Trainee Profiles

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Calum Mitchell

I joined Buzzacott as an Audit Assistant in the Charity and Not-for-Profit team in January 2015, having previously graduated from the University of Birmingham with a degree in Economics with German.

During the recruitment process I was struck by how at ease I was made to feel during interviews, and this sentiment continued upon commencement of the role itself.

The three-year training contract period is divided between working with clients and attending college in order to progress through the ACA qualification. This formal education process provides technical knowledge and theory which proves useful in a wide range of professional contexts, and also adds variety to working life. Having the opportunity to gain work experience while also studying for the ACA has been incredibly valuable.

The team has a breadth of clients across the sector, ranging from international aid and development charities through to social enterprises, covering religious organisations and educational institutions between. This allows trainees to specialise once they have gained broad initial experience, and I have found that the warmth of the team itself is also echoed by the clients we work with.

Buzzacott is a firm with an inclusive, welcoming culture, and a genuine team spirit. As the firm is entirely based under one roof, the atmosphere is collaborative and we are easily able to seek information from other specialist teams when necessary. The social committee regularly organises events which allow us to develop relationships with colleagues we don’t directly work with.
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Pete Ratcliffe

I am a Graduate Trainee in the Corporate Tax team which I joined in October 2015. Since joining I have been involved in a number of different projects and worked for a wide range of clients. In fact, from day one I have been directly involved in preparing and filing tax returns as well as helping to solve clients’ tax issues.

The team is relatively small but has a great depth of knowledge, so I get the opportunity to work closely with other trainees, managers, directors and even partners. Everyone is approachable and happy to help; I always feel comfortable asking questions, no matter how daft. 

Regarding studies, all the trainees undertake the ATT and CTA qualifications. There is a lot of support from the other trainees and those who have qualified, so I am never short of someone to ask for help. It’s great that Buzzacott understand the importance of the exams and actually go out of their way to help us prepare.  

When applying I was attracted to Buzzacott because of the friendly yet professional atmosphere, and I wasn’t disappointed when I joined. I immediately felt like I was part of a tight-knit community and my time here has flown by. There are lots of opportunities to get to know the other members of the firm, be it at social events or even just at the afternoon tea run, so it hasn’t taken me long to get to know the majority of my floor and the wider company. 

I know the difficulties of choosing what kind of job and which companies to apply for, but Buzzacott made it easy for me from the first interview as I immediately felt welcome and I haven’t looked back since.
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Victoria Pearcey

I’m a second year trainee in the Financial planning team.  I went to Bournemouth University and studied Psychology. After graduating, I became aware of the graduate programme at Buzzacott. Seeing as I have always been interested in finance-related topics and was looking for a career where I could help others, I decided that this route was the one for me.

My study process has been extremely easy thanks to the support and advice from the managers. Not only have I had access to all of the study and revision materials needed, but I have also been offered one-to-one study sessions and, where possible, work related to my exams. 

I started with only three months’ experience elsewhere of work within a financial planning firm and very limited knowledge. A year later, not only have I passed five exams, but my confidence has grown tremendously. I now liaise directly with investment companies and clients, as well as taking on new projects and other firm-wide activities.

The best part of being in the financial planning team is that every day is different. Our clients range from high net worth individuals to companies and charities with each having different needs and requirements. As almost 80% of our clients are referrals from other teams, I get to work with a lot of people outside my team too. Everyone is really friendly, welcoming and always helpful. Together we are able to provide an all-round positive experience for our clients. People really demonstrate the values that the firm goes by.

In addition to client work, we are also lucky to have a social committee which provides various events throughout the year such as dinner & dance, bowling and quizzes. I was also lucky enough to be involved in presenting at our Annual Conference, speaking about our values, which was very rewarding.

Overall, it’s just a really good atmosphere, both in my team and the rest of the firm.
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Anna-Louise Shipley

I studied English at Loughborough University and was a little nervous about coming in from a non-financial background, but I have never felt at a disadvantage. In actual fact, I think my English degree has made me feel more valuable as I am always being asked little questions about grammar!

I knew Buzzacott had a great reputation and, as I expected, the way I was treated throughout the recruitment process, and the feel of the offices when I arrived, was very professional. However, I didn't expect the whole atmosphere to be quite so vibrant, friendly and young.

The Corporate team has a bit of a reputation for being very sociable. Our regular social events are a great way to get to know everyone in the team, from partners and directors to other graduates, on a more personal level. Knowing everyone personally means that you're never afraid to ask questions.

I wanted to work for a medium sized firm where I believe you have the opportunity to gain a wider range of experience than in large firms.

In my job, I have a good mix of being in and out of the office. In my client facing role I often have the opportunity to meet our clients' directors and financial directors which is a great way to learn about businesses at a higher level. Having the whole firm in one office people really know one another and talk face to face, rather than via email. I've been able to work with everyone from the chairman to new graduates.
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