Posted: 09 Feb. 2021 5 min. read

Apprenticeships – Forging ahead with a career in finance

To mark National Apprenticeship Week, Morwenna Gibbs, an executive in the corporate finance advisory team, shares the decision-making that led her to Deloitte’s BrightStart apprenticeship programme to start her career in finance.

After finishing my A-Levels, I was keen to continue learning and gain another qualification. I knew I wanted to work in finance, but I didn’t think doing a degree in accounting or finance would give me the same level of experience that working in the industry would.

I did briefly consider university as I was quite academic at school, but I thought I would much prefer the hands on experience an apprenticeship offered alongside studying for professional qualifications, rather than purely studying. Plus I didn’t really want to end up with a student loan!

I first heard about Deloitte’s BrightStart higher apprenticeship programme from an acquaintance who’d left school the year before me and who’d joined the firm as a BrightStart in Consulting. I then did a lot of online research and noticed that the firm also offered apprenticeships in other service lines including Audit, Tax and Financial Advisory.

Deloitte’s apprenticeship stood out to me as it offered the opportunity to work towards the ACA qualifications without needing to do an accounting degree first. Some other school leaver schemes I looked at made this a requirement, which would mean that it take six or more years before I became qualified.

The great thing about Deloitte’s BrightStart scheme, which particularly attracted to me, is that it’s the same duration as a degree course, and at the end I’ll have gained the ACA qualification in accounting, plus will also have four years of great experience of working in finance as well.

I decided to apply to Deloitte’s programme, especially because of the things I had learned when attending careers fairs and from other people who had gone onto the BrightStart scheme.  They’d mentioned how welcoming and friendly their colleagues at Deloitte were, and how many opportunities that had opened to them via the scheme.

Not only that, I also heard that people at Deloitte had a reputation for producing high quality work. I had even read about several of the companies that Deloitte advised or worked with and they seemed very varied in business size and industry. This part really appealed to me and I thought it would be a great place to start my career, experience first-hand working with different clients and learning from skilled teams.

When I applied for the BrightStart apprenticeship, I initially chose audit as my area of the business for a number of reasons. Audit clients are generally large companies and the role appeared to be very much numbers focussed and analytical, which I liked the sound of, and I’d also be working with large teams of people, a lot of whom were of a similar age as me. This seemed a great fit as it could replicate the ‘uni experience’ of making friends in a new city. I started at Deloitte as an apprentice in audit and worked in this area of the business for a year.  I then realised that I would prefer a mix of analytical and more commercially focussed work, such as speaking with potential acquirers for a business, helping with business planning etc., so I moved into financial advisory to finish my apprenticeship.

I’m now three and a half years into my four-year apprenticeship and am an executive in the South West & Wales corporate finance advisory team.  The team and I advise businesses on all elements of transactions (i.e. selling or acquiring a business, mergers and JVs), as well as transaction planning which includes advising businesses on their business plans and fund raising plans. I have completed 14 out of the 15 ACA exams and once I qualify, I will be a Chartered Accountant.

The theme for National Apprenticeship Week 2021 is “Build the Future”.

Deloitte is a supporter of National Apprenticeship Week and by sharing our stories, we would like to encourage other employers to consider how apprenticeships can help individuals to develop the skills and knowledge required for a rewarding career, and at the same time help them build a workforce ready for the future.

#NAW2021 #BuildTheFuture

Explore Deloitte’s virtual Spring careers festival, a programme of virtual events that potential applicants can join, as well as parents, teachers and careers advisors.  These range from discovery sessions, where people can chat online with our student recruitment team or current apprentices, skills workshops as well as ‘Meet Deloitte’ sessions.

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