What was the application process like?
Comprising an online application, telephone interview and assessment day, the application process is well structured, clear and supportive. Of course academics are important, however, the firm are interested in understanding the full range of skills you have to offer.
During the process you have contact with a variety of people: HR, partners, managers and current trainees, which means the application process is a great opportunity to ask any questions. They key thing when applying is to make sure you understand your motivations for wanting to pursue a career in tax and to be ready to demonstrate that you understand what the role entails.
What do you like about the Mercer & Hole Graduate Scheme?
My favourite thing about the Graduate Scheme is the structure and support, which demonstrates the commitment the firm have made to investing in trainees. From the outset there is a dedicated training manager (who also trained at the firm), who is responsible for guiding you through all aspects of trainee life; whether this be in relation to work in the office, exams or simply coping with striking a balance.
Aims and goals are clearly defined and tailored specifically to the skills of a trainee with your progress toward these reviewed regularly. This allows you to understand your strengths and weaknesses and to accurately set goals for the future. It also makes asking for help easy!
How much responsibility do you have?
At Mercer & Hole you are entrusted with a range of responsibilities at every level of your development. As a tax trainee you take on casehandler responsibility for your own portfolio of clients encouraging early ownership and nurturing the development of client relationships from the outset.
As you progress through the training programme you take on the role of a mentor to the new generation of trainees which tests your own understanding by teaching others. This means that as your skills develop, so does your level of responsibility, fostering a feeling of independence and trust, which stands you in good stead for your career beyond the programme.
How do you find balancing study and work?
Balancing study and work can be tricky. However, the exams are testing the skills and knowledge that you are using in the office so they complement each other.
The managers and partners are all understanding of the challenges you are facing and so as long as you are honest about your workload and deadlines, the processes is not difficult to manage. The team is as eager for you to succeed as you are!
How have you found your Mercer & Hole experience so far?
I have loved my Mercer & Hole experience so far. Mercer & Hole’s ‘joined up’ approach to client care means that I am always challenged to approach tasks from different angles and consider the big picture. I was recently offered the opportunity to embark on an in-house secondment to our Financial Planning team to gain an understanding into how the work of other teams can complement the work I do in tax. This showcases the firm’s commitment to the development of my skillset and highlights that there are plenty of opportunities available for those who are eager to learn!
I am particularly grateful for the way that my traineeship has acted as a springboard to shape a clear career path for the future and helped me envisage a long-term career at the firm.
What do you think makes Mercer & Hole different?
The thing that makes Mercer & Hole different is the people and the ethos. The value placed on learning and teaching coupled with the culture of collaboration means that you are always engaging with others. Working in a small and intimate tax team means that you have contact with managers and partners on a daily basis cementing the feeling of responsibility and value.