I returned to college as a mature student and did Business and Management, majoring in Accounting and Finance. As part of my programme, in third year, I went on a work placement in Grant Thornton and got offered a place on the grad programme for when I finished.
I'm now a trainee in the Financial Services Advisory Team and I'm studying to become a chartered accountant. I've just finished my CAP2's and passed first time, thanks to the support I received from Grant Thornton.
I've gotten so much flexibility and support from my team and the firm. When it comes to appointments or anything like that, there's never been a problem taking the time to go. I'm always able to make the time up later if needed.
The professional support I've received is on another level. It's unbelievable! From my very first day coming in and joining, everyone was friendly and happy to help. I always felt like I could ask someone for advice when I needed it. It was daunting walking into a new professional environment but everyone was so welcoming and really made me feel at home.
When it comes to the exams, I cannot fault a thing about the amount of help I've received on a professional level. Not only is our college course paid for, we're also given paid study leave and we can then use time in lieu or annual leave for revision if we want. During working hours there are training days, so you can go to lectures from the accounting bodies. Basically everything we need to pass first time!
Outside of our exams we're also able to go do other types of professional training and development. Training sessions are frequently run which focus on areas like professional writing, confident communication, email etiquette, time management, to name just a few! We're really given all the skills we need to build our own professional brand and be our best selves.
I cannot stress enough how everyone is really friendly from Partner level down to trainees. You can have a chat with anyone. That had a massive appeal to me and was a key reason in why I wanted to come back after my work placement. I fell so supported here and I know I'm in the right place!