Q&A with PwC’s Laura Hagan

  • PwC is one of the largest tech employers in NI. How many students are you looking to employ across the business in the coming 12 months? 

    Each year will differ depending onbusiness need. Our student target hires for this year in Northern Ireland is over 100 across all departments. It will include everything from our school and college leaver programmes, summer internships, and placement students, including hires for other projects where there is a business need. 

    Obviously, PwC is much more than an auditing business and has opportunities across many different divisions – can you tell us a bit about the range of roles you are looking to recruit for? 

    Yes of course as we’re so much more than an auditing business. Actually, we have really exciting opportunities across the entire business to suit a wide range of candidates and theircareer interests and aspirations. Theseinclude positions within Technology, Tax Deals, Consulting, and within our Operate business. 

    What are the various pathways available to students who are interested in working at PwC? 

    We have a whole host of opportunities for students to join us. These range from our Summer Internships where students get to experience what life at PwC is really like, our undergraduate work placement opportunities for students who need to complete a placement as part of their degree, and our school and college leaver opportunities straight from A-level. We also offer degree apprenticeship programmes. This option is ideal for students keen to continue their studies, and who also want to gain first-hand experience of, and working in a professional services environment. 

    Throughout the year we host many virtual and in-person events. The topics of which are varied, covering: insights into our different business areas, details of our programmes, as well as valuable hints and tips on our application process. All events include the opportunity to meet our people and ask any burning questions. A full description of all our initiatives and opportunities is available on our careers website.  

    What sort of opportunities exist for students who would like to explore an internship? 

    We offer a range of different internships which are a fantastic way for students to get a glimpse into the organisation and see what a career with us could look like. Our paid summer internships across different areas of our business range from four to six weeks.  We also offer an 11-month undergraduate work placement for those students who are required to undertake a placement year as part of their degree course.  

    What would you tell students who may not necessarily come from a STEM background?  

    At PwC we welcome applicants from all degree disciplines, in fact we encourage it. We have many joiners who come from a variety of backgrounds, all bringing with them different perspectives and valuable skill sets.  

    On our careers website, we have valuable online resources to help students navigate their career journey. Our Career Uncovered tool enables students to better understand the areas of our business they might be best suited to, while our Employability Hub offers extensive advice to any students going through an application process. As well as offering advice on wellbeing and the type of skills employers are looking for in a candidate. 

    Very often the business representatives at our events come from non-STEM backgrounds.This really helps those prospective students see that no matter what they are studying, they too can have a career with us, and how the skills and knowledge they already have are just the start.  

    What sort of career development programs can new PwC recruits expect? 

    When new starters join the business, they are all assigned a career coach and work buddy who will support them in their goals and career development through mentoring, regular catch-ups, and carefully outlined goal setting. Our online career development platform, Vantage is another online resource offering many e-learns and career development training. We actively support students’ continuous learning and development, and in a number of our roles, students can also gain professional qualifications. 

    PwC’s new Merchant Square office is one of the most impressive modern working spaces in Belfast – what features impressed you most? 

    It's definitely a fantastic office and a diverse workforce. Being right in the city center is a huge plus - we're close to all the attractions and it's a really dynamic working environment with lots of perks. One of the best features is our wellbeing area which is what we call a work-free zone where we really encourage all staff to visit to rest and unwind. There are weekly yoga and exercise classes as well as massages, reflexology, and physiotherapy. Psychologist and manicure appointments are also available.  

    About the author

    Aoife is a Sync NI writer with a previous background working in print, online and broadcast media. She has a keen interest in all things tech related. To connect with Aoife feel free to send her an email or connect on LinkedIn.

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