Within two weeks of graduating from the University of St Andrews, I joined Mercer & Hole and entered the working world.
Having studied Mathematics at university I was looking for a diverse job role which combined numbers and problem solving. I was also keen to pursue a career which offered direct client contact and the opportunity to obtain a professional qualification. Tax seemed to fit the bill perfectly!
My main reason for choosing Mercer & Hole was their status as a top 50 (now top 40) accountancy firm and top 25 tax firm. I have now been at Mercer & Hole for over four years and have been exposed to a wide variety of work, giving me the basis of a broad tax knowledge.
When I first started I was allocated a mentor who guided me through my first year. She was also on the graduate scheme which meant I was comfortable to go to her for help and advice. After my first year, I was given my own client portfolio and was responsible for managing my workload, ensuring all internal and external deadlines were met. Whilst this early responsibility was slightly daunting, the support network at Mercer & Hole made the increased responsibility very manageable.
I completed the graduate training programme in July 2011 and in April 2012 I was promoted to Assistant Manager. I now work directly for a tax partner on approximately 75 clients and continue to be the casehandler on another 100. My day-to-day work includes preparing and reviewing tax returns, liaising with HMRC, corresponding with clients, and reading and interpreting tax legislation. From time-to-time I also work with tax partners on more complex matters, such as tax planning.
The professional exams have been a big part of my time at Mercer & Hole and I became a Chartered Tax Advisor in January 2012. Whilst I would be lying if I said the exams are easy, the help and support I received whilst preparing for them made a big difference.
Mercer & Hole promotes a good work-life balance and when I’m not working I enjoy spending time with my friends and going to new places in and around London. I also enjoy travelling further afield, having picked up the travel bug during a gap year taken prior to university.
All in all, I would highly recommend the Mercer & Hole graduate scheme. It provides a great support network and I can’t believe how much I have learnt in just four years. Whilst hard work is required, it definitely pays off.