Meet Rob, accounting apprentice at Deloitte
Rob Young, 21, is three years into an accounting apprenticeship at Deloitte, and is due to qualify in 2020 as a graduate accountant.
I’ve always been treated as an employee by Deloitte, not an apprentice – that’s the culture here. I spend a lot of my time visiting clients around the country as part of a corporate audit team. I’ve always been interested in the financial side of business operations, and how finance can shape a business.
Maybe in my second year some clients raised eyebrows – they were a bit shocked at how young I was, but I’ve noticed now that leading companies are really keen to chat and learn about apprenticeships work.
I did well at school and got As and A* in my A levels – I took maths, chemistry, biology and music. I hadn’t appreciated what a balancing act working, doing exams and having a social life would be. These (ACA) are horrifically hard (chartered accountancy) exams, and some days I’ll work until 7pm and study until midnight. An apprenticeship isn’t an easy option, and I’ve realised there’s actually no substitute for hard work. How you do really does depend how much effort you put in.
I chose auditing and accountancy because I wanted a job that wouldn’t disappear to automation. If anything, this kind of work will become more necessary with changing regulations. I don’t think you need to be brilliant at maths in this role, there are other skills that are more important, people skills and technical skills – we use Excel a lot.
“…evaluate whether a degree will help or whether you can get there quicker with another route and avoid debt.”
In moving around, I meet a lot of people in the company and I get exposure to senior clients. When you first join, you don’t realise how important networking is, but I’ve made connections and they’re really useful. Some of my friends who’ve now graduated from uni have even been asking for advice about applying to work here. I’ve also been helping to train new apprentices. If you want to go into financial services, you need to evaluate whether a degree will help or whether you can get there quicker with another route and avoid debt.