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David - Tax Apprentice / London Economics, Geography and Business Studies.
I joined Smith & Williamson straight out of sixth form. When I left school I knew I wanted a career in finance that involved on the job training. I had friends who decided to go to university, but I didn't feel this was the right career move for me. The substantial burden of cost that going to university involves and the thought of working for a degree that may not directly benefit my career were key factors in my decision.
At Smith & Williamson, knowing I have the opportunity to be fully qualified by the time other people just leave university makes me sure I have made the right decision.
Since joining I have mainly been involved with professional partnerships and high net worth individuals. But I am also involved with smaller clients with more specific needs, so I get to do a wide variety of work. In addition to day-to-day work, Smith and Williamson puts you forward to train for a professional qualification and bends over backwards to support you in your studies. It's great that the department understands that you're learning, and team members go out of their way to help by answering your questions, no matter how basic. It's made the transition from sixth form to the 'real world' much less daunting.
Charlotte - Tax trainee Business tax / London. University of Southampton BSc Chemistry
'I´ve helped run the firm´s share scheme plan and contributed to an HMRC consultation on new legislation'
After graduating from Southampton University with a degree in chemistry, I was unsure what to do next. Studying for a further qualification while being paid and gaining valuable work experience made accountancy sound like a perfect option. My work is varied here, and I've had plenty of opportunities to get involved in different aspects of the business. The bulk of my work involves tax compliance.
However, I have also helped on business development for media sector clients and advisory pieces for large UK and international companies. Not only that, I've helped run the firm's share scheme plan and contributed to an HMRC consultation on new legislation. And even found myself involved in staff recruitment! Plus I have been able to experience both corporate and personal tax work through secondment. The size of the firm means I've formed good relationships with a wide range of people from different departments. Everyone is friendly and I often find myself chatting to people from trainee to partner level on nights out. I was initially apprehensive about studying and working but everyone is understanding when your exams are imminent. Importantly, a positive work-study-life balance is encouraged. In between work and studying, I still have time to see friends and enjoy my lifelong passion - shopping! .