Accountancy firm provides trainee with ladder of opportunity to develop career
Crowe Clark Whitehill is an ardent supporter of the work experience concept. Every year the accountancy firm takes on a number of students for five-week work placements, devising meaningful programmes and providing them with a valuable insight not only in to the accountancy industry but also the wider world of work.
Grainne Christian, 21, who was born in the Isle of Man and is from Kirk Michael, was one such student selected for work experience with the firm in 2017. She went on to complete her degree in accounting and finance at the University College of Man and subsequently returned to Crowe Clark Whitehill after being offered a permanent position as a trainee accountant.
Reflecting on her time as a work experience student she said: ‘Those first five weeks I spent at Crowe Clark Whitehill were very useful. I wasn’t sure what to expect and thought it might be just basic office duties, but instead I was given meaningful and varied work that brought me into contact with clients and included assisting on an audit of a prestigious client, the registered charity Friends of Manx National Heritage.
‘Everyone at Crowe Clark Whitehill was really welcoming and helpful and I felt I was part of the team from day one. The knowledge and skills I began to acquire came in very useful during my degree course and I’m developing them now as a trainee accountant.
‘At Crowe Clark Whitehill I feel valued and supported and as it’s a medium-sized practice, it’s more personal so you get to know the whole team, not just those in your immediate section. The advice and mentoring are great and I always feel comfortable going to one of the team should I need advice.
‘That level of support I receive boosts my confidence, which helps a great deal when I’m meeting with clients and drawing on my previous customer-facing experience. It’s early days, of course, but already I’m starting to form positive working relationship not only with clients but also with other accountancy professionals.
‘Along with the in-house training I’ll also be studying for my Chartered Tax Adviser qualification and my ICAEW ACA exams, and I know that at Crowe Clark Whitehill I’ll be supported every step of the way.’
Director Phaedra Bird said: ‘At Crowe Clark Whitehill we’re committed to delivering the highest standards of service. Central to this is recognising and nurturing young talent and supporting our people to be the best they can. This is why we take our work experience responsibilities extremely seriously, in order to equip next-generation accountancy professionals with the skills they will need to succeed in an increasingly competitive jobs market.
‘Outstanding personal service is embedded in our business culture; it shapes our approach to training and mentoring and even our work experience students are exposed to this way of working as we believe it will serve them well in whatever career they choose to pursue.
‘While on work placement with us Grainne showed a level of ability and enthusiasm for the profession which impressed us greatly. We were therefore pleased to offer her a permanent position. She’s already a valued member of the team with a natural aptitude for accountancy which we look forward to helping her to develop.’
Established in the Isle of Man for more than 35 years Crowe Clark Whitehill is recognised as a local firm with global reach. Based in Victory House, Douglas the 30-strong workforce is led by directors John Cowan, Phaedra Bird and Debbie Clague, each of whom are committed to supporting their team members in their pursuit of career development and providing students with ‘real-life’ relevant work experience opportunities.
The firm is associated worldwide with Crowe Global, ranked among the top 10 global accounting network of more than 20,000 staff around the world.