08 Feb 2021

Commencing into an ‘average’ day on the PwC apprenticeship scheme

Josie Hedges, PwC's Tax Apprentice explores her life as an apprentice.

On the 7 September 2020 I rolled out of bed; apprehensive, excited, nervous, for the first day of my new job at PwC. I was starting my career as a Tax Apprentice studying towards the ATT exams. Previously, I had exhausted an extended summer holiday from finishing sixth form on the 20th March 2020, the final day; when pubs, bars and restaurants closed for the first time; to now step into the professional world of work. However, the usual early morning rush hour train journeys were a thing I wouldn’t quite experience on an ‘average’ day as a PwC apprentice in 2020/21. Fortunately, my dad owns a set of small offices around the corner and converted one into my own mini office (‘suite’). So as I rolled out of bed on the 7th September I did have a small journey to ‘work’!

As one of two Higher Apprenticeship hires into the Reward and Employment (R&E) team this year at PwC, I feel privileged to have the opportunity. Many apprenticeships were retracted this year. From the outset, induction and training was all virtual, and this has of course continued to college and internal / external engagements. The teams worked very hard to get me involved and my first few weeks consisted of coffee catch ups with every partner, director, manager and associate in R&E. Therefore, as months progressed, I have been able to get involved in a wide range of work within many different client teams, including; the reward, employment tax and equity space. Employment tax projects in the current environment are ever changing, and I have been involved on several CJRS, IR35 and and National Minimum Wage projects concerning recent regulatory changes. My general day (if on my rotational month) consists of checking several Financial Service websites, twice a day (11am + 2pm) for relevant Regulatory changes which we, as tax advisors, need to update our clients on. However, the majority of work I am currently involved with, is in the Equity area of R&E. I am part of several client teams where I calculate and deliver reports on withholding / reporting amounts for mobile employees when they exercise Share plans.

Starting my apprenticeship journey at PwC during Covid19, has been different, but brought to the foreground the importance of building internal networks and staying connected. An average day ‘in the office’ includes many more team catch up and virtual client calls. Everyone is willing to help! I have now been working for 5 months and am still as apprehensive about my actual first day; the full experience of being in the inclusive, vibrate, office environment that I’ve been told so much about. This year joining the school leavers program will be like none other.

What led me to PwC

For me, university was never an option I’d even considered. I didn’t know what I wanted to do, I just knew I was driven and hard working. I studied at a grammar school for sixth form and took Maths, Economics, Biology and Politics for A levels. My sixth form circulated the advertisement of apprenticeship places at PwC, as an alternative to university and I was the only one from my year to apply. I was never the cleverest or had the highest grades, and suffered with dyslexia mainly affecting my English. Yet PwC seemed inviting; its flexi working environment, inclusivity, range of people and opportunities of progression gave huge scope for my future career. I got through to the summer intern week and enjoyed the company and work so much I knew that PwC was for me. As well as being an apprentice at PwC I also still work part time at my local dance school (insta: westerndancecentre) and compete internationally in ballroom dancing (insta: josie_hedgesx).

Building blocks from PwC

From obtaining an apprenticeship at PwC, it has given me such a huge opportunity for progression. The resources, networks and training are endless in huge multinational companies. I hope to progress throughout the company once I have completed my apprenticeship, to expand my knowledge in a range of areas which PwC specialise in. There is also the opportunity available to travel abroad to partner PwC offices, learn other cultures and share understanding. I want to build my own blocks of skills from soft communication skills, to professional discipline, tax technical knowledge and software skills like Alteryx. In several years, I have the ambition to become a manager.