One of the biggest factors in hatching a great career is finding the right fit.
Most professional services firms can offer you the chance to work with a variety of clients and industries – but each one has their own unique culture. Each year, Grant Thornton’s supportive and opportunity-filled work environment attracts many students and new grads to the firm.
If you’re an aspiring business professional, Grant Thornton might be the perfect place to start your career journey. Read on to learn more!
For new grads Alex, Katie, and Tori, Grant Thornton’s thriving workplace culture was one of the major reasons why they chose to work at the company.
“Before applying, I had spoken to a few people who described the work environment at Grant Thornton,” says Alex. “All of them said it was a place where they worked hard, but also had a lot of fun.”
“I originally wanted to work at Grant Thornton as a child, as my father had worked there while he completed his CA designation,” says Katie. When she decided to pursue an education in accounting and began researching the different firms, she says the encouraging, fun-loving, and hard working culture set Grant Thornton apart.
Both Alex and Tori first joined the team as summer co-op students, where they got the chance to experience the culture firsthand.
For Tori, she was eager to gain experience before she graduated from St. Mary’s University. While searching for the perfect co-op role, she came across Grant Thornton’s company website. She was instantly attracted to their student opportunities and their attitude towards young aspiring professionals.
“Based on the research I did, I felt like Grant Thornton had an awesome company culture,” says Tori. “It seemed very positive, inviting, and diverse. Now that I’ve experienced it, I would say I was right. We definitely work hard, but we also know how to have a lot of fun!”
From his time at the company, Alex confirms that the culture is all it’s cracked up to be and more. Because Grant Thornton people work so closely together, the organization puts a lot of effort into maintaining that positive dynamic between teammates.
“Grant Thornton has many different social occasions – from celebrating successful exam writers to events such as corporate dragon boating in the summer,” says Alex. “Everyone here seems to enjoy coming to work because of the people they get to work with.”
When the opportunity for a full-time position came around, both Tori and Alex jumped at the chance. “I knew that it would be a fantastic place to work, but also a great place of support for me as I worked towards my CPA designation,” says Alex.
Life at Grant Thornton
Katie started at Grant Thornton in January 2015. As a U.S. Tax Analyst, she is responsible for the preparation of clients’ Canadian and U.S. income tax returns and various applicable schedules necessary to ensure compliance with both the Canada Revenue Agency and the Internal Revenue Services.
“When I first applied, my impressions were that Grant Thornton was very results-focused and supportive of their employees’ education,” says Katie. “After working here for almost one year, I can confirm that their culture takes it a step further by ensuring every accomplishment is celebrated and encouraged.”
In fact, the company’s commitment to professional development for its employees is one of the main reasons she was selected for the CPA program back in September.
“Originally I was hired simply as an analyst and not as a CPA student,” says Katie. “However, I expressed my interest in attaining my designation, so the firm enrolled me in the program.”
The “learning culture” at Grant Thornton is something that prospective applicants might not be aware of, but it’s something that all three new grads have benefited from tremendously. In order to maximize their benefit from this culture, Tori says students must remain curious and keep an open line of communication with the people they work with.
“New students are encouraged to put their hands up, and ask as many questions as they need,” explains Tori. “There is also lots of training offered throughout the year for various things to further your professional development within the firm.”
Currently, Alex and Tori work as accountants in the Assurance department. Their responsibilities involve auditing client financial statements, completing tax returns, and assisting clients with any business related issues they may be experiencing. Alex says that he’s experienced a lot of new things since he first started as a co-op student, and that Grant Thornton provided more than enough resources for him to become successful in his role.
“The supportive culture here has helped me both during my involvement in the CPA program and my current day-to-day work life,” says Alex. “Everyone wants you to grow as a professional and they’ll go out of their way to help you succeed.”
Want to hatch a career at Grant Thornton? You need to have these key skills and qualities:
- Time management. “Working and being in the CPA program is challenging, therefore students must be willing to work hard to balance both,” says Tori.
- Strong work ethic. “The learning curve here can be difficult to grasp at first,” says Alex. “Candidates must be able to learn both at work and in the program.”
- Humility.“You need to be able to admit when you need help,” says Katie. “Asking questions will help you improve your knowledge, and provide the best service possible to your clients.”
- Well-rounded. “Grant Thornton professionals are not just people who were successful in school,” says Alex. “They also have other experiences and aspects to their lives.”
Finding success with Grant Thornton
Not sure if you’ll fit in with Grant Thornton’s culture? Go straight to the source. Attending networking events and information sessions will give you the chance to talk to firm representatives directly and learn about the firm’s culture.
“These events are where I started some of my first personal relationships here at Grant Thornton,” says Alex.
Katie adds, “My favourite part about working for Grant Thornton is that everyone is open to answering questions and helping each other.”
Prospective applicants can also take advantage of the “contact us” section on the company’s website. The Grant Thornton team is always open to communicating with promising young professionals who take the initiative to reach out to them.
“Students can choose an area of the firm they are interested in, and learn about the people at each office who specialize in that area,” says Tori. From there, she says that students can contact any of the names generated by the directory with questions.
Newly hired students at Grant Thornton should aim to get involved with different activities to build strong professional relationships. From volunteering opportunities to professional functions, there are a variety of options available for students and grads looking to network and make lasting connections.
“Grant Thornton is an amazing place to start your career,” says Alex. “I love the work that I get to do, but it’s the people that I get to work with that is ultimately why I chose to work at Grant Thornton.”