When Kaitlyn Bunyamin started university in 2018, she had no idea where her career would take her. Choosing a degree is difficult enough without the added stress of finding a job and career to go with it. After working her way through the Trainee program at PwC, she found a career that suits her personality and her passions.
Choosing a career
Kaitlyn began looking at alternative career pathways after starting a degree in Commerce at The University of Sydney. At just 18, like many students, she wondered where it would all go.
After researching career and university pathways, she came across the Trainee program at PwC. This program is tailored to students who would like to get a head start on their career by paying them a full salary while they study part-time for two years. Then they return to uni full time in the last year to finish their degree and the Traineeship.
Our goal in the program is to align career interests with university experience so our trainees can apply what they learn. And if they don’t exactly know what they want to do, we offer opportunities to join different teams and explore other roles and responsibilities. Many of our trainees come back to join our Graduate program after completing their degree.
This was the exact pathway Kaitlyn took and she has never looked back. After applying for the Trainee program, she was accepted and began her role in 2019 in our Assurance team in a field directly related to her degree.
The first day
On Kaitlyn's first day, she realised the program was more than just a mentoring opportunity. She was quickly welcomed into our organisation where she was assigned a ‘Buddy’ to ensure she felt comfortable. PwC is a large and complex organisation, so the Buddy system ensures everyone has support and can navigate their teams and responsibilities.
Kaitlyn said, “I was assigned a team leader with regular catch ups where we went over goals, interests and challenges. And we celebrated the success together, analysed what went well and how to continue improving”.
Her team leader and other mentors in her teams proved extremely helpful after her first day on client work as a trainee where she felt a bit uncertain in how to proceed with her projects. They sat down and came up with a learning approach to help her navigate the uncertainties and set her up for success.
She overcame these uncertainties quickly as she realised how supported she was at PwC. Her work was tailored to help her grow and learn, and she was encouraged to ask questions and step out of her comfort zone. The strong bond she had formed with her trainee cohort also helped as they all had various backgrounds and experiences. With frequent lunches, team events, networking opportunities and more, there was always a chance to leverage a friend.
Encouragement comes from so many different streams at PwC from your teams, the trainee cohort, your buddy and team leader, the broader industry group communities and much more. You are always encouraged to do your best in both work and study.
“I was really surprised when joining PwC how many extracurricular aspects there were from social events, volunteering opportunities, focus on wellness, celebrating a range of cultural holidays and multiple events with clients and her teams. And also how invested the firm is in their employees with training and mentoring opportunities, mental health support, flexible working and the dress for your day policy!”
Post-graduation and a career she loves
Through her experiences, Kaitlyn learned more about her work, her passions and herself. She learned that fostering and building relationships is the key to her success. And she has learned to leverage the knowledge of more senior members of the team as they have gone through those same pathways. She has also grown to understand more deeply the impact of her work and her clients.
She now successfully works with the same client from her first day on a continuous basis - with much less uncertainty. She thrives in her work, has close relationships with her team, has made great connections on site with the client and the nervousness from her first day has been replaced with confidence. Kaitlyn attributes this to the layout of the trainee program where “you really become a core member of the team and everyone is invested in your future”.
After returning to finish her degree, she avoided the stress of finding her job and career and was able to focus on finishing her studies then return to her team after graduation.
Planning career goals and aspirations
When Kaitlyn began university, her goal was to get a head start and a taste of what work looked like and what people in her field were working towards.
Through the many career growth options our Trainee program offered, she was able to understand the broader aspects of her work, learn the soft and technical skills you won’t learn at university and begin building a network of supportive individuals. Now she has the piece of mind to commit her career decisions on a team that supports her growth and will empower her to continue learning.
Kaitlyn has some advice for those starting out in uni asking the same questions she did. “The traineeship is a really strong start for your career whether you stay at PwC or not. Keep a really open mind and be ready to give anything a go. Meet new people and maximise your learning by trying to gather as much experience as possible.
Kaitlyn finishes her story with what has become most important to her: “The concept of teamwork is everything. We celebrate success together and recognise each other’s achievements and growth, and whatever the struggle or challenge we face, the team is always in it together. It truly always is a team effort. Working together and caring are PwC’s greatest values”.
If you would like to learn more about our Trainee program at PwC, please visit our website here to see how others have achieved their goals and helped supplement their university experience to create their ideal career.