestigious organisation, and gained so much experience. We’ll see.