Case study: ‘I went to a lot of careers fairs’


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The Independent Online

Victoria Wain, Science graduate

Victoria Wain is midway through a three-year graduate training scheme at PwC.

“I studied natural sciences at Durham University – but I knew I didn’t want to end up being a scientist. I chose my degree purely because it interested me, and that meant I needed to start thinking seriously about my career and researching my options fairly early into my degree.

In my second year at university, I therefore went to a lot of careers fairs and company presentations. One of those was a PwC presentation, where I met loads of nice people and learnt a bit about the organisation.

I did some research into the graduate training schemes after that, and they appealed to me. I like variety and I like a challenge. I also liked the idea of working for a big company that would have the scope to give me lots of opportunities.

I applied for the PwC internship, and got a summer placement in their Manchester offices. That gave me a taste of what it might be like to work for the company – and I applied to the graduate scheme and was offered a place. That was great, because it meant that, throughout my final year at university, I knew that there was an exciting job waiting for me. PwC also let me defer my start date, so I was able to take a gap year.

I joined the graduate scheme in London just over two years ago. I work in audit, gaining the ACA professional qualification and working on live projects at the same time. PwC sponsor my training, so I don’t have to pay for anything, and I get a salary. I alternate my time between blocks of study and blocks of work. It’s intense, but it suits me. I also like the fact that I’m learning both on-the-job and academically. I feel a sense of achievement.

I will qualify in September, and then I’ll be a chartered accountant. The ACA opens a lot of doors, because it’s so well respected. That professional qualification is incredibly valuable.

I think PwC are looking for well-rounded people who will interact well with clients, have an interest in learning, and are prepared to work hard.

You can’t go into this half-heartedly; you’re constantly starting new projects and meeting new people.”