Name: Abby Jenkinson University: Lancaster University Subject Studied: Mathematics Current Job Title: Audit Assistant Company: KPMG

Grad schemes are renowned for their comprehensive application process, how many stages did you have to go through and which did you find the most challenging?

I first had to fill in an online application form, and then do the online tests which included a verbal reasoning test, maths competency test and a situational judgement test. I then had a phone interview, followed by an assessment centre at the KPMG office. The final stage was an interview with a senior manager at KPMG, at which point I was offered the job. The most challenging stage for me was the final interview as it was the most difficult to prepare for, compared to the assessment centre which has had similar components each year.

What advice would you give to somebody when applying for a grad scheme similar to your own?

I would recommend researching the company and the job role thoroughly prior to interviews, particularly the values of the company and what will be expected of you in your own role, because a lack of preparation is what’s most likely to catch you out. Reading online about other people’s experiences at similar interviews really helped me because the interviewers tend to ask the same core questions each time.

You studied Mathematics, are a lot of the other Grads around you from a similar academic discipline or is it quite varied?

It’s quite varied on my scheme. A lot of people did a degree in accountancy and finance, but there isn’t a specific degree subject requirement. Other graduates have degrees in mathematics, physics, history, and environmental science.

You recently sat your first exam as part of your grad scheme, a lot of people think the exams end at uni, tell us a little bit more about the exams you’re taking, what it is you’re qualifying for and how that works?

I’m working towards the ICAEW ACA qualification, which involves taking quite a few exams as well as a few years of work experience. I’m on the intensive scheme, which means that I take the majority of the exams in my first year and then work for two more years, completing a case study at the end of the 3 years, completing my qualification. The modules involve accounting, audit, law and business at various levels of difficulty.

What are your plans once you’ve qualified? Will it be straight into the world of work or will you be taking some time out?

Once I’ve qualified, I’ll probably remain in the audit department unless I decide to venture into a different area of finance. I might take some time out, but hopefully I’ll be used to working by then and will want to continue and progress further.