Lizzie Kelk: Recruitment Assistant Manager – MHA

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

We are opening for applications on 2nd October, we will have a small number of opportunities starting in January 2024, but the majority of our graduate and apprentice roles will start in September 2024.

Most graduate and apprentice employers open for applications in Autumn term for a start the following September so make sure you don’t miss out! 

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

We have trainee roles in Audit, Accounts and Tax for apprentices and graduates, you will have full study support to complete professional qualifications and become a chartered accountant or tax advisor, as well as gaining hands on experience from day one.

It’s not just about numbers, we work closely with our clients to understand their business needs to the softer skills are also really important like relationship building, collaboration and creative thinking.

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

All of our opportunities are advertised online.  You should prepare by researching the firm, our culture and values and the role you are applying for so you can demonstrate your motivations on the application form.

The process also includes psychometric tests, an assessment centre and interview, there’s lots of advice online to help you prepare for these and we will be posting some hints and tips on our MHA social media channels too!

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

Showcase your experience and how it aligns with the values of the firm and the skills needed for the role, don’t worry if you haven’t had any relevant work experience, think about other times you have worked in teams, or demonstrated certain skills. We also want to see that you have done some research and you are enthusiastic about an opportunity with MHA!

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

LinkedIn is a great tool for networking and following companies that you might be interested in. It’s also a good way to keep informed on any events that might help you to learn more and explore the different career paths available. We advertise any virtual and face to face careers evening on our page.

​I would advise setting up a profile and starting to connect with people in the sector so you can find out more about what it’s like. Ask questions!

Are there any student success stories you can share?

The majority of our students are promoted within their first year of joining us. We have a clear pathway of progression, so it is really achievable to move in to management and beyond once qualified too.  Some of our Partners at MHA started with us a trainee!

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

Do your research and makes sure you have read the information you have been sent thoroughly in case there is anything you need to prepare in advance of the day. Some schools and universities offer mock assessment centre and interview sessions, which are great to help you prepare.

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

The more prepared you are, the less nervous you will feel, give yourself plenty of time to get to where you need to be (or make sure everything is working if its virtual). You could always reach out to the recruitment team for a chat beforehand to calm your nerves, here at MHA we like to make sure candidates feel at ease so they can be the best version of themselves.

What differentiates a strong candidate from their peers?

Candidates with the right attitude and enthusiasm towards the role and the firm really stands out. Our values and culture are important to us, and we want to see candidates demonstrate them throughout the process. Show us that you have done your research, be engaged in the process and ask questions.

What is your top tip for a group assessment?

You must actively contribute in the exercise but always makes sure you include quieter members, we are looking for good collaboration and teamwork!

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

We have two entry routes; you can join us as an apprentice (after A levels or equivalent) or as a graduate.  As an Audit or Accounts apprentice you will study AAT before moving on to ACA or ACCA. As a graduate you will study ACA or ACCA when you join.  If you join as Tax trainee, you will study ATT and CTA qualifications.

What advice would you give students who are unsure of the entry pathway that is best for them? E.g. whether they want to take an apprenticeship or go to university

There is no right or wrong way, so it’s really up to individual preference. If you want to pursue a career path in accountancy then both routes will get you to that end goal, and the same opportunities will be open to you.  We will be running Q&A webinars in the Autumn with our apprentices and graduates so this is the perfect opportunity to explore which pathway might suit you best.

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 are assigned mentors and buddies to support them through their studies, they will be part way through their qualifications, or approaching qualification so they have been in your shoes! At MHA, you will join with a cohort of trainees and start your training together so you will have that peer support too.