Shree gives us her graduate insight into secured a placement year at PwC

Created on 28 Oct 2021

We recently caught up with Shree about how she secured her placement at PwC, her top tips for tackling tough interview questions and how Bright Network helped her during her career search.

What stood out to you about PwC?

PwC has a fantastic culture and the people there are really friendly. I know this because having attended some of their events designed for students and speaking to representatives of the company, I found out that PwC employees were ready to answer all of my questions and provide excellent answers. It is so impressive when individuals from a company are so willing to help students out and are enthusiastic about the company they work for. I knew that if I worked at PwC, I would be surrounded by hardworking and motivated people.

How did you build your commercial awareness before the interview?

I went onto the Bright Network website and read articles about how to build commercial awareness and I followed the steps recommended. I think that taking a simple but effective approach really benefitted me due to the fact that I did not feel overwhelmed with information. In the interview, you have a limited amount of time to demonstrate what you know, so being able to make concise but valuable points is very important.  I would recommend making flashcards with bullet points so that it is easier to remember certain things that you wish to remember.

What would be your top tip to members going through the application process?

My top tip is to communicate. Speak to people in the company you wish to work for, speak to your university career department for advice that they might have regarding different parts of the application process and speak to anyone that you already know that may have successfully applied to that company. Make notes of your interaction with each person and try to learn as much as you possibly can from them. By communicating you are building up knowledge that you can use in your application, and you will notice how much it helps!

How did Bright Network help you secure this role?

Bright Network ran a diversity and inclusion event, and PwC were one of their partnering companies. There was a roundtable discussion about diversity and inclusion in the workplace and a representative of PwC made some excellent points that I still remember. In my interview for PwC, I mentioned the name of the PwC representative and my interviewer happened to know him and she was really impressed that I went to the event and spoke highly about the representative from the company. I also used a lot of the resources on the Bright Network website to help me during the application process.

What’s been the toughest interview question you've faced and how did you tackle it?

I think that the toughest interview question I faced was 'what do you think the biggest challenge for you in this role would be?'. I found this question tough because in an interview you're trying to sell yourself and showcase the best of your abilities however this question focuses on things that could hold you back. In answering this question, I focused on one thing, I explained it and then how I would go about resolving it. For example, I said something like 'I think the biggest challenge for me in this role would be working on the more complex IT challenges that require extensive technical knowledge, this is because I studied philosophy at university and so I do not have a technical background. However, from my understanding, there is the opportunity to take on additional qualifications at PwC alongside my job, so if I wanted to learn more about the technical side of things, this is something that I would be enthusiastic to look into.

Did you use Bright Network Academy in your career search and if so, how did it help you?

I did use Bright Network Academy, specifically, I looked at a course on the application process and how to do well. I discovered how to really stand out to leading employers throughout the application process for internships and graduate jobs. Lessons in the course included: an introduction to interviews, types of interview questions, how to approach competency questions, skills employers are looking for and a practice video interview. I enjoyed this course a lot due to its informative nature.

What top three tips would you give Bright Network members looking to follow in your footsteps?

  1. Don’t give up
  2. Make a list of your achievements and keep looking at the list whenever you feel down
  3. Make a poster with words of encouragement and look at it every single day

Looking to follow in Shree's footsteps? Discover live graduate opportunities with PwC.

Bright Network member, Shree
Shree, University of Warwick
PwC, Placement Year