Interview with Chloe Priestley, Higher Apprentice at PwC
Name: Chloe Priestley
Sector: Assurance (Audit)
What inspired you to apply for the apprenticeship?
I knew I didn't want to go to university but wanted to do something challenging and worthwhile. The higher apprenticeship seemed like the perfect solution for me as it meant that I would learn practical skills, develop my technical knowledge and study for ICAEW's prestigious qualification, the ACA, without getting myself into debt.
Where did you see it advertised?
I had an interview with a careers adviser at my college. She told me about several different higher apprenticeship schemes and recommended PwC as being one of the best. I researched the company, looked at the available vacancies and applied straight away.
What was the application process like? Did you have an interview? How long did it take?
The application process was pretty straightforward, an online application where you filled out basic information about yourself. This was followed by online numerical and verbal reasoning tests before being invited to an assessment day. At the assessment day I re-sat the online tests as well as a group and written task. Finally I had an interview with a Director at my local office, the interview went really well and was just a chance for the Director to get to know me. The process took about eight weeks in total.
What does a typical day look like? Who do you work most closely with and what sort of tasks do you do?
I wouldn't say that there's a typical day at PwC! My days are extremely varied depending on which client project I'm working on and where they are based. I get to work on lots of different audits where I learn about different clients and industries. I also get to work in different teams, with people from other offices and different areas of the business.
What do you think you’ve learnt from your apprenticeship?
It would be impossible to list everything I've learnt. The apprenticeship has taught me so much. I've gained skills for life and my confidence has grown massively. I'm now well on my way to becoming an ICAEW Chartered Accountant through the ACA qualification.
What advice would you give to people looking to apply?
I would say just to be yourself! When I applied I never thought that l would get a job offer! Make sure you've done some research about PwC and the area of the business you want to work in, practice the numerical and verbal tests online and don't be too nervous about your interview – it's a chance for the interviewer to get to know you.
What did you study at school?
My A levels were maths, history and psychology – not particularly related to accounting and auditing!
Did your parents influence your decision in any kind of way?
Yes – my mum supported my decision to not go to university. She knew that I was ready for the responsibility of a full-time job and encouraged me to apply for anything which I thought I would enjoy.
Did your parents have any reservations about apprenticeships at all?
Not at all! My mum was over the moon when I received my offer for PwC! She knew I was making the right decision.