We caught up with Olivia, a graduate from Durham University, to find out about her journey to a career in Audit, discover what life at Mazars is really like and gain her unique insights into what it takes to succeed in the finance industry.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background?
Hi, I’m Olivia, a Business Management graduate from Durham University. After completing my degree, I joined the Privately-Owned Business Audit Team at Mazars in Leeds as an Audit Trainee.
What stood out to you about Mazars when applying for opportunities?
I decided to pursue a career in Audit to help me become ACA qualified - an amazing qualification with so much depth. Studying this not only teaches you technical accounting skills, but you also learn about Business Strategy, Financial Management & Taxation, all topics that apply to day-to-day life. The ACA equips you with key transferable skills which are essential across roles in many sectors such as Corporate Finance, Restructuring, Financial Planning and more.
Mazars is a great place to start your career. You’re provided with incredible assistance throughout your ACA journey including flexible study days, and many friendly colleagues who have been in your position before are all to help and support you. This really stood out to me when applying for opportunities.
I feel Mazars is a great place to continue with your career, there is a natural progression that comes as you advance through the program and a strong culture of internal promotion. Plus, if you were to fancy a change of role, there’s an extensive internal network to facilitate this, meaning you can move into practically any service line at the firm.
How would you describe the culture at Mazars?
The culture of Mazars encompasses a healthy mindset, with a real focus on enthusiasm and unity. There’s a sense of quality and diligence that naturally comes with a corporate firm. The difference at Mazars is, there’s a true focus on personal development that helps foster quality and responsibility for you as an individual. This is a niche trait of the company and a fundamental reason I enjoy working at Mazars.
What do you enjoy most about working as a Corporate Assistant?
I really enjoy having a client-facing role, you meet so many people and see into some amazing businesses, from manufacturing to service operations, and even financial services and public health organisations. The clients at Mazars are so varied and give insight into the companies that help keep the country running, which for me has been an eye-opening journey.
What is a ‘normal day’ like in your role as a Corporate Assistant?
No day in Privately Owned Business is ever the same. As each client is different, the work you do will be different. Moreover, given you may work on multiple clients, there’s no day the same as the one before. I’d say the structure of my day contains at least one client and/or internal meeting and completing an assortment of tasks that could take from thirty minutes to a few hours.
To help build the picture of the life of a Corporate Assistant, an audit has stages including planning, fieldwork, and completion, with each stage lasting approximately 2 weeks depending on the size of the client. Each month will be interspersed with different stages for multiple clients. So overall, I’d say it is an ongoing project management role.
What piece of advice would you give to someone who is thinking of applying to Mazars?
For anyone considering a career in Accounting my advice would be, don’t be afraid of thinking you have to be exceptionally clever to complete the ACA, all it takes is patience and persistence. If you’re considering applying to Mazars, just do it. I found it to be a super easy process compared with other firms.
Come in to see for yourself and meet the friendly, exuberant people you would be working with.
If Olivia has you excited about a career Mazars – find out more about the firm and their live opportunities here.