Agonising whether to actually take up that place at uni?

Some accountancy firms don’t require a degree or straight 'A' grades. We caught up with two accountancy trainees on, Grant Thornton’s school leaver’s programme to find out more.

If, like many, you’re caught in a 'should-I-actually-go-to-uni-dilemma' then a higher-apprenticeship route could be a great option. This particular scheme enables young people to go straight in to the world of work AND study towards professional accountancy qualifications.

Katie Crompton and Chris Garry bend our ears…

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Why did you choose the school leaver programme?

“I wanted to further my education without going to university and the programme has allowed me to do this and more! I’ve gained invaluable work experience, avoided the debt of university and obtained a globally recognised and respected accountancy qualification.” Said Katie who is an audit associate
“As soon as I heard about the school leaver programme I knew that it was the right path for me. It was clear that the key priority for the firm was its people and their development. University was not the route I wanted so finding an option that combined working whilst also studying was vital and I have this.” Said Chris, who is also an audit associate.


What have you most enjoyed about the programme and what have you found most challenging?

“In audit, no two days are the same so the most enjoyable aspect is the daily sense of achievement from working through new challenges. Losing the long school holiday has probably been the biggest challenge!”
“The areas of greatest challenge have also given me the greatest enjoyment. I’ve had exposure to a range of work which has stretched and tested me but also hugely aided my development. I am an embedded and valued member of the audit team and know that whatever I am facing I will have the necessary support.”


How have you found going straight into the world of work?

“I can’t deny that it has been a big learning curve. The jump from being in a school environment to that of a business is tough, however, it’s not a decision I would change. It allows you to take on responsibility straight away and you soon adjust.”
“I’ve loved it. Before joining Grant Thornton, I had different part time jobs so was partially accustomed to the routine of balancing work and college. It also means that I will be qualified 1.5 years earlier compared to the graduate route.”


What would you say to others that are struggling to decide what route to take after school/college?

“Do your research. Speak to people that have taken other routes and see what their feedback is. Be open-minded and most importantly do what is best for you!”
“Think about what you want, whether that’s going to university or going straight out to work. Personally, the programme aligns to my goals and what I am looking for, plus the added bonus of no student debt!”