Hi I’m Lucy and I’ve been studying Accounting for the last 2 years. I’ve just recently begun a placement year at PwC in Liverpool, which is where I am from originally. My role is an Audit Associate and so this involves visiting various clients around the Liverpool area and doing tasks such as stock counts and bank reconciliations.
The application process for the placement was quite lengthy as there were several stages involved but each step was fairly straightforward. I applied to a few different companies (which I found out about through the AMBS placement bulletin) and ended up receiving offers from Grant Thornton and PwC. I would advise anybody thinking about doing a placement year to apply fairly early in the year (I applied in September) as it means you will get offered your first choice of location. For PwC, after submitting my online application I was given psychometric tests to do which were quite challenging as they were very time pressured but after practicing on the website ‘Assessment Day’, I managed to achieve a good mark. Next was a phone interview followed by an assessment centre, which both went well because I did a lot of preparation for them. I found it helpful to make a list of about 10 examples where I had demonstrated the attributes they were looking for and applied them to the specific questions asked. The final stage was an interview with a senior member of staff, which turned out to be more like a chat to make sure I was a friendly person! I would encourage anybody applying for a placement to ask for help at each stage; my course co-coordinator Penny and Academic Advisor Mike both gave me really useful advice and support throughout the process.
I was a little nervous during the first couple of weeks of my placement but I have settled in quickly. Everybody has been really friendly and I have liked the fact that the office is very small (only 70 staff in total) so you get to know everyone quite well. The first few days were made easier by playing some ice-breaker games such as building chairs out of balloons!
There has already been lots of opportunities to socialise outside of work- there was a meal for the new joiners and existing junior members of staff before I started and a night out during my first week which was fun!
The hardest thing about the transition from uni to the world of work has probably been the long days, especially the early starts! But I’m sure I’ll get used to them soon!
While I’m on this placement year I will be sitting several ACA exams, which will help me to reach my goal of becoming a Chartered Accountant. Studying for these exams consists of a mixture of attending a college in Manchester and study leave at home, which I have found enjoyable so far. Coming from an Accounting background is really beneficial because it means I have exemptions from some of the exams. This means I can spend more time at clients learning the practical side of things as opposed to more theory.
I expect the next few months to be more challenging, as I will likely be given more responsibilities, however, there are also many things I am looking forward to such as the office away day at the beginning of October where all of the staff spend the day out of the office doing activities together.