Secure a 2017 graduate scheme with one of the ‘Big 4’ before your final year even starts

So have I got your attention? I’m pretty sure the headline has peaked your interest. KPMG have teamed up with recruitment agency Sanctuary Graduates to allow you to do just this. And in graduate recruitment terms a rubicon has been crossed. Yes, this is the first instance I have come across of one of the big name graduate recruiters giving you the chance to apply to their grad scheme even before July. In their words:

Want to secure a 2017 Audit graduate scheme with one of the ‘Big 4’ before your final year even starts? Get ahead of the competition and apply now for KPMG’s Audit Graduate scheme, exclusively through Sanctuary Graduates. Follow the link below to upload your CV and we’ll be in touch to progress your application. You can choose from office locations across England and Scotland.

How to apply:
Upload your CV to: http://bit.ly/1TWo9WV using the referral code ‘DEPT’. Deadline is the 27th June 2016. Sanctuary Graduates will then be in touch to provide further information about the scheme and the company, and guide you through the KPMG recruitment process well before applications open to the general public in a few weeks’ time. Sanctuary Graduates offers a free service to all students.

Other important things to think about are as follows: Continue Reading


PwC remove their UCAS points criteria for graduate jobs

PwCHere at City Careers, we are always keeping an eye out for changes in recruitment practices. We have noticed that some graduate employers have started to be more flexible about their entry requirements, which has got to be good news for graduates. The latest of these is PwC who have removed their UCAS points criteria for graduate jobs. PwC have stated that they believed their old practice of requiring UCAS points resulted in a lack of diverse applications from graduates because this put people from poorer backgrounds at a disadvantage. Richard Irwin, Head of Student Recruitment at PwC, says: “We want to target bright, talented people and extend our career opportunities to untapped talent in wider pockets of society’. PwC has defended the new policy by asserting that it could “drive radical changes in the social mobility and diversity of the professional services industry.” Read more what PwC have to say here. Will be interesting to see how the other three in the Big Four respond, along with other key graduate recruiters…….




Change in recruitment practice for KPMG



  • CityCareers visited KPMG this month and learned that the firm is keen to recruit a wider range of graduates including those from  widening participation backgrounds. They have dropped their requirements from 320 UCAS points to 300  for graduate entry.   They are also willing to look at the broader picture e.g. disappointing A level results but a good degree result.
  • Audit  is seen by the firm as a good grounding for progression into their other services and KPMG are planning to increase intake. 
  • The firm are continuing to experience problems recruiting to regional offices (but have no problems recruiting to London).  There is also a growth in audit practice outside of London.
  • Some readers  might be interested to know (perhaps for interested siblings) that KPMG are also changing their recruitment expectations for their School leaver programme. They are  launching a new programme with lower requirements, additional to their current school leaver programme which will require BCC A level grades (current programme requires ABB).  The new programme does not include degree study but does involve studying for professional accountancy qualifications.





Why train with a medium sized accountancy firm?


brebners-220x102A perk of my job as a careers consultant at City is that occasionally, I am wined and dined in very nice settings. My latest foray was to the Annual Lunch for APA (Association of Practising Accountants) at the Chartered Accountants Hall in the City where I learned what it is like to train with a medium-sized firm. APA is a consortium of 15 medium-sized accountancy firms and I visited one of the firms beforehand. The list of member firms can be found here: http://www.apa-uk.co.uk/  I went to Brebners, on Shaftesbury Avenue and met the training partner and a trainee. Brebners offer an excellent opportunity for able students of any degree discipline. They have expertise in audit, accounting, taxation, financial services, insolvency, corporate and forensic work, solicitors accounts rules and expert witness.Be aware that just because the firms are smaller and less well-known than ‘the Big Four’ does not mean that entry requirements are low.  Guideline UCAS  points needed: 280-300 UCAS points, but check for each firm.

 What type of student would suit Brebners?

 Someone who wants  

  • a more personal approach to their training. Trainees will feel  that they are known  from day 1 in the firm, rather than a cog in the system. Trainees will be seen, known and appreciated. Trainees will be able to chat to partners in the kitchen, etc.
  • plenty of opportunity to work with clients and to work with a range of clients including small businesses and large with over 20m turnover per year.

Continue Reading


Guest Blog Post: City Alumna, Nancy O’Hare on working globally

Live the World, One Country at a Time

What has your career-path been: how did you get where you are today?

“I envisioned living overseas ever since my inaugural trip across the Atlantic at the impressionable age of 13. This nascent desire gained further traction throughout my undergraduate years and eventually attracted me towards the global business environment. Accordingly, I completed a 30-month Chartered Accountant programme with Deloitte Canada in 1999 and transferred to Australia to gain additional experience internationally. Financial advisory expertise is essential across several industries and remains a marketable attribute for the global finance professional.

Since leaving public practice with Deloitte, my career has principally focused upon the upstream oil and gas industry and spanned a broad spectrum of responsibilities within finance that includes corporate governance, financial reporting, taxation, commercial, budgeting, treasury and merger & acquisition activity.  As a recent graduate of the Executive MBA programme at Cass Business School with a 20-year blend of comprehensive management and advisory expertise, I consider myself privileged to have lived and worked across five continents that include such disparate countries as Australia, Switzerland, the Sultanate of Oman and Nigeria.”

What does your current role entail? What do you like most about your job?

Continue Reading


Guest Blog Post: Careers in the Financial Sector, by AllAboutGroup

City of LondonAll industries have their common misconceptions, but none more so than finance. For many people, the concept of working in finance immediately brings to mind an image of The Wolf of Wall Street, with shady investment bankers screaming down the phone while their lackeys run around doing all the legwork. In reality, however, finance incorporates as wide a range of careers as any other trade, with each profession bringing their own distinct talents to the industry. Financial corporations therefore need to hire employees from a broad base of skill sets and backgrounds by necessity, even requiring those who might not immediately appear to lend the relevant experience.

What is an actuary?

Continue Reading


Why choose BDO?

Recently, I hosted a presentation by 2 consultants from BDO – Tom Kelly and Ricky Shah, who were giving tips for City students about how to deliver presentations at graduate assessment centres. Although they gave useful advice,  what really stood out for me was how well they got on together and the friendship they had formed since meeting as new graduates at BDO. The impression they gave about their company  was very much about a working culture of friendliness as well as professionalism, together with  an excellent work life balance. I could now say a bit about why friendliness and happiness at work is so important, but it just sounds too cheesy, so I won’t!

Many City students focus on getting into the ‘Big 4’ and this has understandable appeal. But if what I’ve said about the firm appeals to you, then it would certainly be worth considering BDO as a potential employer. Also – even if  your A level results aren’t as strong as you would have liked, BDO could still be a possibility for you. Though they are the fifth largest professional services/accountancy firm, they are only asking for 280 UCAS points – that’s BBC. Maths and languages are always an advantage.

Each year, BDO offers 50 internships and 200 graduate opportunities, with 2 intakes a year. The career pathways on offer are audit, tax and advisory, which includes consultancy. For the consultancy pathway, graduates take the Certificate in Business Accounting, a CIMA (Chartered Institute of Management Accountants) qualification and Prince 2.  For audit, ACCA is taken. It is possible to gain experience in a wide range of sectors including business services, real estate/construction, leisure and hospitality, NGOs, retail, government services, healthcare and international projects. Read more about BDO here: http://www.bdograduaterecruitment.co.uk/Home





Career Opportunity for working on financial projects with a human dimension

If you like working with figures and would like to work on financial projects with a human dimension, you might like the sound of the Society of London Treasurers Graduate Scheme.  This well-established programme also offers a good work-life balance including generous holidays. It is one of the few grad schemes that will also accept a 2:2 degree from any degree background  –  GCSE Englsih and Maths at grade C are also required. The scheme brings together around 17 local authorities and other public services annually to recruit and train around 40 graduates  a year who want to pursue a career in public finance. It’s all about putting talented graduates through a secure, four year  programme that will form the first part of their journey towards senior management. The scheme also now recruits grads to work in Nottinghamshire and Cambridgeshire.

Through rotations, trainees gain exposure to every  element of local government finance, whilst attached to a specific local  authority. The scheme has been carefully designed to maximise potential  with work varying from key corporate processes to advising senior management  and challenging project initiatives. Continue Reading