A launchpad for careers in Accountancy
Join us as Emma Mathieson CA explains how Consilium’s unique blend of practical experience, support, and diverse opportunities transform graduate trainees into confident, skilled professionals. Emma completed her ICAS professional qualifications in 2022 as part of Consilium’s Graduate training programme.
Managing work and study as a CA trainee
Consilium as a company has a very positive attitude towards work-life balance, especially for trainees. Flexible working and work-from-home options* are a great help when you are working and studying for your ICAS exams. It maximises the time you have to study when you are not necessarily spending every day travelling to and from the office or a client.
During exam prep and exam time, Consilium protects your paid study leave and exam leave. Even during busy periods at work, the leave days are assured. But you still have access to colleagues across the company for questions or queries about your exams.
A culture of support and teamwork at Consilium
The Consilium culture is one of openness, support and teamwork. There is no compartmentalising of teams meaning trainees can benefit from a variety of experiences across departments. The company invests in you and management is genuinely keen to see you do well. It’s not just about getting you through your exams. It’s about what you want from your career as a CA and where you want that career to take you.
Everyone is there to support trainees and help them learn. It isn’t considered an inconvenience to go and ask someone for help with exam prep or a particular topic. It is expected that team members will do this for you because that is how Consilium operates. As a qualified CA, I’m now giving back by helping our trainees in the same way my colleagues supported me.
Benefiting from collective exam experiences and knowledge
As a Consilium trainee, you are surrounded by people who have been there before. Whether they are a 2nd year, or 3rd year or have been qualified for a few years, they know what you’re going through. This allows you to benefit from other people’s recent exam experiences and knowledge. Working in a smaller firm also means no one is a stranger.
We celebrate success as a company and each person wants to see trainees do well and flourish. Having that tight-knit group of like-minded people around you is a big advantage when it comes to completing your Chartered Accountancy qualification.
A positive CA trainee experience
I think my experience as a trainee at Consilium was probably more positive than those of some of my friends. Compared to those who trained in other firms or industry, I felt it was more supportive in both work and study. The company invests in you and that is demonstrated in the help and support you receive. My friends often seemed to struggle to get that same level of help and feedback from their managers and colleagues. At times they felt like they were left to do it themselves and didn’t get the breadth of practical experience needed to succeed in all their ICAS exams.
Building skills and confidence
I’ve grown in confidence during my traineeship with Consilium. Despite studying Accountancy at university, I lacked practical experience when I started on the graduate programme. With the support and training I received, my confidence grew immensely. From someone who was quite daunted by the prospect of becoming a CA, I am now confident and assured in my role working with colleagues and clients. I manage my own portfolio of clients and relationships and continue to learn and develop professionally, even after my CA training has been completed.
Exam-relevant practical experience
The diversity of clients is one of the many advantages of training with Consilium. Our portfolio is always growing and changing. The work you do is not limited to one type of business or one area of accountancy, and that is a big help in your CA studies.
With Consilium you get far more exam-relevant experience, far quicker than you might in other training environments. This helps in the Relevant Practical Experience element of the CA qualification because you can demonstrate work completed in various areas of the profession.
A great place to study, work and build a career
I absolutely recommend Consilium to prospective graduates! Consilium invests in their trainees and team members. Everyone wants to see individual careers develop and the company offers a wide range of career opportunities after you qualify as a CA.
From the recruitment process right through to joining the firm, I think it is a more personable experience that you might get elsewhere. The people who interview you on day one are the people you will be working with, so it gives you an insight into the culture of the business right away.
We also have a great social scene with regular events for the whole company. It’s a great way to celebrate successes and unwind and it fosters the ‘Be Consilium’ ethos that is central to our culture.
*Flexible working and work-from-home options are available to graduate trainees upon satisfactory completion of their probationary period.