Why students should apply for accountancy firms’ school leaver programmes

Written by Chris Garry, Audit Associate, Grant Thornton UK 

THIS time last year I didn’t quite know what to expect, whether that was with my exam results or in starting my career at Grant Thornton.

Unfortunately, my results didn’t go the way I would have wanted, and that’s when the worry started to settle in about my prospects of joining the firm. I was on holiday at the time, and I remember as soon as my results came out the first phone call I received was from Michelle in the resourcing team. She told me not to be too hard on myself, and that Grant Thornton was still the place for me to be in order to develop my knowledge and the skills that I had previously picked up on my A-level accounting course.

A couple of days later, Michelle rang me again to confirm that the offer was still there for me to start at the end of August. With a big sigh of relief, my feelings of not knowing what to expect quickly turned into excitement…

So a year on, how am I feeling? Well first of all, I’m very thankful that I went down the school leaver route and got the chance to join the firm and show them what I can do. Since then, I’ve not looked back. Having that attitude has allowed me to fully focus on producing the best work I can, whilst building friendships with many people at the firm, and this is just the start.

The support I’ve been given from my colleagues has been brilliant and has made my somewhat teething year a lot easier and a lot more enjoyable. I have learnt so much in the course of just twelve months and worked with some big clients, which I’m proud of. I love that I get to work with such great companies and I never thought I would get that opportunity so early on in a school leaver programme. My confidence has improved greatly and I think these types of programmes are a brilliant option for people to consider.

Results day last year seems like a lifetime ago. Although it didn’t go the way I would have wanted, I hope that my story inspires you and shows that there are always other options available. I would encourage anybody who is unsure of their next move to apply for a school leaver programme. They really do open the door to a whole new career and immerse you in the world of work from the get go. There are so many courses available that you are sure to find one that’s right for you; mine was at Grant Thornton.

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