English Lit student lands finance job at PwC with critical thinking
Victoria Drye is yet to complete her BA (Hons) English Literature degree at Leeds Beckett University, but she’s already secured a job on the graduate scheme at professional services powerhouse, PwC. Working in their tax line of service, Victoria explains how her study of English Literature has enabled her to secure a role in finance.
“Contrary to some opinions, despite the fourth industrial revolution bringing immense technological advances, robots will not be taking over just yet. We humans are still essential in harnessing the benefits of this technology and using it effectively. According to the World Economic Forum’s 2020 essential skills list, emotional intelligence, which was not listed in 2015, is now the 6th most necessary skill. Critical thinking and creativity have also climbed the list. These skills are prominent in humanities graduates through focus on written and verbal communication and essays encouraging unique thought and consideration of ideas and debate.
Applying to PwC allowed me to see how leading companies are changing the way they recruit. They are now opting for a workforce with more diversity in terms of experience and subject backgrounds. This better mirrors their clientele and enables the combining of different skills, resulting in enhanced solutions.
I applied for PwC’s placement programme in their tax line of service. That my English Literature degree has not focused on mathematics, accountancy or economics did not prevent me applying, or being offered a graduate scheme leading to me becoming a qualified chartered accountant. Skills gained from my course, such as emotional intelligence, critical thinking and creativity, allowed me to succeed in game-based evaluations, interviews and group assessment centres. Little experience with numbers and data can be offset with people skills and cognitive flexibility, derived from a variety of English Literature modules which all test different skills, equipping me with the skills to continue learning and be trained to fit the role.
Humanities students are not just good at reading and writing. Their focus is on people and society, both of which are essential to remodelling the way we work in the fourth industrial revolution. Graduates of Humanities provide the essential link between ever-changing technology and humans.”