My name is Laurence W. I’m a stage two trainee auditor and I’m working for the Audit Commission in London. My job basically entails understanding how very large public sector organisations work. As an auditor, we look at, basically, from a financial standpoint, how they can improve for the future.
00:00:22 I was a very, very keen musician. I’m a classical pianist. I started that when I was very young. I was also quite inspired. My mum and dad pushed me very hard academically, but I was always intrigued by mathematical things and science. I must admit, you know, it’s something that I like to think I’ve taken on through university and beyond that. So, yes, I’ve always enjoyed the numbers and the science. In terms of what I took through to A level, I tried to be as organised as possible and have a very balanced, sort of, set of choices in preparation for university. In the end I chose two sciences, and maths, and chemistry, and I chose government politics and English literature.
00:01:04 In my upper sixth, my final year at secondary school, our first politics session ended up being on September 11th. I think everyone was in a bit of shock, certainly, but I think that event certainly did certainly direct me from a… I suppose from the heart, and from the head, towards an interest in politics, particularly the world around us, and that is really one of the principle motivations for me moving onto university to study what I study. I chose politics because I wanted to do it my own way. A lot of my cousins had chosen very structured degrees, and, you know, things like business and business studies, and so forth, and accounting, whereas I wanted to do something that really I felt passionate about.
00:01:48 I’ve started university in 2002 at the university of Nottingham. I think it’s fair to say that, you know, it was a bit difficult initially to settle in. You meet lots of people, you say goodbye to lots of people, and I think I’d say the first year was all very much a blur, and parts of me had a few regrets, really. I got through my first year by, I suppose, not being myself, basically, and not really sticking to my roots. I tried to become something that I wasn’t, and I think, you know, it meant that I needed to, I suppose, reassert myself quite significantly in my second year, in terms of trying to get involved and trying to get to know more people. I decided then that I would volunteer myself to be an events officer. I didn’t know anything about events and had to certainly pick it up very, very quickly. Ultimately, it gave me a lot more confidence in terms of the way I approach life.
00:02:36 It’s something that I think will always stay with me that if you can… if you put your mind to it, if you are willing to put the hours in and work hard, you will be able to succeed and gain rich rewards.
00:02:50 I was looking in various directions. I was, at the time, applying for…applying to do a doctorate, and applying to do a PhD, but I also then thought that it was also an opportunity to try and see if I could get onto a graduate scheme. I did a lot of research into the different companies and looked at, basically, my skills sets, and looked at things that I thought would interest me and that would inspire me. Basically, my friend introduced me towards the Audit Commission and the National Audit Office – two public sector, well, audit type organisations – and I felt that was a very, very good opportunity to try something very different, and ultimately to take a risk and to basically see what it was like.
00:03:28 I went onto both their websites, filled out the applications, and attended my interviews, and I was very, very happy to have been made an offer by both the Audit Commission and the National Audit Office. I was presented with a very difficult choice, but ultimately I chose the Audit Commission and, basically, here I am today.
00:03:49 I enjoy it because I think you’re allowed to take… you’re given lots of responsibility very, very early, and you take ownership over the work that you undertake. That’s something I really… That’s something I do enjoy, and I want to experience more of, and that’s what keeps me going.