Life after high school: Earn while you learn, and work with the best!
For Robert Munday, university simply wasn’t for him. Reflecting on his time at school he says he learnt best getting his “hands dirty”. So, it was only natural that the idea of full-time study through lectures for the next three to four years post high school “wasn’t particularly appealing.”
“I like diving into things rather than sitting in lectures. Also, I didn’t want a HECS debt! For me, the Higher Apprenticeship Program with PwC was a game changer.”
“For people who are from financially challenged backgrounds and just can’t afford university, this is the ultimate avenue. You can earn money, learn skills on-the-job while doing a Diploma in Business or Technology. Also, all of the participants come from very diverse backgrounds, which is something PwC as an employer is looking for.”
Robert discovered PwC’s Higher Apprenticeship Program when he was scrolling through his social media feed and saw an ad. The program style instantly spoke to the position he (and many students) had found himself in - not interested in going to uni, but wanting to build a professional career.
“It seemed like a great chance to do interesting work and learn from some of the best in the industry.”
“I’d also had a taste of work, managing a McDonald’s during my final year of school. And, while I had a strong interest in business, I wanted to get there through a non-university route. So, when I saw that PwC were taking an intake of students straight from school, I applied straight away.”
Having gained “a taste of work life” from his previous part-time working experience, Robert knew that he wanted to pursue a career straight from school. He found it was the experience of being in an environment where there were opportunities to improve and develop both personal and leadership skills the most enticing facet. It was these same qualities he recognised in PwC and engaged him to reply - despite not knowing completely what to expect.
“Before joining the firm, I had no idea of what to expect. At first, it was very overwhelming but I tried to remain pretty open-minded going into the whole process. It’s safe to say the program and the PwC community have definitely exceeded my expectations. The culture here is really upbeat and friendly, and everyone I’ve met have been so helpful.”
As for what being an Apprentice with PwC is like? Robert says, “even in the early stages of the process, I’ve already been able to make a meaningful contribution to the work my team does.”
“As part of the Skills Reform Unit, I’ve been working across the Education and Skills sector, consulting with employers and government to make sure training fits their needs and keeps pace with regulations and technological disruption. It has been really interesting to be at the forefront of changes to our Vocational Education and Training system.”
As he continues to progress his career with PwC, Robert is eager to build on the business acumen and technical skills he has gained as well as further his own personal development.
“I’m looking forward to gaining a broader and deeper understanding of PwC as a business, and building upon my technical knowledge. I also hope to further develop my soft skills like problem solving and communication as I continue to develop my professional network.”