I studied BSc (Hons) Natural Sciences at Durham University and achieved a 2:1 classification. My disability affects my walking and the use of my hands. I ‘write/type’ using Dragon voice recognition software and often use a wheelchair.
I joined PwC on a graduate training contract. The graduate programme involves working on client projects alongside studying for the ACA qualification.
During my time at Durham University, I acted as Junior Common Room Committees’ Treasurer for my college. This was a voluntary role that involved overseeing the work of the Treasurers of the various college committees, and also being a member of the JCR Finance Committee. I enjoyed this role so much that I decided I’d like to pursue a career in accountancy.
I’m currently a Senior Associate in the Audit Centre of Excellence. This is a relatively new business area at PwC that specialises in the audit of pensions and share-based payments. Day-to-day tasks include using a PwC bespoke accounting system to document information, speaking to clients via telephone/video calls, and working with colleagues in the wider Audit team. Work is predominantly done from a PwC office, but occasionally I will go to client sites.
My proudest achievement since starting work is that I passed all my ACA exams at the first attempt, including marks of 95% and 92%.
I’ve also worked hard to continue to support the inclusion of disabled people at PwC. A few years ago, I identified that although the PwC DAWN (Disability Awareness Network) was doing some fantastic work, there was limited presence in the regions. I founded and led a subgroup across the northern offices, known as DAWN North. This group was successful in bringing people together and holding a number of events. In March 2019 I was then appointed as National Co-chair of DAWN. In this role, I’ve helped to expand the network and create a sense of belonging amongst members.
This network covers the whole of PwC UK and aims to both raise awareness of disability in the workplace, and support members of the network. We regularly hold events and try to vary these between geographical location and subject matter. We also hold regular team meetings, have sub-groups in geographical regions, run a buddying scheme, and have an active Google+ community.
I think that having a disability has enhanced my problem solving skills, ability to think outside the box and resilience. As my disabilities affect the use of my hands, and therefore my ability to write, I feel I have enhanced memory skills. These strengths are all very useful to my role at PwC.
A high achieving disabled person once told me that disabled people have the potential to achieve just as much (if not more) than everyone else, they just have to do things in a different way. I’d encourage disabled students to consider this way of thinking throughout the recruitment process. Additionally, I’d encourage students to be open about assistive technology they usually use. I feel that disabled students should be able to use their assistive technology during recruitment processes, or an appropriate alternative should be offered e.g. scribe in place of voice recognition software. For appropriate arrangements to be made, you can contact the PwC recruitment team. Check out the web page here for more details.