Graduates play an incredibly important role at DSG. In our annual graduate training programme, university-leavers are given invaluable, hands-on, practical experience, working with clients to find pragmatic solutions from the get-go. In January 2021, we welcomed three new graduates to DSG’s audit team, and six months in, we spoke to them about their time at DSG so far.
What did you study and where?
Jo Caley: Mathematics with Statistics at the University of Southampton.
Alex Stampone: Civil and Structural Engineering at the University of Manchester.
Joel Frost: Accounting and Finance at Liverpool John Moores University.
Why did you choose DSG?
Joel: Prior to applying I had spoken to a friend who worked here and what really came through was that I would be able to gain experience in all aspects of an audit and that DSG really values the relationships it has with its clients. The other thing that stood out was the chance to work towards the ACA qualification and it was clear that DSG provides the necessary support throughout the studies.
Jo: I heard nothing but great things about DSG and it really stood out as a place that cares for its people. It was important to me to work at a firm where I’d be made to feel like a valued team member. It’s really important to find a culture where you feel you can thrive, and I’m pleased to say I have at DSG!
Alex: As an independent firm, DSG stood out to me as a place where I felt like I would be able to make a bigger impact. It has a strong reputation as the leading independent accounting and advisory firm in the North West which sold it as a great place to kick start my career and get some practical experience.
What has been your favourite thing about working at DSG so far?
Jo: Being able to learn new things week on week. Every audit I’ve worked on so far has been different to the last and I’ve even been able to get on site for a couple of clients. It feels like I’ve definitely embarked on a role that will provide constant mental stimulation!
Joel: Getting hands-on experience and seeing all the theory aspects I learned in my degree come to life in the day-to-day role.
Alex: I think just getting to know everyone that works for DSG. As we’ve been working from home most of the time, I haven’t had the opportunity to meet everyone, but those I have had the chance to speak to online have been so welcoming.
How has it been working from home? What has your team done to keep connected?
Alex: Working from home has been a challenge but everyone I have been in contact with has been extremely helpful in explaining anything I have been unsure about. There’s never a moment when you are stuck and have to guess how something’s done because the support is always there through Teams.
Joel: We’re all doing work that we’ve never done before but communication among the team has made it a lot easier through messaging and calls on Microsoft Teams.
Jo: The team at DSG have been really friendly and they’re all happy to provide support and help whenever I’ve needed it, encouraging me to ask questions. We have even had a couple of social events – an audit team quiz and a ‘Zoom’ wine tasting – so, even though I am still yet to meet a lot of my colleagues in person, I feel like I’m gradually getting to know everyone.
Has anything surprised you about your first five months?
Joel: I was initially surprised by the different stages and complexity required in completing an audit. Having only learned about the theoretical aspects of audit, actually applying that knowledge was different to how I imagined.
Jo: I surprised myself with how easily I’ve adapted to studying alongside a full-time job. Everything has been really well structured in terms of our courses with Kaplan –the online lessons are great and all learning materials are either online or posted.
Alex: Definitely the variation and quantity of work I have been exposed to in such a short time. DSG gives you the opportunity to get stuck in straight away, which is great as it means there are no repetitive days and I find the best way of learning how to do something is just by doing it.
What piece of advice would you give to anyone just starting out?
Jo: It’s important to approach everything with enthusiasm, even when a problem or piece of work seems daunting. Make sure to ask plenty of questions and try and learn from every task you undertake.
Joel: Don’t be afraid to ask someone for help when you need it. The initial settling in phase for me was made so much easier knowing the support is there if needed.
Alex: Take your time and take as much in as possible. Don’t rush yourself to understand everything straight away and ask as many questions as you can.
To learn more about our graduate scheme and apply, visit https://dsg.uk.com/careers/