Careers In Focus – Graduate Trainee Krystyna

There are many different routes into a career in accountancy. Some choose to start straight from school, many go on to higher education first and others join the profession at a later stage in life.

At Thomson Cooper, we understand that everyone has their own career path. We welcome team members at different stages in their career and understand that each member brings their own skills and qualities depending on their own experiences.  We celebrate the diversity this creates within our business and the benefits it delivers to our clients.

Today we meet up with trainee, Krystyna Palczewska, and learn about her journey with Thomson Cooper so far.

What were you doing before joining Thomson Cooper?

Before starting at Thomson Cooper I worked in Amazon as a warehouse operative, as well as studying full-time. It was a very challenging time for me combining full-time studies, part-time working and the demands of family life all at the same time. What I’ve learned from that experience is to plan ahead – a good planning list can go a very long way – it helps to clearly see if we can achieve our goals within the set time-frame and if not, plan necessary changes ahead. I can say with certainty that planning helped me enormously in achieving my goals.

What was your first role in the firm?

My first role in the firm was as an audit trainee. I started working at Thomson Cooper in February 2022 on a part-time basis whilst finishing my studies which has helped me ease through the transition from theory-based to practical work environment.

From 1 July I’m moving to full-time, still as an audit trainee, on the firm’s graduate scheme. I have recently achieved a First Class Honours Degree in Accounting and Finance from Abertay University which made all the studying worthwhile and I’m delighted to start full-time work.

What have been the biggest challenges so far?

The biggest challenge so far was overcoming my lack of experience. Whilst my studies gave me solid background knowledge, I have to learn from scratch how everything is done in practice (and of course I’m still learning). Also, I am learning several different software packages, some that are used by Thomson Cooper and others that are used by our clients. This is challenging for me but I’m improving every day with practise. Additionally, as I’m moving to full-time working it should speed up my learning process.

What have the benefits been?

I work within a very supportive environment. The workplace is amazing, and my patient colleagues are ready to answer all my questions. I’m learning so much everyday with their help. My training consists of not only showing me how everything is done but includes a full explanation of why it is done the certain way – making sure I have full understanding of it.

As an older student, I was given the opportunity to join the graduate scheme where I can gain experience and professional qualifications at the same time. This is the perfect chance for me attain valuable qualifications and pursue a clear career path.

But it’s not only all working at TC -we have team outings where the people can have a bit of fun and get to know each other.

What plans do you have for the future?

My nearest plans include passing the professional ACCA qualifications. I will focus just on that for now.

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