Office Hours: The Experts At Grant Thornton Answer Your Accounting Career Questions

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Ready to start your accounting career?

This industry is an egg-citing place for students and grads to explore. On December 9th, the eggs-perts at Grant Thornton logged onto Office Hours to answer questions from students and grads. They discussed everything from entry-level positions, their company culture, and application advice.

If you’re interested in hatching your career with this amazing company, be sure to check out their advice below!

TalentEgg
Hello TalentEgg-ers! Office Hours with Grant Thornton will begin at 3 p.m. EST, so stay tuned!

TalentEgg
Good afternoon, and welcome to Office Hours with Grant Thornton!

We have a very egg-citing and informative hour ahead of us. Today, our guest experts from Grant Thornton will be answering your career questions on how you can start a career in accounting!

If you’ve already submitted an advance question, great! If not, feel free to submit your question at anytime during the chat – we’ll be answering as many as we can.

Before we begin, I’d like to introduce our guest experts. Can you tell us a bit about yourselves?

Comment From Krista – Manager, Talent Attraction Operations @ Grant Thornton
Hello everyone! My name is Krista Lamkey and I am the Manager of Talent Attraction Operations for the firm. I joined Grant Thornton in April of 2015 and have the privilege to work closely with the various recruiting teams across Canada over the last 10 months. I am really excited for today’s Office Hours session!

Comment From Poonam – People & Culture at Grant Thornton
Hi my name is Poonam, and I am a People & Culture Consultant with Grant Thornton servicing our Southern Ontario region in recruitment. I’m really excited to be here and look forward to answering your questions!

Comment From Harvey-Senior Accountant in Assurance Services at Grant Thornton
Hi, my name is Harvey Duhra and I’m a senior accountant in assurance services at Grant Thornton in the Edmonton, Alberta office. I’ve been with the firm for almost two years now and I just finished successfully completing my CPA program and passing my CFE.

Comment From Lis – Manager, People & Culture – Grant Thornton
Hi my name is Lis, and I am the People & Culture Manager in our Edmonton, AB office. I have been with Grant Thornton for over 7 years, and time flies when you’re having fun! I’m really excited to be here, and answer your questions! 🙂

Comment From Blair – People and Culture Consultant @ Grant Thornton
Hi Everyone! My name is Blair Thompson and I am one of our People and Culture Consultant’s in Atlantic Canada. I’ve been aiding in Recruitment at GT for over 5 years and counting!

TalentEgg
Fantastic. Let’s begin!

Danrui, an Accounting major at the University of Toronto asks:
“What do you enjoy most about working at Grant Thornton?”

Comment From Poonam – People & Culture at Grant Thornton
Hi Danrui. The thing I enjoy most is the ability to build meaningful relationships with a variety of people in different service lines. Networking opportunities, both internally and externally, are everywhere! Building relationships with people outside (and within) my team, only encourage me to learn more about opportunities within the firm, when I’m ready to seek a new challenge.

TalentEgg
Rishav, an Accounting major at the University of Waterloo asks:
“What support does your firm offer to associates who want to complete the CPA designation?”

Comment From Lis – Manager, People & Culture – Grant Thornton
Hi Rishav!Grant Thornton provides support both in terms of paid days off, as well as Financial support towards completing the CPA designation (Specifically, GT covers the cost of the CPA program for all first attempts). From each module, up to the CFE (Common Final Exam) as well. Not only that, but every student will have opportunities to learn SO much about many different topics in the accounting world that will help them be well-rounded accountants and help prepare them for the modules and ultimately, the CFE. GT has developed an excellent week-long training course, specifically to help prepare students for the CFE. There are also opportunities to experience mock case-writing to help prepare for that aspect of the exam, and that starts earlier in the year of writing the CFE. Every office has a CPA mentor who is a tremendous support, and sometimes should to cry on to help with exam stresses, to help get our students through successfully achieving their CPA designation. There are also a number of other students to lean on that are hired around the same time, as well as students who recently went through modules shortly before who are also great sources of support.

TalentEgg
Calvin, a student at Brock University asks:
“How can you be memorable in an accounting interview?”

Comment From Poonam – People & Culture at Grant Thornton
Hi Calvin, the best way to be memorable in an Accounting interview is to be yourself! Outside of your technical experience, we are equally looking for a cultural fit for the firm. Demonstrating who you are as an individual gives your interviewers the opportunity to envision what working with you (and the team) would be like.

TalentEgg
Marina, a Business major at Humber College asks:
“What cities are you hiring in?”

Comment From Krista – Manager, Talent Attraction Operations @ Grant Thornton
Hi Marina, thank you for joining today’s session! All of our current opportunities are posted on our Careers website at http://www.grantthornton.ca. Right now we do have a few openings across the firm!

TalentEgg
Harjot, a student at the Schulich School of Business asks:
“Does GT offer financial advisory positions to graduating students? Thanks in advance.”

Comment From Krista – Manager, Talent Attraction Operations @ Grant Thornton
Hi Harjot, the majority of our positions for graduating students are into the assurance stream. However, depending on the needs of the business we do recruit for positions in other areas. I would encourage you to visit our careers website at www.grantthornton.ca/careers and set up a job alert so you are automatically notified when a new opportunity arises.

TalentEgg
John, a Commerce-Accounting major at the University of Guelph asks:
“What is it like to work at Grant Thornton as a new graduate?”

Comment From Harvey-Senior Accountant in Assurance Services at Grant Thornton
Hi John, as a new graduate starting off at Grant Thornton you will exposed to a wide variety of accounting, tax and audit work. You will be challenged on a daily basis with your work, which will help you grow as in individual and well-rounded accountant. You will also be provided with a set of support staff around you to make sure you have all the tools to succeed. You will be provided with a “Buddy” that is there to help you with your day-today file related questions. You will be provided with a “People Manager” (usually manager or higher) that will be responsible for making sure that you’re tracking on the right path and ensuring any over your obstacles are being overcome. Your people manager will also be responsible for ensuring you’re setting goals for yourself and helping you achieve those goals. You be will provided with a CPA mentor that will assist you with any need you have as you article and work your way through the CPA module and exams. Most importantly, you will be welcome into a family/team like environment where everyone wants to see you succeed. There will be multiple opportunities to attend social event in order to meet the rest of your co-workers in a friendly and welcome environment. You will be working in an environment where partners have an open door policy and are always willing to chat about anything that is on your mind.

TalentEgg
Christopher, a student at McGill University asks:
“What’s the criteria for advancing your career at Grant Thornton?”

Comment From Lis – Manager, People & Culture – Grant Thornton
Hi Christopher – great question. For people to advance in their careers, it’s important to learn the basics as they go through the CPA program, but then beyond that, it’s important for our people to show a willingness to be proactive in their careers, and starting to take on the responsibilities at the next level and seek to be challenged. We want to see everyone be successful, and provide the opportunities people are looking for wherever we can!

TalentEgg
Marcus, a Mathematics/Actuarial Sciences major at the University of Waterloo asks:
“Is there any benefit to starting work with Grant Thornton as a student versus as a new grad? Or vice versa?”

Comment From Krista – Manager, Talent Attraction Operations @ Grant Thornton
Hi Marcus, whether you join the team as a co-op or new grad you will be given the opportunity to be part of a team that supports and encourages your development. Both our co-op and new hires undergo a very similar onboarding and orientation process and are provided with the tools to be successful. Many of our co-ops are hired into our Full Time positions once they graduate from their respective programs.

TalentEgg
Brenda asks:
“Does Grant Thornton have a program to help new graduates and students in their company?”

Comment From Blair – People and Culture Consultant @ Grant Thornton
Hi Brenda! Grant Thornton hires roughly 120 students + per year across the country as Accountants/Analysts into the CPA program. We along with CPA Canada have an extensive training and mentoring to help with our CPA Articling Students be successful in completing their course-work.

TalentEgg
Jenelle, a Commerce student at the University of Calgary asks:
“What are some of the key qualities Grant Thornton looks for in new hires?”

Comment From Lis – Manager, People & Culture – Grant Thornton
Hi Jenelle, thanks for the question. The qualities that Grant Thornton looks for are well rounded people. It isn’t all about grades, or all about work experience. It’s about showing the potential to be successful in helping our clients, and being the advisor they can turn to when it comes to decision making. That’s what we hope to help develop in our articling students. You don’t need to have the best grades to be a great candidate or employee who has an entrepreneurial spirit and wants to help people succeed in their business. We want people who will be able to find out what’s important to clients one day, and make it important to them. Also, being able to show ability to take ownership too will come in handy. So, a combination of grades, any previous work experience, some volunteer work, but personality, and fit into our awesome culture is #1 to us!

TalentEgg
Bhavneet, a Business Administration major at Wilfrid Laurier University asks:
“When should students start applying for internships at Grant Thornton?”

Comment From Poonam – People & Culture at Grant Thornton
Hi Bhavneet, all of our postings go live on our website as soon as they are open and available. We typically participate in Co-Op programs, however, we do also post for internships based on business need. Keep up-to-date with our Careers website for all of our current opportunities http://www.grantthornton.ca and set up a job alert so you are automatically notified when a new opportunity arises.

TalentEgg
dsouza_steph asks:
“Hi everyone! What is something that most people learn when they first start working as a member of the Grant Thornton team?”

Comment From Poonam – People & Culture at Grant Thornton
Hi Steph, most people initially come into the firm a learn about who we are and what we do as a firm. Learning about our vision and values as well as how Grant Thornton employee’s position themselves in the market is integral to understand, as our Grant Thornton brand is one of the key factors that makes us one of the top employers in Canada.

TalentEgg
Noman Zahoor asks:
“What does a typical entry level position in Audit involves?”

Comment From Harvey-Senior Accountant in Assurance Services at Grant Thornton
Hi Noman, great question. As an articling student working in the assurance service line, you will be exposed to a wide variety of companies (private, public, NPO) and will start working on the smaller sections of the audit file. As audits are very large, it is uncommon for one employee to complete the entire audit, therefore the audit gets broken into sections (cash, capital assets, revenues, and expenses….etc) and each member of the audit team handles any number of the sections. You should expect to be interacting and going out to the client’s site right off the get go and there may also be some travel involved. You will almost always be working in a team setting.

TalentEgg
Yunmi, a Business Administration major asks:
“Is it required to already have your CPA designation to work at your organization?”

Comment From Harvey-Senior Accountant in Assurance Services at Grant Thornton
Hi Yunmi, it is not required to have your CPA designation in order to get hired or start working for Grant Thornton. The process for new hires is actually to work through your articling years with Grant Thornton in your first two years and complete your CPA with Grant Thornton. Grant Thornton provides a wide variety support throughout your CPA modules to help you successfully complete the program and pass your CFE.

TalentEgg
Fariha asks:
“I am interested in applying to more than one job, but I do not want it to look like I am not committed. Do you have any advice?”

Comment From Krista – Manager, Talent Attraction Operations @ Grant Thornton
Hi Fariha. When you are applying to multiple positions within the firm please ensure you tailor your cover letter to the specific role. As we have a team of recruiters who can view your profile in system we want to ensure your motivations and drivers are clear. Within our Recruiting system, we are able to see each position you apply too so please ensure you only apply to those you are truly interested in.

TalentEgg
Francis C asks:
“Hi, I am a recent business graduate from a university in the Atlantic Canada and has since moved to Toronto. I am having challenges in finding an internship as my ultimate goal is to become a CPA. What is your advice is overcoming my internship search challenge? Thank you. Francis C.”

Comment From Krista – Manager, Talent Attraction Operations @ Grant Thornton
Hi Francis, thank you for joining us today! As a recent graduate finding an internship can be challenging due to the high volume of candidates in the Toronto market. My best advice would be to set up job alerts with the various companies you are interested in joining. This will ensure that you are automatically notified when a new position is posted on their site so you don’t miss any opportunities. Additionally, I would recommend trying to network with individuals at the organization to help build connections and make yourself stand out as a top candidate to potential employers.

TalentEgg
Omar Hassan asks:
“Are there any networking events in Atlantic Canada coming up that Grand Thornton will show its presence at?”

Comment From Blair – People and Culture Consultant @ Grant Thornton
Hi Omar – Great question, I encourage you to keep an eye on our website as we do post when Grant Thornton will be attending Campus related events. The link is: http://www.grantthornton.ca

TalentEgg
Diane, a Business Economics major at the University of Alberta asks:
“How can I impress employers?”

Comment From Lis – Manager, People & Culture – Grant Thornton
Hi Diane! I think it’s really important just to be your genuine self! Some employers may look for different things, in general, but being authentic will be able to show through, and you, and the potential employer, will be able to get a sense if there could be a fit. Also, having done some research on a company in advance of speaking with a potential employer can come in handy as well!

TalentEgg
Michael asks:
“Can we connect with you on LinkedIn after the chat?”

Comment From Blair – People and Culture Consultant @ Grant Thornton
Hi Michael – Absolutely, all of us are connected on LinkedIn. Please feel free to add any of us if you are inclined!

TalentEgg
Maja, a Commerce-Accounting major at Humber College asks:
“How can I write my resume and cover letter in order to be considered for a job at Grant Thornton?”

Comment From Poonam – People & Culture at Grant Thornton
Hi Maja, I would encourage you to not only focus on your practical experiences, but to focus on any extra-curricular activities, charities, or sports team you participate in. Grant Thornton is all about balance – and having a balanced resume (professionally, academically, volunteer, etc) really stands out.

TalentEgg
Now seems like a great time for our poll:

What are you hoping to learn more about during today’s Office Hours session?
  • Grant Thornton’s company culture (20%)
  • How to stand out to their recruitment team (55%)
  • Training and support at Grant Thornton (10%)
  • Career progression with Grant Thornton (15%)

TalentEgg
We’re halfway through, TalentEgg-ers. Keep those questions coming!

Jayashree, a Commerce-Accounting major at the University of Alberta asks:
“What does it take to get a CPA Articling position at Grant Thornton?”

Comment From Blair – People and Culture Consultant @ Grant Thornton
Hi Jayashree – I know that it takes a strong and determined individual with a well-rounded skill set to meet the criterial of becoming a CPA Articling Student with GT. We are looking for students that are academically strong in additional proven abilities to handle other experiences whether that is apart-time job, extra-curricular actives, sports and/or volunteer work. Being able to handle multiple demands is crucial to being successful in handling the workload with CPA as well as the learning curve of starting a fill-time professional work experience at Grant Thornton. Lastly, in relation to our brand promise we are looking for hires to be more than an Accountant but to also to be an entrepreneurial leader and help growth the firm and our brand across Canada.

TalentEgg
Jason, an MBA (Accounting) graduate from Brock University asks:
“How can I get accounting firms to recruit me if I’m a new graduate?”

Comment From Blair – People and Culture Consultant @ Grant Thornton
Jason – Look for out-side the box opportunities at GT, often time non-CPA roles will be open for applicants outside of the usual campus recruitment periods, so this could be a way to ease yourself into the firm and later on move into a CPA Articling role. We often have internal movement (within both locations and cross-service lines), and truly want to grow our people in a mutually beneficial direction.

TalentEgg
Sam, a Business Administration (Accounting) major at Saint Francis Xavier University asks:
“How would you recommend starting your accounting career if you have a low GPA?”

Comment From Lis – Manager, People & Culture – Grant Thornton
Hi Sam! For those with a lower GPA, it can be more challenging. However, it may become even more important to attend networking events to get some time face to face to help potential see your personality and they might remember you in a positive light, and not just words and numbers on a piece of paper. That might help!

TalentEgg
Anand, an Accounting Bridging MBA graduate at York University asks:
“I am pursuing the York Accounting Bridging Program followed by a Masters Degree in Accounting with CPA part-time, and I also work as an AR Specialist at Wheels. How can I get into the Big 5 Audit firm under the CPA Advantage Program?”

Comment From Krista – Manager, Talent Attraction Operations @ Grant Thornton
Hi Anand, we are an approved training office who works very closely with CPA candidate to ensure the success of our students. Given the designations that you are working towards we do provide a tailored training program and support for individuals in the merging program followed by Master’s Degree.

TalentEgg
Rozen Sosnovsky asks:
“As student in my second year I’ve become more interested in giving back to the community, what are some initiatives GT is involved with (i.e. volunteering and or fund raisers) ?”

Comment From Lis – Manager, People & Culture – Grant Thornton
Hi Rozen, every office across Canada will offer different kinds of opportunities to volunteer and give back to the community. Community involvement is important to us, and some opportunities are unique to a specific location. But, we definitely enjoy giving back and doing what we can in our local communities! We are also proud of our “Grant Thornton Foundation” which helps provide funding to charities across Canada!

TalentEgg
dsouza_steph asks:
“What specifically do you look for in a cover letter?”

Comment From Poonam – People & Culture at Grant Thornton
Hi Steph, I would encourage you to not only focus on your practical experiences, but to focus on any extra-curricular activities, charities, or sports team you participate in. Grant Thornton is all about balance – and having a balanced cover letter (professionally, academically, volunteer, etc) really stands out. I would close your cover letter with what you are looking to gain from a potential experience with Grant Thornton.

TalentEgg
Peace, a Financial Planning major at Centennial College asks:
“Is there an opportunity for me to start a career in IT audit? I have a diploma in accounting and a degree in computer information systems. I am currently doing postgraduate certificate in financial planning.”

Comment From Krista – Manager, Talent Attraction Operations @ Grant Thornton
Hi Peace, with Grant Thornton being a full service firm who prides itself on being trusted business advisors to our clients, we offer job opportunities in many areas. The majority of our students join us as co-op students or new grads through our audit stream in Assurance. Not only do we consider students who are in Accounting programs; for some of these roles, we also look for candidates coming out of Finance, Science and Business Administration degree programs. In addition, we have many internal opportunities to work within Finance, Marketing, HR, Communications, IT to name a few!

TalentEgg
Brian, an MBA (Accounting) from the University of Waterloo asks:
“As a fresh graduate, I understand I have just missed the hiring process for the new full-time positions. Will there be any opportunities or will I have to wait for next year?”

Comment From Krista – Manager, Talent Attraction Operations @ Grant Thornton
Hi Brian, sometimes based on the requirements of the business we do post new graduate opportunities outside of the Fall hiring period. We would encourage you to visit our careers website at www.grantthornton.ca/careers and set up a job alert so you are automatically notified when new positions are posted.

TalentEgg
Alicia asks:
“How frequently do you hire at your company?”

Comment From Krista – Manager, Talent Attraction Operations @ Grant Thornton
Hi Alicia, being a mid-sized accounting firm we are constantly looking to recruit top talent! At the moment we have a number of open positions at the firm and constantly are posting new roles. Please be sure to visit our careers website at www.grantthornton.ca/careers and set up a job alert so you are automatically notified when a new position becomes available.

TalentEgg
Omar, an Accounting major at St. Mary’s University asks:
“How would owning a bookkeeping business affect my career at a firm? I understand that it might be a conflict of interest, but would it matter even if I am starting out as a junior accountant?“

Comment From Krista – Manager, Talent Attraction Operations @ Grant Thornton
Hi Omar, firm policy states that members of the firm should discuss their outside business interests with their Regional Managing Partner to determine that they are not incompatible with the interests of the Firm. These situations are handled on a case-by-case basis.

TalentEgg
Amy, a Public Accounting major at the University of Toronto asks:
“What is some of the training that Grant Thornton offers for its new staff accountants/associates? How does Grant Thornton prepare new grads for their CPA designation?”

Comment From Harvey-Senior Accountant in Assurance Services at Grant Thornton
Hi Amy, as a new hire at Grant Thornton, you will go through a structured training process along with all the other new hires for that period before you are thrown into the bullpen to start tackling your own files. The formal training is usually done in office by a team of senior staff at Grant Thornton. Your first day will most likely consist of receiving your company laptop, bag, note pads, pens…etc. You will be introduced to all the GT programs and they will walk you through setting up your profiles and all that fun stuff. Following that, you will exposed to formal file training where senior accounting staff will walk you through step-by-step how to complete a file from start to finish (this will usually take a couple days). After these first 3-4 days have completed, you will be introduced to your desk and your co-workers and start working on your very own first file. Apart from this training in your first week at the office, GT also does level training sessions where you will go to a location (somewhere in Canada) and meet the rest of your colleagues and go through a week long training session filled with events, dinners and presentations. As for your CPA designations, you will be provided with a mentor that will help you through any obstacles you have during your articling years. GT also financially support you in your goal to become a CPA by way of paying for your modules, exams and prep courses for the CFE.

TalentEgg
Victoria asks:
“How long does it normally take before we hear back from HR regarding our application? Will we get notice if we are not selected?”

Comment From Krista – Manager, Talent Attraction Operations @ Grant Thornton
Hi Victoria, our goal is to stay connected with candidates throughout all stages of the recruitment process. During high volume periods (such as fall campus recruiting) it may take the team a bit longer to connect back with all students. You will hear back from the team within an average of 1-2 weeks after submitting your application online. If you are not the successful candidate for a specific role, you will receive either an email or phone call from the Recruiter of that position.

TalentEgg
Clarissa, a Commerce major at Ryerson University asks:
“How do you evaluate success with your interns and co-ops?”

Comment From Poonam – People & Culture at Grant Thornton
Hi Clarissa, success during an internship/co-op is determined through evaluations: not only by the Performance Manager, but as well as the student. In addition to performance on engagements, we look to evaluate ability to learn new concepts, be adaptable and of course, cultural fit.

TalentEgg
Abdul, an Accounting and Financial Management major at the University of Waterloo asks:
“What do recruiters/employers look for in co-op students?”

Comment From Lis – Manager, People & Culture – Grant Thornton
Hi Abdul! We look for the same kind of traits in co op students, as well as articling students. As mentioned earlier, we look for well rounded people. It isn’t all about grades, or all about work experience. Ultimately, we want great people who will fit into our culture! We provide the same opportunities to our co op students as to our articling students too, and typically look for much the same traits.

TalentEgg
Kelvin, an Accounting Specialist major at the University of Toronto asks:
“Can you tell me about the CPA summer internship in Toronto?”

Comment From Poonam – People & Culture at Grant Thornton
Hi Kelvin, While we do not offer a standard Summer Internship program, we do offer a few summer internships based on business need. Very similar to our co-op programs, the internships offer an opportunity to assist the Assurance group with Audit file preparation, as well as mentorship opportunities from our senior team members.

TalentEgg
Alisha, a Business Administration major at the University of Guelph asks:
“What skills are you looking for when hiring summer accounting students?”

Comment From Blair – People and Culture Consultant @ Grant Thornton
Alisha – Foremost we are looking for students that are interested in becoming a CPA student once they have completed their university degree, as we find it’s mutually beneficial to use the co-op experience as a way to see if the firm is a fit on both sides. Furthermore we are looking for similar skills/attributes as we do in our CPA articling positions: well-rounded students that have more to bring to the table then just a strong academic background.

TalentEgg
We have time for a couple more questions!

Caroline asks:
“Do co-op students have a higher chance of getting jobs with the company after graduation?”

Comment From Harvey-Senior Accountant in Assurance Services at Grant Thornton
Hi Caroline, great question. As a co-op student at GT, it gives you and the firm an opportunity see how you work together. In most cases, yes, there will be a much higher chance of being re-hired once your university degree is completed and you’re looking for a full time position. In most cases, the firm will have a meeting with you before you leave your co-op term to make sure you were happy with your term and that you would like to come back and be a full time employee at GT. If all goes well, you will most likely be able to skip the big recruitment process next time and be offered a full time position after your co-op term is over. My guess is that you will love working at GT and definitely want to come back!

TalentEgg
Jacqueline, a Business Administration (Accounting) major at the University of Toronto asks:
“I noticed you had the same Accountant, Assurance job for New Grads and for Summer Term. Is there any difference between them other than the fact that they’re for either students or graduates?”

Comment From Krista – Manager, Talent Attraction Operations @ Grant Thornton
Hi Jacqueline, the current positions posted have very similar language as we are looking for similar candidates for both our co-op and new graduate opportunities. The main difference between these postings is the duration of the work time (i.e co-op vs. permanent).

TalentEgg
Daniela, a Business Administration major at Memorial University of Newfoundland asks:
“Can I still apply for a work term even if I’m not enrolled in a co-op program?”

Comment From Lis – Manager, People & Culture – Grant Thornton
Hi Daniela, yes, you can still apply to a co op position, even if you are not necessarily in a co op program!

TalentEgg
Francis, an Accounting major at Mount Allison University asks:
“Can you tell me about your internships?”

Comment From Blair – People and Culture Consultant @ Grant Thornton
Francis – Depending on what you are looking for a paid internship could follow the same route as a traditional co-op term. Often we are open to receiving resumes regarding our co-op positions from candidates that are in structured co-op programs as well as student’s looking for a summer student position. Currently Grant Thornton does not take on unpaid internships that are outside of an educational program requirements.

TalentEgg
Mojib, an Accounting major at the University of Guelph-Humber asks:
“How do first year associates adjust to their roles when starting at the firm?“

Comment From Harvey-Senior Accountant in Assurance Services at Grant Thornton
Hi Mojib, to be blunt, it is not a small adjustment. The expectations are high and you’re constantly being challenged, regardless of how easy University was for you. You will be required to learn how to use new programs, apply the knowledge you have gained your university degree and progress through your CPA module all at the same time. It is a big challenge, but it is what will shape you into the professional you want to be down the road. Make sure to have the expectation going into your first year that you will be constantly challenged. Be willing to learn and work hard. The role will start to become much more familiar are the months tick by. Make sure to ask as many questions as you possibly can. Everyone else around you will have been in their first year at some point and will understand the challenging position you’re in, never be afraid to ask a question, even directly to partners, they are always willing to lend a helping hand.

TalentEgg
Xia asks:
“How can I be successful with your company?”

Comment From Lis – Manager, People & Culture – Grant Thornton
Hi Xia, to be “successful” it’ll be a matter of learning the basics as you go through the CPA program, learning from engagement managers, and anyone else who you can learn from, applying what you’ve learned while in the CPA program, and applying what you’ve learned from one file to the next. Also, being able to take ownership of files, showing you can be proactive, and taking charge of your own career at GT!

TalentEgg
Yiling, a student at the University of British Columbia (Sauder School of Business) asks:
“How will our daily job be different from what we learned in school?”

Comment From Harvey-Senior Accountant in Assurance Services at Grant Thornton
Hi Yiling, deadlines. University teaches you how to meet deadlines (although they are known to be extended), in the real world, deadlines cannot always be extended. Having the work ethic to be willing to go the extra mile and keep clients happy will be a new challenge you will face. Being external client facing will also be a new challenge for many. Although the accounting profession can be stereotyped to be sitting at a desk crunching numbers all day, as you progress through your career, you will realize that you interact with clients on a daily basis, clients who depends on your professional advice for their business. Managing your time and schedule, this will be a very important factor in your continued success in the profession and as your work through your CPA modules. Making sure you set aside time to finish your CPA assignments each night will be key, leaving it to the Friday deadline will not be the route you want to go down. Managing your flies and clients will also be another challenge. Knowing which files are priorities and which can wait an extra week will be very important in client/partner satisfaction. Being in constant communication with your managers/partners should be second nature. Keeping track of every 6 minutes of your time (yes the rumors are true about tracking your time). As you enter the world of being a professional who is billable for every .1 of an hour of work they do, making sure to keep detailed track of the time you spend working on clients.

TalentEgg
Aaron, a Business Administration major at the University of Victoria asks:
“What does your ideal candidate look like?”

Comment From Krista – Manager, Talent Attraction Operations @ Grant Thornton
Hi Aaron, we are really looking for well-rounded individuals. Grades are not the only thing that is taken into consideration when we are reviewing a candidate’s profile but having a strong foundation is key. It’s also about showing the potential to be successful in helping our clients, and being the person they turn to when it comes to decision making. We want people who will be able to find out what’s important to clients one day, and make it important to them.

TalentEgg
Stephanie, an Administrative Studies (Accounting) major at York University asks:
“I really enjoy team building activities and I was wondering what team building activities you have at Grant Thornton.”

Comment From Harvey-Senior Accountant in Assurance Services at Grant Thornton
Hi Stephanie, good question, I also love team building activities! It’s hard to speak as to what each individual office will do for team building activities, but I can definitely let you know about some of the things we do here in Edmonton. My favorite event for GT in Edmonton is definitely the social happy hour that is held on the third Friday of every month. Everyone in the office gets together and there are presentations from the partners along with drinks and food. At some of the happy hours, we’ll do a theme party where we might setup specific games and challenges for co-workers to compete it, it is very fun! We also have a Social Committee that is dedicated to creating numerous social events throughout the year (bbqs, curling nights, skating….etc). On top of all these social events, there are also numerous training events where you get to meet your co-workers from other cities and provinces, which really allows you to extend your social and professional networks. There is definitely no short fall in team building and social events.

TalentEgg
And that’s a wrap! Thanks for your great questions, everyone.

Hopefully you’ve learned almost everything you need to know about starting your career with Grant Thornton.

A huge thank-you to our guests from Grant Thornton for their expertise and insights. Anything you’d like to say before we go?

Comment From Poonam – People & Culture at Grant Thornton
It was so great chatting with you all, we had a great time! Look forward to speaking with you all again!

Comment From Krista – Manager, Talent Attraction Operations @ Grant Thornton
Thanks everyone for taking the time to join today’s office hours session with TalentEgg! We hope to connect with many of you at campus events throughout the year. Be sure to follow our new Instagram account @GrantThorntonCareers to stay up to date with all the fun exciting things our team is doing all year long!

Comment From Blair – People and Culture Consultant @ Grant Thornton
Thank you to everyone for coming out today! I really enjoyed my time chatting and connecting with you. Feel free to connect with on LinkedIn and checkout GrantThornton.ca for more information on the firm. Cheers!

Comment From Lis – Manager, People & Culture – Grant Thornton
Thanks everyone for the great questions, it’s been a fun experience participating today, and I hope you learned a few new things about Grant Thornton! We look forward to connecting with you possibly in the future too!

Comment From Harvey-Senior Accountant in Assurance Services at Grant Thornton
Thanks everyone for attending this great event and to Talent Egg for hosting it. I hope you all got some great information that will help you in your recruitment process. I look forward to connecting with you all in the future. This was a great experience!

TalentEgg
Ready to explore Grant Thornton’s career opportunities? Click here to begin!

Thanks again, everyone. Have an egg-cellent day!

Comment From Omar Hassan:
“Just a thank you note for the GT legends and role models! Your valuable time with us students is extremely appreciated. We will stay in touch.”

Comment From dsouza_steph:
“Thank you Poonam, Krista, Harvey, Lis, and Blair for all of your helpful information!”

Want to work with Grant Thornton? Explore their amazing career opportunities here!

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