Hena Ali, an accounting and finance graduate, works in our tax team in High Wycombe. Hena shares her experiences since joining the firm, from welcoming its commitment to diversity and career development to axe throwing for the first time at a Saffery Fun Day.
I studied a range of modules at university, including trading, corporate finance and financial accounting, but I was most drawn to tax, which is now my focus at Saffery. I advise on clients’ personal tax affairs, dealing with their investment portfolios, land and property income, shares, dividends and even the tax implications from the sale of diamond rings. I find the work fascinating and love getting the chance to build relationships with my clients.
I chose Saffery because it’s a high profile, people-focused firm, has a wide variety of clients and offers a range of social activities outside the office. It also pays for trainees’ accountancy exams and accommodates study time, which is a huge bonus.
It can be daunting making the transition from university to work, but I was a part-time tutor while studying for my degree, so working in a professional environment wasn’t completely new to me. The balance between working and studying took a bit of time to get used to, but Saffery’s hybrid working policy helped me to manage my time and not feel burnt out.
I love how Saffery embraces difference and genuinely cares for its people. I have been able to share my experiences on Ramadan (the month of fasting for Muslims), so my colleagues can understand what we go through and why. When we celebrated Eid, I brought samosas and sweets in for everyone to try. The High Wycombe office also built a ‘pod’ for wellbeing and prayer purposes, which is a testament to its understanding and accommodation of different faiths and backgrounds.
Saffery organises regular movie and games nights, but for me its Fun Days are the best, because we get to do an activity that many of us have never tried before, such as axe throwing, cocktail making, or visiting an escape room. It’s great to try something new and get to know people on a personal level.
From a work perspective, the range of clients is incredible and since the High Wycombe office is part of Saffery’s southern network of offices, which includes Bournemouth, Bristol, Peterborough and London, you can ask to work on a project from another office if it interests you. Being promoted to Semi-Senior after passing my ATT exams was also very exciting. It was great to be recognised and appreciated.
Overall, there’s a real family feel to the firm, which encourages a real sense of belonging, where you’re free to let your personality shine through. I would definitely recommend a career at Saffery.
How to make the most of the firm’s trainee programme – Hena’s top 5 tips:
- Get stuck in with whatever is going on, whether it’s work related or attending social events. Work becomes a lot more fun when you know your colleagues better.
- Ask for support to avoid feeling overwhelmed. Saffery’s teams are always willing to help.
- When studying for your exams, create a routine and put time aside to study so you won’t feel daunted when exams and a busy work period comes along. Take time to relax by meeting friends or doing something that you love in your spare time.
- Saffery provides generous support for study leave – so use it when it’s needed. It’s easy for revision to pile up, so doing a little bit every few days will help massively.
- If you don’t have a finance-related degree, this shouldn’t put you off considering a career at Saffery. Our people come from a wide variety of backgrounds. One of my colleagues is a geography graduate, while another studied chemistry. Be willing to listen and you’ll learn so much on the job.
Join us as a graduate and we’ll make sure you reach your full potential.
Many of our current directors and senior managers were part of the programme and trained at our High Wycombe office.
We are currently recruiting for trainee positions. Head over to our graduate jobs page to find out more.