Newcastle University Business School

Sophie Meeson

Alumni profile

About Sophie

Current job: Senior Associate at PwC
Current location: Leeds
Nationality: British
LinkedIn: Sophie Meeson

About Sophie's career

Since graduating, what have you gone on to do?
I currently work in Risk Assurance, which is where companies hire us to look at their processes and controls and work out what they're doing well, and what needs improving. On a day-to-day basis I'll be travelling to meet clients (both local and international), finding out what companies care about and helping them to make it happen. I have done a few things since graduating as this is my third role at PwC in two and a half years. I spent a year working in External Audit in Nottingham, finishing the ICAEW accounting qualification I started at university. Following this, I did a secondment (a short-term internal transfer) to Student Recruitment in Birmingham, where I did presentations and helped recruit 1,300 students to PwC. I will now be joining one of my larger clients to work in their Internal audit team for seven months on another secondment. Life is never boring at PwC!

Is the above what you planned to do before starting university?
Kind of, as the course I did led me to working in External Audit at PwC I saw myself staying in that lane for the bulk of my career.

About Sophie's Newcastle experience

What was your favourite thing about your course?
I loved the relationship I had with my course – being a smaller course of 50 or so people, we all knew each other and so it was very social. It was also great that we were paid for our placements then got a long university summer holiday, which meant we all did a fair bit of travelling!

Did you complete a placement year/study abroad/summer internship during your time at Newcastle?
Yes, everyone on the course completed three placements over the four years. I was based in Nottingham in the East Midlands office to do external audit with PwC. This was challenging as I put a lot of pressure on myself to perform as well as, if not better than, the people who worked there full-time. I learnt a lot about business, what I want and what I'm prepared to do to achieve that, and found that the role I was in wasn't one for me. I don't regret having done this first as I got a fantastic qualification from it and it put me a really good starting position, and ultimately led to the role I'm doing now which I love. 

What extra-curricular activities or societies were you involved with during your time here?
I really enjoyed a few of the ‘Give it a go’ events including climbing Grey’s monument and cocktail making. I became a Business School Ambassador in my final year, which was fun and gave me some great examples for my Student Recruitment Interview.

About the future

How do you see future technologies or new ways of working (future of work) affecting your sector?
Technology is having a huge impact on the accounting sector. At PwC we all work flexibly – meaning I work from home at least once a week – due to how much we work online now. We're also looking to employ a lot of AI in our work which will mean the job is much less processing and much more judgement, making it more interesting for everyone. 

Where do you see yourself in five years' time?
I see myself doing a different job to what I am now, but I have no idea what that is! I’ve found that by taking each opportunity as it comes I've learnt a new skill every few months, and I hope in five years I’m still learning every day.

Profile uploaded: 30/04/2019