I always wanted to go to University and it felt like the natural next step to me after A-levels. However, after completing my first term at University I knew it wasn’t for me so I decided not to go back.
When I was looking for opportunities that would help me to continue to develop academically, but also provide a diverse experience, a Higher Apprenticeship Scheme was a clear option. I was hesitant at first – I had already formed an opinion of apprenticeships that included low-pay and limited qualifications – but after looking at the PwC website I decided that my prejudices were unfounded, and I applied to the Higher Apprenticeship Scheme.
When I got the offer from PwC, I immediately knew that I’d made the right decision and my first few weeks only made me more certain. There is a clear drive at PwC for development – personal and qualification based – which is exactly what I’d wanted. Everyone I worked with was so friendly and always very helpful, which made the experience a really positive one. I was grateful it wasn’t the boring, office-based, tea-making ‘apprentice’ role I had half-expected.
Having to learn on the job makes you part of the team and means you’re integrated from the get-go. You get to do a variety of work, which often overlaps with your studies, and people are always pushing for you to have different experiences from secondments to client meetings. Everyone in the office has a different speciality and different experiences, so there’s always opportunities to learn something new.
I finished my Association of Tax Technicians (ATT) qualification last year and I was over-the-moon to find out I had lots of options moving forward. As all of my friends finished University and worried about what to do next, I had a job and options; I could study for the Associate Chartered Accountant (ACA) or Chartered Tax Adviser (CTA) qualifications, maybe go on a secondment or take a break from learning and just continue with my role. I chose to do a further qualification straight away because it suited me. There’s a lot of flexibility at PwC – you can vary your work, vary your development and even your working hours.
Since I started at PwC, I think the best thing has been that my input was valued from the first day and every person I met wanted me to give that input, ask questions, and do well. Before joining the scheme I didn’t realise what a great experience it is to learn things by getting stuck in and just doing them (I’d always preferred classrooms and exam style learning), but being an apprentice has changed that for me. Although I had an amazing amount of support for my ATT qualification and I enjoyed doing it, the best part of the experience for me has been in the office with the PwC Cardiff Corporate Tax Team.
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