Today’s guest post is from Sophie Judd, one of our second-year trainees. Sophie recently had the chance to meet members of The Public Accounts Commission, and offered to share her impressions with us.

Meeting with The Public Accounts CommissionThe Public Accounts Commission (TPAC) and NAO trainees seem like a world apart. So what happens when both parties meet each other for the first time? We found out last week when TPAC’s Nick Brown and Sir Edward Leigh came to visit the NAO.

TPAC is responsible for examining how much funding the NAO estimates it will need each year and setting this out to Parliament, as well as appointing non-executive members of the NAO Board.

This was TPAC’s first ever visit to the NAO offices, and they had asked to speak to some trainees to get an idea of our experiences working here. A group of six of us met them and we chatted about everything from what we had all done before joining the NAO to career progression for trainees. They also asked us about things such as how our salary compares to other ACA (Associate Chartered Accountant) trainees in the private sector and how the culture here differs to that of other firms.

It was a very thought provoking discussion as it really got me thinking about how many positive qualities the NAO has to offer graduates. Apart from the opportunity to study for a highly employable and well respected professional qualification and a competitive salary, the NAO is a very diverse workplace which fosters a really supportive culture. This is something I’ve really appreciated in the context of starting a new job and studying for exams.

I also found it really interesting to hear what Nick and Sir Edward had to say about the NAO and how they see our job fitting into the wider political landscape. Although TPAC is responsible for scrutinising the NAO they do not have much involvement in its day to day running, so it was really interesting to hear the opinion of someone more detached from the organisation as well as to have the opportunity to give them an insight into the life of trainees here. They seemed to think that the NAO was a great place for graduates to start their career, particularly due to the varied and unique experiences that come from the insights into government that can only come from this job.

Join us as an intern this summer!

Our summer internship programme is now open for applications (deadline: 19 February 2016).

Head over to the Windsor Fellowship website for further information on how to apply.

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