Degree: Electronic and Broadcast Engineering, First, University of Brighton
Year of graduation: 2003
Occupation: Associate at Deloitte
What do you do in your job?
I spend most of my time at clients’ sites. As I work in audit, the overall aim is to work on behalf of clients’ stakeholders to ensure that the information in their financial statements is fair and true. This is more varied than it sounds, and can include performing tests, talking to clients about what processes and systems they use, and managing people just below me. I spend anything from one week to a couple of months at each client’s site.
What was your motivation in applying?
I’ve always liked working with numbers and people, and accounting combines the two really well. In particular, I wanted to do the ACA qualification. It means you can expect a certain salary, and it’s pretty much guaranteed that you’ll always get a job. It’s a stamp of approval, too, because it’s so well respected. I chose to apply to do it at Deloitte because I wanted to work for one of the Big Four, and Deloitte seemed to have the nicest culture.
What did the application process involve?
After the written application, there was an online test, which focused on numeracy and literacy. Then there was the first-round interview, which was competency-based. Because I was successful, I was invited back to do an e-tray exercise, which involved being given a laptop and performing tasks that I would do in a real job. There was another interview at that stage too, as well as a little bit of written work. Finally, I had a department interview. Throughout the whole application process everyone was really helpful, and always rang back straight away when I had questions or concerns. That gave me a good vibe about Deloitte.
What do you enjoy about your job?
Despite being based at different clients, I always work with the same team, which is great because the people are so nice. So even if we have to work long hours, there’s a good atmosphere. The social side is good too – we’re always being taken out. I also like the fact that you’re constantly reminded of where you can progress to in a year’s time, which is a big motivational push.
The most challenging part of your job?
When you go to visit a new client, you have to pick things up really quickly – the type of business, the jargon they use, and the way they work, for example. The initial few days can therefore be quite daunting.
Any qualifications involved?
I started the ACA qualifications as soon as I joined Deloitte in September 2005. I go to
college for blocks of three weeks at a time to do the learning, and then I go back to work for a while. There are nine exams in total – I’ve already done six of them. In addition to the exams, you need three years’ experience, so I won’t qualify until 2008.
Advice to readers considering a career in your field?
Think carefully about what accounting qualification you want to do, as each type of qualification is quite different. Then find out which firms work with which qualifications.