Sokdaneth Long: Audit Associate at PwC
Featured Success Stories
August 04, 2020
I am studying Business Management at King’s College, London. I am in my final year and I applied for a position in the auditing department at PwC through Student Circus in around March. The whole process took around 6 weeks.
Before this I was studying in Singapore and I always wanted to come to the UK for University because I wanted to experience living overseas. Business management was a natural choice for me as both my parents are business owners. So I wanted to learn more. Why I applied for a job in auditing is because so far, I have a strong background in marketing. I realised that going forward I wouldn’t know much about anything apart from marketing and market research. So I chose auditing as that would give me insight into the work that goes into running a company.
Why the UK?
I find it a very interesting country to live in. I had been used to only the Asian culture so far and I wanted to experience what life is lie in the westerm hemisphere.
I actually did not know about the job market here because when I first joined the University, I wasn’t sure that I wanted to work here after completing my studies. It was only in my second year that I thought of applying for jobs.
It was actually a little daunting — learning about the VISA requirements and sponsorship requirements and the like.
“Discovering Student Circus was a very big ‘AHA’ moment for me”
Before Student Circus, I was just applying to separate companies.
The platform provides a very easy way to search for jobs without having to worry about whether the companies would sponsor a VISA because I already know that they will.
At the same time, I had seen a lot of my friends who came back with an offer, but were disappointed because the companies did not provide VISA sponsorship.
Job application process
I didn’t file a lot of job applications. PwC was my second or third application. So, I found that the process was much more enjoyable than I had expected. You know, I had heard all about how it is extremely competitive. But the whole process with PwC was very fun.
As a part of the application, I did two online tests. One was a workplace simulation. The second one was a psychometric test for which we had to download a gaming app.
A week later, I received an email invitation for an additional interview to be conducted over HireVue. I spent some time preparing for that. This part of the process was a little bit tricky. It was my first digital interview, so I didn’t really know what to expect. There were a few tough questions in there. I finished the digital interview thinking that maybe I am not going to make it through the second round.
Then, about a week and a half later, I was invited to an assessment centre which was conducted around mid-March before the eruption of the pandemic and the lockdown.
In the assessment centre, we were given two group assignments wherein we had to build a strategy for the business case study. Another part involved case analysis. THis was followed by one final interview at the end.
And then, I received the offer the next day.
Preparing for the hiring process
I think, for the tests, it is important to give yourself some time to finish these tests. Do not rush them. They are not necessarily difficult; you just have to be calm during the process.
For the digital interview and assessment centers, what helped me was that I did a lot of research on PwC’s company values. It gave me a much better understanding of what they were looking for. I could then tailor my CV and my responses to their requirements.
Most importantly, in the assessment centers, it is important to keep your cool. It is not as scary and tricky as everyone makes it out to be. Even the other candidates who were there with me weren’t competitive — they were just team members.
Timelines and resources
I honestly started applying quite late — I applied in march whereas I should have started applying in September. So Student Circus was great for me because I now didn’t have to go through the process of filtering and figuring out whether a company would sponsor me. So it saved me a lot of time that way.
I have accepted the job offer and I have been told to expect an email around June regarding the VISA formalities; I have been told not to worry about it. I would formally join them in September.
As for my peers who are international students, I see that some are able to bag jobs in the Big 4, in investment banks etc. But those with a degree in the arts are finding it harder to find a job with a company that does VISA sponsorship.
Apply early. Do research on the company’s values, know what they are looking for and don’t be nervous.