We recently caught up with Kelechi about securing a Digital Audit role with PwC, how she built her commercial awareness before the interview, how Bright Network helped her secure the role and her top tips for members going through the application process.
What stood out to you about PwC?
PwC stood out to me due to their brand and the focus they place on training. I knew that working for PwC would provide me with ample opportunities to work with a range of exciting clients in various industries. It was also important to me that any organisation I work at takes an active interest in ensuring that graduates such as myself are provided with adequate support and training. It was clear through the research I conducted and from speaking with current PwC graduates that PwC encourages all its employees to continuously strive to learn, grow and step out of their comfort zone. Additionally, the Digital Audit role at PwC stood out to me in particular because it included the aspects of audit that I enjoyed during my placement, while also including the technology aspect that I was looking to enter.
How did you build your commercial awareness before the interview?
I made sure to keep up to date with the weekly commercial awareness updates sent by Ben Triggs from Bright Network. I also used the Financial Times subscription that my university provides all students with to stay up to date with events happening in the industry that could affect PwC. I followed PwC on LinkedIn and read a lot of articles posted about innovation in the organisation which I could bring up in my interview and assessment centre. Lastly, I subscribed to the PwC ‘A-Z of tech’ podcast on Spotify to learn about emerging technologies.
What would be your top tip to members going through the application process?
My top tip would be to do as much research as possible before the interview and assessment centre. It’s so important to fully understand the role that you’ve applied for and what would be expected of you as a graduate. If you’re applying for a role that has a professional qualification, do research on how many exams you would take, strategies for balancing work and study, etc. If possible, reach out to a graduate at PwC that is currently working in the role you are applying for to get an idea of what their day-to-day looks like, and what they enjoy about working at the firm. All this will help you stand out and show that you are very eager to join PwC.
How did Bright Network help you secure this role?
There are countless ways in which Bright Network helped me in securing my role. I’ve been a member of the network since my second year at university, and have been receiving the commercial awareness, job opportunities, and Academy emails since then. I found all the jobs I applied to on Bright Network and used the resources on the website to build on my commercial awareness and interview skills prior to and during the application process. I was also part of the Technology stream of Internship Experience UK hosted by Bright Network in July 2020. I decided to take part in this day as I wanted to secure a more technology-focused graduate role, but coming from an Accounting & Finance degree, I was hesitant to apply. The Technology Internship Experience showed me that someone coming from a finance background could enter this industry in many ways. I was fortunate enough to be exposed to many companies in the financial services industry including PwC, and I discovered the range of technology roles they offered to graduates.
What’s been the toughest interview question you've faced and how did you tackle it?
During the interview portion of an assessment centre I attended for a different employer, I was asked how I would approach building a house. That is a question I’d never been asked in past interviews, so it threw me off at first. I remembered an article I had read on Bright Network about ‘extreme interviewing’, and how these types of questions are asked to get an idea about whether a candidate is easily flustered and how they think. Remembering that helped me calm down and answer the question in a logical, step-by-step manner.
Did you use Bright Network Academy in your career search and if so, how did it help you?
I used Bright Network in my search for both placement and graduate roles. Using Bright Network was helpful as I could make a shortlist of the companies I wanted to apply to and add each of the roles to my career calendar. I also used Bright Network Academy at all the stages of the application process, from perfecting my CV, to practicing psychometric tests. There are endless resources on the Bright Network platform that helped me feel very prepared throughout the process.
What top three tips would you give Bright Network members looking to follow in your footsteps?
- Make a list of all your experiences that have skills that can be transferrable to the role you are applying for. They don’t necessarily have to be experiences that are directly related to the role, but as long as you can demonstrate the key competencies, they are relevant!
- Try not to get sucked into applying for hundreds of roles, because taking the time to put in your best effort into one application is more beneficial.
- Start applying as early as possible! It can be very difficult to balance applying for graduate jobs with your final year responsibilities. A lot of graduate schemes have similar deadlines, so it’s important to give yourself enough time to put in a good amount of effort into the ones you apply for.