At that time my course mate had returned from a summer interning at PwC, one of the big four financial services firms, in audit, and was raving about it. She liked the corporate atmosphere, the three years additional training for the accounting qualification and the structured graduate programme you’re put on (as well as all the nice looking young men).
Being easily influenced, I did a bit of research and decided, in the absence of a better idea, a professional qualification would be a decent route. Accountancy seemed to be an obvious step on from Maths and I thought getting a bit of ‘business acumen’ would set me on a good track, wherever I ended up in the future. I interviewed for about four firms - a real mixture - and was accepted onto the graduate programme at PwC.
To keep it concise, I spent five years there, completed my exams and qualified as a Chartered Accountant. A couple of years later I was promoted to Manager in the audit/assurance part of the firm. I loved it and made some great friends, however the departure of some of my pals prompted me to look at my senior colleagues to decide whether that was the path I wanted to follow. The working hours were terrible (although I was always quite accepting of that) and the salary only really compensated for the long hours once you were really senior - around 15 years in the firm - and I didn’t have any desire to make it that far. The work/life sacrifice was too much.
Here we are now, in my first role out of practice. I work for a large UK retailer in business planning and analysis. It suits me really well and I like making cakes for my colleagues.