Charlotte Wilsdon: Senior Early Talent Recruitment Advisor – ​Moore Kingston Smith

What are the upcoming applications openings and opportunities that students should be aware of post results week?

Applications for our March 2024 programmes are open until October 30th, with applications for our September 2024 programmes opening on Friday 1st September.

Could you share some information on the types of opportunities available?

We have opportunities within in our Audit and Accounts Teams, on either a Level 4 AAT Apprenticeship or a Level 7 ACA Apprenticeship. We also have opportunities in our Private Client Tax Team on an ATT/CTA Programme, or in our Corporate and Business Tax Teams on an ACA/CTA Programme. This December, we will also open applications for our Summer Internship and 1 Year Placement positions for current university students.

How do students apply for the opportunities and how should they prepare?

Students should apply for any of our Early Talent programmes on our careers page, completing an application form which is used to assess skill and potential, as opposed to experience. They should prepare by researching Moore Kingston Smith and the programme which they’re applying for, as well as considering what their key strengths are and how they have and could continue to develop those.

What advice would you give students to help them stand out in their applications?

Read the question properly and ensure you’re giving a well-structured response which directly answers the question. Proofread your answers to check for spelling and grammar errors, as written communication is key for most roles.

What advice would you give to students starting out on their early career journey and exploring opportunities?

Get to understand what you want and need from a career and employer! Do your research on the firm and role and consider whether their values and office culture align with your ideal environment, consider whether the role provides you with the development opportunities you want.

What is your number one tip for a young person when preparing for an assessment centre/interview?

Do your research! Ensure you understand the role you’re applying for and what skills are important. Ensure you have researched the firm you’re applying to – they want to see your enthusiasm and commitment.

What advice would you give to a young person to overcome nerves on the day of an assessment centre/interview?

Take your time when answering questions, breathe! If you need the interviewer to repeat or rephrase a question, just ask – they’re not trying to catch you out!

What differentiates a strong candidate from their peers?

A great candidate is one who understands the role and has clearly researched us as a firm, they can explain why it is the right role and employer for them – this demonstrates they are genuinely enthusiastic about the opportunity and that they have taken the time to properly prepare.

What is your top tip for a group assessment?

One skill we look at in our group assessment is initiative and drive. This doesn’t mean you need to be the loudest person in the group, but you should be contributing, helping drive decisions and adding structure (whether that be through timing or taking notes etc) and don’t be scared to challenge the status quo or disagree – done in the right way, this is a valuable skill!

What are the different entry routes students could take to get into a career in accountancy?

Our Level 4 Apprenticeships typically attract students looking to pursue a career straight from college/sixth form and so it does not require a degree, though we have also had very successful trainees join this programme when returning to work after extended time off, or those who might be changing careers, looking to reskill.

Our Level 7 Apprenticeships do require a degree, so typically attract those finishing university, but we have also had successful trainees on this programme that joined sometime after the completion of their degree.

We also have opportunities for those looking to gain work experience during Year 12 or 13 (through our Virtual Work Experience programme) or during university (through a Summer Internship or 1 Year Placement).

What advice would you give students who are unsure of the entry pathway that is best for them?

The power of networking! One of the best ways to learn about career pathways and entry routes is through asking questions, whether that be on webinars, LinkedIn, friends/family etc.

What kind of support/mentoring do companies typically offer to students completing their exams depending on which early careers programme they are on?

Our trainees receive support through their Buddy, Training Manager, Training Partner, Early Talent Team and their Apprenticeship Learning Coach!