What is it like to be a Consilium Graduate trainee?

When it comes to deciding where to begin your Chartered Accountancy career after graduation, there are plenty of options. While graduate training programmes might all seem the same, there are significant differences to be aware of. Differences that can go a long way to ensuring a traineeship is the right fit for you.

Recently, we caught up with 2nd-year ICAS Graduate trainee Lucy Holmes to find out what it’s like to be a graduate trainee with Consilium as she works towards Chartered Accountancy status.

Lucy, you’re into your 2nd year of Consilium’s graduate training programme with ICAS, how has it been so far?

My first year of ICAS has been quite tough, it felt like quite a step up from university but the Consilium team has been incredibly supportive throughout. There is a really strong community amongst trainees in the firm which has made the journey a lot easier.

What is the working culture and environment like for a CA trainee at Consilium?

Quote from Consilium graduate trainee Lucy Holmes: Consilium is a very progressive firm. It offers a positive learning environment for trainees where a health work-life balance is promoted.

There is a very positive working culture and environment at Consilium. Everyone works really hard and takes pride in the work they produce. Everyone is eager to help you where they can and asking for help is encouraged.

It’s a really positive learning environment for trainees. It is also nice to see that a healthy work-life balance is promoted, it is rare to see people in the office late most nights and the flexibility to work from home is great*. The company is very progressive as far as most accounting firms go.

Consilium seniors are supportive too, talking us through how they studied for exams, and what worked best for them and they’re always happy to answer any queries.

Working and studying for professional exams is a challenge. How much support have you had over your first year?

I’ve been really well supported at Consilium, everyone has gone above and beyond to help me where they can and ensure I have the best chance of succeeding in my CA exams.

How does that compare to friends and ICAS colleagues who are completing their graduate training in industry or at larger firms?

My experience seems far more positive than those at other firms. We definitely get more support from management whilst at ICAS. Knowing that Consilium will support us through a resit can take quite a lot of pressure off compared to other students who have their job security at stake.

Also, our managers help us plan what time off would be best for studying where it is encouraged much less at other firms.

Quote from Consilium 2nd year CA Graduate trainee Lucy Holmes: I've been well supported at Consilium. Everyone has gone above and beyond to help me and ensure I have the best chance of succeeding in my CA exams.

What types of accountancy work have you undertaken in your first year on the Consilium graduate programme?

It has been much more “hands-on” work in Audit than I thought it would be coming out of university. I’ve really enjoyed working with a multitude of clients, going on-site and getting a deeper understanding of how each business works.

I feel like I’ve grown in confidence carrying out fieldwork and I’m looking forward to progressing further.

Any words of advice for undergraduates thinking about training with Consilium?

I couldn’t recommend Consilium more. It is a really great place to do your CA training, everyone is incredibly supportive, and the team is really friendly and welcoming.

My best piece of advice for trainees is to spend as much time in the office as you can. Working from home can be good some days but you learn so much more in the office, surrounded by other people working away. It also becomes much easier to ask for help if you need it and ask quick questions to further your understanding.

Ready to launch your accountancy career with Consilium?

Learn more about Consilium’s graduate training programme and how to become a CA. You can also connect with Consilium on LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube and X/Twitter.

Hear from more alumni of our Graduate training programme including Corporate Finance partner Linzi Wilson and Audit Senior Emma Mathieson

*Work-from-home and flexi-time options are only available to team members once they have successfully completed their probationary period.

Back to Graduate careers