"I most enjoy that no given day is the same."
I work in the Corporate Finance Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A) department where we provide independent financial advice to corporates and institutional investors seeking to buy or sell businesses, raise finance or improve funding efficiency on the balance sheet. Depending on the stage of a deal, I will typically be involved in creating pitch documents, market materials for businesses in the sales process and deal completion activities alongside business development activities.
I most enjoy that no given day is the same and I have had the opportunity to work with a variety of high profile clients in a range of different sectors. We have a fantastic global network and I have often worked with colleagues from other offices around the world as well as people in different departments. PwC is also very good at allowing you to structure your own career. For example, after working for three years in Risk Assurance, I was able to move into Corporate Finance to widen my professional experience. I also know of people who have moved internationally to Australia and the Cayman Islands and are really enjoying it there.
The most exciting project I have worked on was an internal audit for a client operating in the Gaming industry. I was given the opportunity to fly out to Gibraltar and analyse and assess the effectiveness of the algorithms used to generate promotional marketing materials. I was able to recommend changes to the algorithm that resulted in an improvement in capturing larger audiences.
One of the most challenging experiences I’ve encountered so far at PwC is changing service lines from Risk Assurance to Corporate Finance. Starting in a new department was quite challenging as I was moving out of my comfort zone into essentially a completely new career. However, I received so much support from my old team and my new team during the move that I managed to settle in quickly and get involved in a variety of different projects that has widened my skill set and professional experience.
When you first join the firm, PwC offer detailed training courses to equip you with the skills and technical knowledge needed to be competent in your role. No question is a stupid question was one of the first things I was told when I joined and this still applies to me now, four years in! The support system when studying for the ACA qualification is great and our managers are very understanding of us leaving at a reasonable time when exams are looming, which helps take the pressure off.
I have been able to use multiple technologies to transform large sets of data and quickly identify any potential issues. This has been helpful to my roles in both Risk Assurance and Corporate Finance. With this, I have been able to obtain qualifications in using such technologies and train my colleagues in these.
Having studied Economics at university I decided I wanted to pursue a career in accountancy because of the many different opportunities I would have exposure to once completing the ACA qualification. I was offered an internship at PwC during my second year at uni and was subsequently offered a graduate role. The reason why I chose PwC over other firms was because of the vast amount of opportunities on offer. Whether it be working on different clients, in different departments or in different countries! My advice would be to not worry about picking the ‘perfect’ career now, you’ll be exposed to lots of different opportunities at different stages of your career that you would not have thought possible before.
The social life here and within my team is great. My team often go for drinks after work and have bi-annual away days with other regional offices. The Leeds office always hosts a summer BBQ social which everyone, no matter what department you’re in, can attend. We are also encouraged to get involved in charitable activities and on one of our charity days we raised over £12,000 for our chosen office charities.