It's a team effort

Gemma Sutton, Associate, says that working with enthusiastic and motivated people is one of the big attractions of her professional life

As I neared the completion of my Engineering degree two years ago, I faced the ominous task of deciding what to do with the rest of my life in an environment where competition for jobs was ever increasing.

In my final term, I did some volunteer work as a surveyor for the Times Top 100 Graduate Employers Survey and was interested to learn that PwC topped the survey and has been voted the UK number 1 Graduate employer over the past decade. Although auditing runs in my family, I hadn’t really considered it as a career, but the statistics spoke for themselves and made me realise that audit was a career that opens up many doors. It’s a fantastic learning opportunity, allowing you to make the most of your interests, whilst learning all about the world of business and beyond.

I started working for PwC in the autumn of 2012 as an associate in assurance. I’m enrolled on a three year training contract during which time I hope to complete my ACA qualification. ACA is one of the leading business and finance qualifications in the world, consisting of 15 exams and a minimum of 450 days of technical work experience. PwC also offer the ACCA qualification as part of their training programme. Although the content is almost inseparable, the key difference is the slightly extended teaching structure, thus allowing you to pick the course that best suits you.

PwC provide fantastic support, giving me time off to attend the training courses at BPP Professional Education as well as study leave for the exams. A huge benefit comes in the form of my peer group. My experience is that working together through exams makes the whole process much more enjoyable! The knowledge that I’ve gained from the 11 exams I’ve already taken has made a huge difference to my job. The hard work really pays off and you’ll be amazed by how much knowledge you can absorb in such a short space of time.

It’s true; PwC really does value diversity in its people. As a global network, with over 184,000 people in 157 countries, PwC offers a host of opportunities for you to travel once you’ve qualified. In Jersey,  we’re currently playing host to a number of talented secondees from countries including South Africa, Slovakia, Cyprus and Singapore to name but a few. Sharing experiences, collaborating and learning from their technical knowledge and skills further strengthens the quality of work that we are performing here on the Island.  If you love to travel, there are a number of client jobs off island too. All you need to do is put yourself forward and ask.

There’s no denying that working at PwC is hard work. You’re frequently faced with different challenges, juggling deadlines, finalising audit work and revising for exams at the same time. However, the job is highly rewarding and fulfilling. You generally work in teams so there’s a great sense of camaraderie around.  The thing that appealed to me most from the outset was the people. Everyone is so motivated and enthusiastic about what they do and it proves that people really are at the heart of a top, global professional services organisation like PwC.

Another key attraction for me is the healthy work/life balance which is encouraged from the outset of your career. In particular, PwC is well-known for the emphasis it places on sporting and social activities. There are numerous events throughout the year such as the summer and Christmas balls, the inter-office rugby and netball matches with PwC in Guernsey, international food nights, bowling nights and our staff PwC Awards evening is approaching in a few months. 

There are plenty of sports teams you can get involved with. The boys are in a regular football league, we play in a mixed netball league over the summer and a team of us are going up to Newcastle in July to play in a PwC hockey tournament against a number of other PwC UK firms – a great way to make some contacts and friends! We’ve also got people who fit in volunteering, from providing reading support in schools to helping out at youth clubs. 

PwC genuinely puts the emphasis on personal development both inside and outside the office, as well as on the growth of the business. This all helps keep us committed, cheerful and willing to get our jobs done.

If you’re considering a career in accountancy, there are numerous advantages of doing your training here in Jersey. As one of the world’s leading international finance centres, it’s a great place to gain some world class experience working in financial services, amongst other industries. In fact the assortment of clients and industries is highly varied and exciting and auditing has a vital role to play. 

You could be working on anything from a local school, a large private equity firm, to a well-known international bank. The scope of responsibilities given to you from the outset here and the interaction you have with clients and staff members of all levels are all invaluable when it comes to developing your skills. And it goes without saying that you couldn’t live in a more beautiful place than Jersey.

If what you’ve read has got you thinking about PwC as a career option, you’ll want to know that applications are currently being accepted for 2014/15 and places are already being filled. So, if you’re interested in applying, whether you’re an A-level student or graduate, start thinking about making your move now. We’ve also just launched an exciting internship programme. It’s designed so local undergraduates can see for themselves that a fulfilling world class career can start with us.  Successful interns could secure a place on the 2015 graduate programme.