"Within the first few weeks I took on the opportunity to create digital content for our innovation workshops."
Hanna is one of 1,300 graduate joiners who started their career at PwC in September 2020 at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Across a series of blogs we’ve asked some of our joiners to share their stories about their first few months of their PwC career.
“Sitting in my family home joining multiple virtual meetings every day really wasn’t how I’d imagined kick starting my graduate job in the city. Looking back I’m glad my expectations didn’t prevent me from embracing this opportunity because it truly has been exceptional.
During the first week of induction we were placed in virtual classes of around 30 and smaller groups of around 5 with whom we worked with on small projects before presenting back together at the end of the week. I’d claim, like many others I’m sure, that my team was the best. Being behind a screen did not stop us making authentic lasting relationships.”
Hanna works within Technology and Investments, where she’ll spend two years rotating around different teams. Her first few months within the frontier innovation team have involved facilitating internal workshops and supporting the development of a new technology innovation strategy offering to clients.
As a Biomedical Engineering student, Hanna was joining our technology team from a slightly different background, but it was her passion for technology and interest in the future of technological developments which led her to apply for the programme.
“One of the reasons I wanted to get into Tech as a female was to encourage others to do the same, because I didn’t know any female leaders in Technology in Wales growing up. It’s also very encouraging that the leader of my team is a woman. I know the truth that lies in the statement ‘you can become what you can see’.”
On the lead up to her start date in September, Hanna spoke with her career coach and buddy which eased any concerns and gave her an idea of what to expect. Having an honest and open conversation shed light on questions around training, and she reflects that both her coach and buddy genuinely cared about making her onboarding the best experience possible.
“My career coach would check in weekly, making me feel very supported and my team members made an effort to intentionally get to know me, which allowed me to feel at home instantly.”
Having moved to London from Wales at the age of 18 for university, Hanna knows the importance of making friendship bonds and every Sunday she attends church to help lead others, building their local family within the church network. For Hanna, she reflects that it was church that gave a home from home when she moved to London to start her new life chapter. And now she can see that being replicated at PwC.
Over the last few months of working virtually, Hanna’s been upskilling herself with a variety of training platforms and programmes. Although you may be quick to think that in person training is more advantageous, Hanna’s found positives in learning from home;
“Undoubtedly during any training or learning there’ll be times when you aren’t sure of a phrase or abbreviation, and for most of us we’d write it down and come back to it later. But I’ve found by learning online, I can quickly look up what I’m unsure of in a matter of seconds, and be back in the learning zone pretty quickly. It’s been really helpful in that regard.”
During her first few weeks she also took part in our digital academy training, which over 5000 of our UK people have completed. Upskilling herself in Tableau and Alteryx, she’s also been able to complete a foundational project management course giving her the confidence to feel challenged and encouraged to grow and develop personally and professionally.
It’s also important to recognise that everyone who joins our graduate programmes was once new to the firm and also to a lot of the programmes we use internally. We’re a very supportive community with a big focus on care, so it’s important for us to know that you’re also feeling supported in your career journey.
“I’d say my biggest challenge so far has been overcoming that feeling of slight imposter syndrome as a new joiner. Although I now understand that’s nothing out of the ordinary, after hearing from senior members in my team that they can relate, it’s sometimes challenging to channel it correctly and ensure it doesn’t prevent me from performing to the best of my abilities and contributing value to my team.”
When Hanna’s not at work, like many she loves to travel and be outdoors. As a country girl at heart she loves to explore the greener areas of London and down to the coast for beach walks and hikes.
She’s also quite social, playing a part in the London Welsh Choir, and fulfilling a lifelong dream of becoming a ‘presenter’. As a child she’d dreamed of presenting tv shows, and part of that dream became reality last year when she set up her own podcast with a friend.
“It’s a creative outlet for us both and we both love to chat and have discussions so it’s been really fun.”
The last few months have been a whirlwind for Hanna, but it’s only the start of her PwC career. Despite only being in the firm for a short time, she’s already had a career highlight and a moment in time she’s proud of;
“Within the first few weeks I took on the opportunity to create digital content for our innovation workshops and I believe it’s not the work itself which I’m proud of but rather the fact it was the first thing I was able to run with and produce independently. I guess I was just proud that I could contribute something which mattered.”
For anyone who’s worried about starting their graduate career during this time, please be reassured.
There’s lots of resources to help you with your training and studies, people on hand to talk to when you adjust to working full time, and of course Hanna and her 1,300 peers who also joined during this strange time. We can all relate and help you kick start your career with us.