So as another year ends and a new one is in sight, Zoe caught up with Tom Ramsden who has just completed his Accounting and Finance Management degree to see what he has in store after university life. Tom will be starting a new chapter at the beginning of September with the top accounting firm PwC. The competition is tough, hard work is required and the process is intense. But after having a placement year with them and getting the grades he required, Tom secured a job in the assurance department based in Bristol.
Zoe was keen to find out how the University of Gloucestershire and the Accounting and Finance team helped him secure his job now that he can sit back and reflect before the next challenge begins.
Zoe: Has anything from the course helped you prepare, or you feel gave you an advantage to secure your job with PwC?
Tom: Lots of stuff from the course helped me but you probably don’t realise it at the time. Obviously the actual course content, double entry, audit modules help you understand the audit process as a whole but the professional skills module – compiling your CV was invaluable as once you get that bit right it makes it so much easier to apply for jobs. Other different areas such as assessments via presentations give you the confidence to stand in front of people and contribute to team meetings
Zoe: How did you prepare for the assessment days/tests/interviews?
Tom: PwC have great resources to help you prepare for the interviews /assessment days. But what worked best for me was practice. I’d done 8 different telephone interviews, and 3 face to face interviews before I got the placement at PwC and you’ll tend to find that all different companies are after the same sort of skills and recruitment process tends to be similar – A lot of competency based questions such as ‘tell me a time when you’ve solved a problem’. I had a stock answer for each of the different competencies and so hopefully the interviewer asks you a couple. You don’t need to recite your answer word for word as it could sound rehearsed but just familiarising yourself with the key points of the story and following the STAR model: Situation, task, action, result.
Zoe : Can you explain how the placement year helped with your studies and new career?
Tom: It helped immensely. First of all it gives you an idea of what direction you want to head after you graduate – auditing is not for everyone! The one thing I will take away from the placement is the fact that you can turn textbook learning into real life practical situations. Sometimes when you are in lecture learning about audit testing for example, it is difficult to understand its importance and applying that to the real world but using that in practice helps you understand the reasoning behind it.
The Accounting and Finance team wish Tom every success in his career and look forward to him coming back in a few years’ time, to share his experience and inspire students in the professional development module. We know he will go far and can’t wait to see what he can achieve. Make sure you get in touch with the placement team to make the most of your future plan.
The harder you work the luckier you get!