On joining PwC you’ll be asked to make a choice as to which accountancy qualification you want to study for - ACA or ACCA. Both are challenging qualifications that give you a tremendous foundation to build your career upon. I liked that PwC learning doesn’t stop when you’ve got your qualification. They give you constant training as you progress each year and have access to a huge online database of industry specific mini-tutorials to browse as you please. A defining factor for me was the degree of support they offer. Balancing professional exams and work can be tricky at times, but PwC listens to your individual needs and will wherever possible help accommodate any requests that you may have.
I also found that senior staff in the office and globally are really approachable. This encourages you to ask questions, and explore you interests. Working alongside industry leading colleagues is such a valuable opportunity to get the best coaching and explanations available – the kind clients pay a great deal for!
Being part of a truly global network has benefits. With quite of few of our clients being based abroad, the option to travel and to sometimes extend your stay over a weekend is there if you want it. Our client base can have us working in global financial hubs such as New York or smaller destinations such as Luxembourg.
During my second year with PwC I was offered a three month secondment to London – working with their investment fund specialists. It was great to experience living in the heart of London was and a rewarding work experience that allowed me to bring back new approaches to share with Channel Islands team. The best thing about it, I get to go back over each year to work on that job so I’m gaining regular professional experience in Guernsey and London.
Variety of work
PwC Channel Islands has a wide range of clients within the finance industry. I’ve worked with insurers, hedge funds, private equity fund, real estate funds, banks etc and gained a priceless insight into the respective industries. I’ve developed an interest in one particular area, and PwC have allowed me to focus my attention on it and grow my skills in it – it is great that I can control the direction my career takes in this way.
We’ve got three major departments within the office – Assurance, Advisory, Tax. My role is based in assurance, but already, in addition to my secondment, I’ve had the opportunity to do some work in the advisory team – learning about difference services and developing new skill sets.
This experience has helped me to further develop what I know about businesses, the problems that they may face, and my ability to help them.
To me, the most important factor in selecting an employer is the culture. Unfortunately, it is one of the hardest elements to really understand before you’ve joined the business. I had interviews with a few companies/firms but PwC stood out for me as they were just more friendly and easy to relate to. By the end of recruitment process – the Partner interview - I knew that this was a place where I could start my career and make lifelong friendships in the process.
Maintaining a work/life balance during busy season (January to April; when most businesses accounts need to be done) can be quite tough at any of the big four firms. PwC takes an active role in monitoring your workloads and appreciate that people need to do other things besides work. It is fortunate that busy season falls when it is cold and miserable outside as we get to spend time in the office accumulating overtime/holiday. Come summer, with the extra holiday and pay, you can really unwind and enjoy summer!
Making the application
I think I made a very good choice coming to PwC and would encourage anybody thinking of a career in finance to apply – there is a reason why PwC have won the Times Top Graduate Recruiter for the 9th year in a row.
Getting your foot in the door is a challenge at any respected company/firm. Considering that PwC fill the fourteen or so spaces on a rolling basis, it’s important to be organised and get your application in early. Do your research into the firm and the global network, practise your numerical aptitude tests, and get a solid understanding of what your day to day role will be to maximise your chance of success.