From student to young professional at PwC
23 year old Greta is part of the very first group to participate in the Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award in Lithuania. Greta explains how the Award helped her take her first career steps at PwC.
“The Award programme has brought me a lot. From new friendships, hobbies and adventures, to a most memorable trip to the USA and now my job at PwC.
I first discovered the Award at school in Panevezys. The senior students who I looked up to as role models were all participating in the programme, and so I started my Bronze Award in 2008.
Skills for life
Each time I started a new level of the Award I wanted to learn and achieve something new and push myself further. I’ve been part of a top five debate team in Lithuania, gained photography skills, played competitive volleyball and organised an environmental project in the local community.
I can firmly say that the set of skills I gained helped me to win a place at the Baltic Youth Leadership Programme, in America. I volunteered there for a month to spread the message about the importance of civic engagement, volunteering and diversity. This was a journey I could never have imagined being on and the Award gave me what I needed to get there.
As well as this amazing experience, I am now employed by PwC as a Deals Consultant, and can thank the Award for helping me to achieve this.
I started building a relationship with PwC when I began my Gold Award. The firm is a partner of the Award in Lithuania and kindly sponsored our group‘s Adventurous Journey to the Serra Calderona mountain range in Spain. I developed this relationship further, when I took up chess for the Skills section, and would meet weekly with my coach at the PwC office. One day, I was able to tell my coach that we‘d soon be colleagues!
I believe the common values between the Award and PwC have led me to where I am today.
Standing out from the crowd
When employers see that I have achieved my Bronze and Silver Awards and am now working towards Gold, they always ask about the skills I’ve gained and how I gained them. I feel the Award has made me a more exceptional candidate in the competitive job market.
I can recall how the Adventurous Journey expeditions not only taught me practical skills of navigation, camping or canoeing, but also the foundations of project management and leadership. Our expedition in Serra Calderona was by far a highlight. It tested our physical and mental abilities and we learnt something new from each other.
I recognised how empathy and optimism can make you overcome difficulties, learned that only those who do not try actually fail and that enjoying the view or the emotions in that moment can make difficult things easier.
For anyone thinking of taking up the Award, I would say that once you start, it introduces you to a whole new lifestyle. The activities I undertook have brought a lot of inspiring people into my life and shaped my personality from a student into a young professional."