Published on: 14 August 2013

Shaun Tonkinson (Year 12) has been offered and accepted a highly sought-after traineeship with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) commencing in 2014. After a rigorous selection process, Shaun was one of 10 successful Western Australian students selected out of more than 500 applicants.

Accounting and Commerce teacher Les Goh said James Hollingsworth (Year 12) was also amongst the top 15 applicants in WA, narrowly missing out on an offer for the four-year traineeship with one of the world’s largest international accounting and consultancy firms.

Mr Goh said following the application process and online numeracy test, only 50 applicants were shortlisted for phone interview. Shaun and James were then among 30 selected to attend the PwC assessment centre where they participated in a group case study activity and were interviewed by partners of the firm.

Shaun, who will start in the Business Controls Assurance division, said he saw the traineeship as a great opportunity and a stepping-stone to managing or owning his own business. “The whole process was quite daunting, especially the face-to-face interview. I thought I’d done well and given it a shot but I was still quite surprised to get the offer,” he said.

In the first year, trainees attend university full-time and are paid an allowance by PwC. In years two and three, they work full-time and study part-time and in the fourth year, they complete their degree full-time. Based on their performance, trainees can then be fast-tracked through the graduate program.

Mr Goh said the benefits of being a trainee in a firm like PwC included accumulating real business experience and watching theory in practice on a daily basis. “Having undertaken this model of selection exposed both Shaun and James to a selection model that many students don’t experience until they approach the end of their degrees,” he said.