Here’s How Grant Thornton Sets New Grads Up For Success


Ready to get your career started? Egg-cellent!

But before you can get to work, you need to find the right place for you. If your ideal position comes with a supportive culture, training and mentorship programs, and opportunities for growth and advancement, then look no further than Grant Thornton. This award-winning professional services firm provides audit, tax and advisory services to clients across Canada and is well-known for its career-hatching opportunities.

To get the scoop on what makes Grant Thornton the perfect place for entry-level professionals, we spoke to some eggs-perts on the subject. Read on to learn more about how Grant Thornton sets new grads up for success!

Meet Lis Swyripa

Lis Swyripa
People and Culture Manager
Grant Thornton LLP

As a People and Culture Manager at Grant Thornton, Lis is often the first point of contact for new hires at the company. For over 7 years, she’s been committed to providing the best experiences possible for Grant Thornton people – from new students to partners and everyone in between.

“I remember when I came across the position back in the day and thinking what a great opportunity it sounded like,” says Lis. “I never thought I’d be here for as long as I have been, but the role changed and evolved from when I first started. I found myself continually being provided with interesting things that grew my career! “

Her role today is quite multifaceted. Depending on the time of year, she can go from coordinating a campus recruitment event, to assessing candidates, to working with her team to help them learn and improve. From application to hiring, Lis aims to take the often stressful process of recruitment and turn it into a positive experience students will remember.

“I always smile when I hear from interviewees who say they’ve never laughed so much in an interview before,” says Lis. “We really try our best to make people feel at ease.”

Lis’s tips for students and new grads:
  • Be yourself. Recruiters want to learn about you, not just your resume or academic record. Don’t be afraid to show a little personality!
  • Learn about the culture. You’ll be spending a lot of time at work, so it’s important to find out if a place will be a good fit for you.
  • Go to as many networking events as possible. It will give Grant Thornton reps the opportunity to meet you in person, and help you become more than just a name on a resume!

Meet Geoff Hansen

Geoff Hansen
Partner, Assurance and Business Advisory Services
Grant Thornton LLP

For 14 years, Geoff Hansen has been a dedicated member of the Grant Thornton team. Now as a partner at the firm, his role within the company continues to expand and evolve.

“My role has many aspects but at a high level, it involves two fairly basic responsibilities,” says Geoff.

He says the first is to run the business itself and ensure they employ the right number of quality people to keep the business growing and thriving. His second responsibility is to engage with clients and bring them creative and tailored ideas for their businesses year over year.

“Grant Thornton was a great firm when I started in 2002 as I was able to get opportunities in a variety of industries and take on significant levels of responsibility as I grew as a professional,” says Geoff. “This still holds true today and has only gotten better.”

Meet Harvey Duhra

Harvey Duhra
Senior Accountant, Assurance Services
Grant Thornton LLP

Harvey Duhra has worked with Grant Thornton for two years and is currently a Senior Accountant in the Assurance Services department. In this role, Harvey is responsible for providing accounting, audit, tax, and advisory services to various clients.

“I like to think of my role as a business advisor,” says Harvey. “I work with companies of varying sizes, anywhere from small private mom-and-pop shops to large international public companies.”

A typical day for Harvey is filled with client file work such as completing financial statements, and meetings with his Grant Thornton colleagues. However, he often works outside of the office, visiting his clients’ workplaces to complete audits and reviews.

“Being out at the client’s office can be an interesting experience,” says Harvey. “You get the chance to meet many new people and extend your professional network, all while gaining a deeper understanding of your client’s business and industry.”

Learning and Growing

From day one, Grant Thornton supports its employees’ development through eggs-tensive training and mentorship programs.

“When a new articling student starts with us, they’ll go through an orientation day,” says Lis. “This is when they will learn more about the company’s policies, offices, and more key information. After that, there are a few additional days that include training on how to do a client file/job and often some job shadowing.”

Having only started at the firm a few years ago, Harvey clearly remembers his time as a new hire. While his transition into his new position was relatively smooth, he says one of his biggest initial challenges was learning how to keep track of his time.

“As you enter the professional industry, your hours become chargeable to the clients you work on and it is very important to keep organized and allocate your daily time accordingly,” he explains.

Luckily, the in-depth training process Grant Thornton offered prepared him well for navigating his new role. Grant Thornton students are also assigned a “buddy” that helps walk them through their first assignments and answer any questions. They work with their People Manager to talk about the direction of their career, set annual goals to drive their short-term targets, and set longer 3-5 year goals that will shape their career with the firm.

“My dedicated People Manager is someone who I meet with routinely and go through any obstacles and hurdles I may be currently facing at work or in general,” says Harvey. “We sit down and work out a plan on how to overcome these challenges.”

In addition, Grant Thornton has “level” training that is provided to students as they rise through the ranks of the company. Through these courses, students not only get the chance to increase their knowledge and gain valuable skills, they are also able to connect with their peers from across Canada and establish long-lasting professional relationships.

“Our people truly are what set our firm up for success,” says Geoff. “We employ great people and they, in turn, help launch the careers of the next generation of great people. As long as this cycle continues, our firm is only going to get better and better.”

Advice and Insights

Making the leap from classroom to career can be challenging for many students and new grads, but the “opportunity packed” culture at Grant Thornton makes the transition a lot smoother.

“Our firm has had great success over recent years and it comes from a shift in our thinking: if we make our people a priority, give them opportunities to grow, and pick them up when they fall, they will, in turn, be more engaged and committed to their careers,” says Geoff.

Harvey is proof that this shift is working. In just a few short years, he has more than tripled his professional network, completed a CPA program, and gained a wide range of valuable skills.

“During my time at the company, I have built many positive relationships with a vast variety of people,” says Harvey. “I would like to take this Grant Thornton train as far as it goes!”

From the educational opportunities to the supportive work environment, it’s easy to see why Grant Thornton is such an egg-cellent place for new grads to hatch a career. Even though the initial learning curve can seem steep at first, students should feel confident knowing they have all the tools they need to be successful.

“Grant Thornton has been a ‘training office’ for many many years,” says Lis. “Everyone remembers what it was like to be a brand new articling or co-op student! We understand that there is a lot to learn, and provide as much support as possible.”

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