University of Exeter graduate Sharon recently secured an Indirect Tax Analyst role at PwC. Sharon shares a detailed insight of her experience of the application process and why PwC was the firm for her.
Why did you choose this firm and this role?
PwC holds a reputation as a big 4 firm. It serves over 26 industries, operates from more than 700 branches, and boasts a workforce which numbers above 200,000 employees.
Besides the obvious economies of scale the firm has to its advantage, I was equally attracted to its women in business programmes; these are tailored to women in their 1st and penultimate years at university. Firms that are at the forefront of encouraging diversity really appeal to me. Additionally, the company forges relationships with local schools, wherein employees serve as mentors to disenfranchised students. Such relationships grant students who lack the means and resources to make a successful application to the firm more insight into tips on how to stand out to recruiters.
Finally, having met with several PwC recruiters at my university, I was able to ascertain that, whilst the firm's culture was competitive and highly driven, support from colleagues and mentors was equally boundless; such an environment puts professional success well within my reach.
What was the toughest part of the application process and what was your favourite part?
The daunting reality of having failed the assessment centre twice had an adverse impact on me psychologically. It was only when I began to prepare until I had extinguished all further resources that I was able to walk into my assessment centre with a level of confidence that really set me apart. My favourite part of the assessment centre was speaking to the partner. He was incredibly friendly and the interview took a conversational turn.
Were you surprised by anything in the application process?
The process was very standard; luckily I'd applied to PwC in the past, and knew what to expect at each stage. The only thing that surprised me was the fact that I got fast tracked to the assessment centre and, as a result, I didn't have to complete the telephone interview stage.
What three top tips would you give your fellow Bright Network members?
- Cultivate a thorough understanding of the firm.
- Practice all the preliminary tests so as to increase your chances of succeeding in the psychometric tests.
- Keep up to date with current affairs in ways that interest you (i.e. speaking to your lecturers, forming co-curricular groups where you and some friends can speak on the latest developments in the news).
What's your lucky charm or pre-interview ritual?
I go to bed extra early, and say a prayer for the process ahead.