Olivia Williams

External Audit Senior Associate – PwC Channel Islands

What does a typical day look like for you?  

A typical day involves anything from examining financial records, assessing whether internal controls are operating effectively, or verifying compliance with laws and regulations. I conduct interviews, analyse data, coach associates, and prepare or review workbooks with details of our testing and findings. Attention to detail is essential to everything I do to ensure I am performing to a high standard together with being professionally sceptical.

How did you get your job? / What training, degree, education do you need? 
I studied Biology, Chemistry, and Maths at A-level. I planned to attend University but changed my mind when presented with the professional development and training programmes at PwC. I applied through the website with my CV and completed a quick and simple online assessment. After this, I had an interview with HR and a week later a second with a Senior Manager in Audit. You will need a minimum of 112 UCAS points and, if you are applying as a graduate, be on track for a 2:1. The subject of your qualifications are not important, it is recognised that diversity is a strength.

What are the most important skills needed for your role/job? 

Analytical: Interpreting and understanding a problem to solve it.

Communication: Ability to adapt to conversations of a varying nature.

Organisation: Responsibility and organisation are the foundations which attribute individuals and their teams to success.

Are there any future skills you will need to learn for your role? 

Remaining informed on industry changes is crucial. Future skills I continue to develop are awareness of emerging technologies as well as understanding of legal, accounting, and auditing requirements. Additionally, soft skills like adaptability will be valuable as the audit profession develops. Additionally, the ability to manage both projects and client relationships, simultaneously, will become a core attribute.

What is the best part of your job? / What motivates you in this role? 

Collaborating with ambitious people who challenge themselves daily to become better. Building quality relationships at all levels leads to a wealth of knowledge which motivates me to perform and contribute to the best of my ability. I thrive on being able to understand business processes which is amplified by exposure to an array of industries. Beyond my audit role, I am motivated by participating in a variety of initiatives such as leading the internship programme, tutoring new joiners, or volunteering for Hive Hackers, a PwC digital education initiative for students.

What advice would you give someone interested in a career in your profession 

Internship positions are the best way to find out what a career involves – PwC runs a 5-week immersive internship during the summer which has proven success at illustrating to potential candidates what life at PwC entails. Development of soft skills through work experience will allow you to provide personal examples of how you have developed and demonstrated these skills. Any other skills which make you stand out are an advantage: Are you multilingual? Can you code? How good are you at using Excel?

What would you tell your younger self?  

What you put in, is what you get out. Be bold and believe in yourself!

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