I joined PwC in September 2011, after completing my A levels at Hautlieu School in Jersey, Channel Islands. I had considered the possibility of studying at university, but decided it wasn’t for me so looked into options locally instead.
ICAEW’s Higher Apprenticeship scheme appealed to me because it offered me the opportunity to study for a world renowned professional qualification, while earning a competitive salary.
I exam qualified as a chartered accountant at the age of 20, which has given me a great head start on my peers.
For the first three years of my career at PwC I worked in the assurance team where I had a large audit portfolio, mostly consisting of medium to large private equity houses, real estate clients and some trading companies.
During this time I led and supported large teams and as much of my time was client-facing, it all helped me to build strong working relationships and teamwork skills.
I have since transferred to the advisory team, where I now specialise in controls assurance engagements. I have significant experience in third-party controls reporting, as well as performing reviews on information security and risk appetite.
I have also been seconded to carry out a data migration project for a Jersey-based fund services business to enable more efficient running of the business by transforming historical data into valuable, intelligent information.
My Higher Apprenticeship has taught me a strong sense of commercial and business awareness, as well as leadership skills, which have enabled me to lead large teams with confidence.
There are also opportunities to travel; I have spent time in locations, such as London and Luxembourg working with clients and colleagues from other PwC offices.
The office I work in is young and vibrant and everyone is really supportive of one another. I interact with clients on a daily basis which keeps my job interesting as I am always meeting new people and forming new working relationships.
Although it’s really fun, you shouldn’t underestimate how tough the exams can be – but if you work hard and you’re dedicated to your studies then the exams are definitely achievable.
Joining a Higher Apprenticeship scheme straight from school has been a challenging yet exciting experience. I do not feel disadvantaged by choosing to study for a professional qualification rather than a degree, because I have studied for a global qualification, whilst earning a competitive salary and gaining valuable skills in the workplace.
Whether you are a graduate or a school leaver, with or without maths or accounting experience, this is a fantastic opportunity not to be missed and one I would recommend you explore.
Without a doubt I am on par with, and in some cases exceeding, graduate route accountants who joined PwC at the same time as me.