Jersey assurance associate profile - December 2010

Gemma Labey

Age:  24

Position:   PwC, Assurance Associate

University attended:  Nottingham

Course taken:  Biology

What did you want to be when you were 8?  Farmer

Favourite way to relax?  Taking my dog for a long walk in the countryside

Favourite place to eat in Jersey?  Hungry Man at Rozel

Favourite noise?  Rain pounding on the window and a crackling fire when all snug and warm inside.


What made you choose the company you work for?

Well I knew PwC had an amazing reputation as one of the biggest professional services companies in the world. Speaking to friends who work for PwC, I got the impression that as well as being a market leader, they put a very strong emphasis on professional development; they’ve been awarded first place in the Times Top 100 Graduate Employers for a record 7 years running. The team is also young and energetic and were so welcoming and friendly when I started back in September. The decider though, was the fact that they also really look after their people.

What sort of professional training do you take?

I am currently studying towards my ACA qualification to become a Chartered Accountant. It’s a part time course with a total of 15 exams over three years. PwC fully supports us throughout our training paying for us to attend professional teaching at BPP and allowing time off to take exams. I’m already a couple of exams down and although it’s a challenging course all the other first years are in the same situation as me so it’s great to go through the experience with them. PwC also have a whole load of other support available including a great training team as well as a buddy and mentor scheme so you always have someone to turn to if you are finding the training tough.

What do you don on an average day?
It completely depends on which client you are dealing with, in audit every day is different! Even as a first year, I spend quite a lot of my time working as part of an audit team, out at client’s offices. It has been great to get client exposure so early on and as each audit gets a different team, it means I get to work with and get to know lots more of my colleagues than I probably would have if I was just in the office all day. PwC also arranges lots of great social events where I’ve had a chance to meet people at all levels of the company, which makes it a lot easier as a new employee.

What is your next step?
If everything goes to plan (fingers crossed!) I’ll be qualified in three years and then I’d love to continue working with PwC and perhaps take a secondment to one of the other firms in the global network, to learn about new industries and develop my skills. I think I’ll come back to Jersey eventually though!

What advice would you give to yourself as a 2009/10 graduate considering the experience you have now?
When I graduated I remember being worried as I really didn’t know what to do next. I’d advise anyone in a similar position to do as much work experience as possible. It gives you a great insight into different industries and helps you to work out what you enjoy doing. This is something that’s really supported at PwC, they offer a number of opportunities for school leavers and graduates to experience life as an accountant. Another thing that I found really beneficial was just talking to people who were already in employment and a few years ahead; the main thing that swayed me towards applying for PwC is that my friend was so enthusiastic about the company. As he does the job every day there can be no better recommendation!