Tess Alexander joined us in January 2017 after applying for our successful ACA graduate programme. Read more about her experience, from the recruitment process to a 'typical day' for Tess at CBW.
How did you find the recruitment process?
“The one aspect of CBW that stood out for me the most during the recruitment process was the relaxed and friendly atmosphere. For the first two interviews, the approach was more of a conversation which allowed me to relax and show my personality, without feeling as though I was being questioned.
For the final assessment day, I learnt a lot about CBW. It was great to have been given the opportunity to meet Managers and Partners throughout the day, aiding my understanding of the kind of people that I would be working with. It gave me insight into the role and organisation I would be joining upon a successful application, and helped me decide that CBW was a firm that I wanted to be a part of. Being able to arrive dressed down made me feel more comfortable, and as a whole, I found the experience challenging but enjoyable.”
What do you enjoy most about your job role?
“What I enjoy most about working at CBW are the people, and the friendly environment. Having other graduates who have been, or are going through the same process has been a huge advantage as they understand having to balance daily work alongside studying for exams. Everyone has been very friendly and keen to answer any questions I have, whether it is about my everyday work in audit, or about the ACA qualification.”
How would you describe the working culture?
“I think every employee at CBW would agree that the office can be described as a friendly, relaxed workspace. Due to the open plan office space, juniors like myself are able to sit beside senior managers and partners, who are always willing to answer any questions I may have, no matter how small. My sweet tooth has certainly sweetened since joining, as the kitchen is never short of a cake or treats brought back from someone’s holiday!
The social events such as the Christmas party and summer BBQ are also key aspects of the CBW culture. We also meet at the pub for Thursday night drinks which allows me to meet people from other departments who you don’t usually get to interact with.”
What element of your job role do you find most rewarding?
“It is very satisfying to be trusted to complete a file by myself, from start to finish. The trust put in me helps me feel like a valued member of the department, and not just another employee, I always find that I am being engaged by the work I am carrying out.”
What has been your most memorable moment at CBW so far?
“I think my most memorable moment at CBW was when I was given a Discretionary Award for work completed on my second ever audit. I had worked on the audit in my second month of being at CBW, and it was great to be awarded for something so soon after I started.”
Can you describe a ‘typical day’ at CBW?
“It’s hard to describe a typical day at CBW as no day is the same. When in the office, I am either preparing the yearly accounts for a company or undertaking audit work.”
“As a graduate, we ‘hotdesk’ in the office, which means that we are not given set desks, and instead there are several empty spaces where anyone can sit. This means that every day of the week I could end up sitting in a different area of the office. It gives me the opportunity to get to know the different people within the department, as well as making every morning a little bit more interesting as I decide where I want to sit!”
“I can also be at a client’s offices for audit work, or studying at college towards my ACA qualification.”
How has working for CBW helped your professional development/career so far?
“My experience at CBW so far has helped my professional development as I have gained invaluable knowledge and skills through working with a wide range of clients. No day is the same, which means that every day I learn something new.”
“As well as working in the office or at clients, CBW have also provided me with the opportunity to study towards my ACA qualification, which I will be looking forward to completing by 2020.”