Sixth Former Emily Stubbins is celebrating having been offered a job at international firm Grant Thornton. She applied to join their Accelerate programme for school leavers, which gives on-the-job training and leads to professional accountancy qualifications.
Around 10,000 people apply for 360 places with the firm nationwide. Emily said: ‘The interview process was quite gruelling and it was a really hard application process. I had a telephone interview that was really difficult. The next stage was a group exercise at the Leicester office with three other candidates. Then I went on to two final interviews, the first was based on the group session and during the second you had to show examples of work or teamwork within your life that could relate to the company and their competencies. Luckily as I have had quite a lot of work experience I was able to think of different examples that were relevant to them.’
Emily has been offered a post in the firm’s Northampton branch which will start in the summer: ‘Since a young age when I chose my GCSEs I found I liked finance and I wanted to go into the accountancy route because it would give me people skills as well as allow me to work with numbers.
‘I applied to PwC and KPMG as well however I found that Grant Thornton is a lot more people-based than corporate based and they do inter-business service, actually producing accounts, so it is part audit and part financial risk so you get a grounding in all their services. For two years I will study towards my AAT, the basic level and then progress to the ACCA accounting qualification.
‘University really wasn’t something for me. I have always wanted to work and I have worked since I was about 14. I thought if I could become an accountant through a non-university based route then I would prefer that rather than getting into debt and still having to find a job after three years of university study.’
Careers adviser Mr Primmett said: 'Emily’s success has certainly been hard-earned, and one of the keys to her success was her ability to demonstrate she has those vital ‘employability skills’ demanded by employers. She acquired many of these through her substantial work experience which yet again, demonstrates how vital it is for young people to become in part-time work or voluntary activities.'