Business student secures apprenticeship at global company PwC

18 February 2020

Bilal Ahmad has successfully gained an apprenticeship in Tax Accountancy at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). PwC is the second largest professional services firm in the world “with offices in 157 countries and more than 276,000 people” (, highlighting his determination and achievements. 
A former student from Ashton Sixth Form College and friend of Bilal’s, sent him a link to a PwC insight day encouraging him to apply and take part in the programme. Bilal said,

“I didn’t expect to get this far! I just thought I’d go and see if I liked it. I thought I’d apply and see if I could actually do it.”

Bilal, from Hyde Community College, is currently on a Mixed Study programme at Ashton Sixth Form College, studying Business, Criminology and Law. He said,

“I always found Law interesting. When I was younger I used to watch Suits on Netflix. But as I got older I preferred Accounting.” 
“All of my courses are linked. Business gives you an understanding of everything. Law and Criminology go together so well - looking a different cases. Each links together.”

Bilal attended the Insight Day at PwC where he was then invited back to attend a full week with the company. The week-long visit gave him a better understanding of how the company works, as well as an awareness of different sectors such as tax, consulting and audit. He recalled how when he was younger he assumed that businesses were boring places to work and was amazed to find the opposite experience at PwC. He thoroughly enjoyed his time with PwC and developed his confidence and knowledge. He liked how the staff at the company were really friendly and treated him as an equal, giving him opportunities that he would never have had otherwise. 

During the insight week Bilal completed a series of tasks and PwC were observing each student’s performance. He stood out and PwC fast-tracked him through the application process to attend an assessment day at PwC for their apprenticeship programme.

Bilal described the assessment centre day as one of the most difficult experiences he has ever had. He was required to plan and lead a presentation that was abruptly stopped mid-way through. PwC explained that there had been a change of plan. He had to re-plan and prepare an entirely new presentation in very little time. The company were testing his ability to adapt and respond to the unexpected – something he will be required to do in his role as an apprentice at PwC. Bilal reflected on how he almost lost his train of thought during the second presentation but remembered the advice of his father, took a deep breath and continued with confidence. 

The final part of the assessment centre concluded in an interview. Bilal thrived throughout the process and rose to every challenge that was put in front of him. He learned a lot by taking part in the process and the experience has inspired him to continue to focus on achieving the best results possible in August. 

Bilal showed his abilities and the team at PwC recognised his talent and potential. He was offered an apprenticeship in Tax Accountancy and is due to start in September after he completes his studies at Ashton Sixth Form College.

Find out about studying Business at Ashton here.

Tags: opportunities careers business law criminology apprenticeship employability

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