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What does an associate at PwC do?

By UCL Careers, on 2 October 2014

Ahead of the UCL Banking and Finance Fair on Tuesday 7th and Wednesday 8th October, we asked Sharon at PwC, what does an Associate do?

Sharon PwC profile picture

Sharon, PwC

Name: Sharon

Time at PwC: 1 year

Role: Associate: Assurance – Insurance and Investment Management

Can you tell me about the work you do?

I work in External Audit, with a particular focus on Insurance and Investment Management firms. On a day-to-day basis, this means working with clients to ensure their financial statements represent a true and fair picture of their finances, and are prepared in line with any applicable regulations. This in turn gives the users of the financial statements, such as potential investors, added comfort over the company’s financial position.

Can you tell me what working for PwC means to you?

Working for PwC means more than just prestige – it also means exposure to a range of opportunities seldom found in other organisations. It also means a steep learning curve where you may encounter high profile clients very early on, or it may mean developing working relationships with smaller clients. Although there is a steep learning curve – it’s set within an environment of support – including having an assigned buddy from my first week, a very constructive appraisal and feedback system from clients and managers, as well as a very strong culture of developing staff through courses and exposure to new areas. All of these features make working at PwC incredibly rewarding.

Can you tell me what tips you have for students wishing to pursue a similar career path?

Absolutely yes – I’d recommend researching as much, and as early as possible about the firms you wish to apply to. This includes the roles you may wish to apply for, and future career paths thereafter. This will hopefully help you understand what each company offers and how they differ. I’d also recommend:

  • Thinking about how your skills are suited to each different role you’re interested in
  • Looking to improve relevant skills via schemes available at UCL
  • Tailoring the modules of your degree to your desired future career path
  • Taking every opportunity to gain an internship or relevant experience – it’s the best way to get real exposure to a specific working environment and culture.
  • Applying as early as possible! PwC receives thousands of applicants for each recruitment round, and have deadlines for some business areas – so please make sure you get in quick!

What one tip might you have for students attending the Banking & Finance Fair?

Don’t be shy in asking questions! The employers have been in your shoes and they’ve volunteered their time to share their experience and advice with you. Please research and prepare your questions in advance and ask them with confidence!

The UCL Banking and Finance Fair on Tuesday 7th and Wednesday 8th October 2014 is kindly sponsored by Citi and PwC.

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