National Audit Office - Charlotte Harling

Name: Charlotte Harling
Job Title: Assistant Auditor
Company: National Audit Office
Sectors: Accounting, Human Resources, Public Sector

How did you find the application and interview process for your job?

The application was, as many graduate job applications are, lengthy and challenging, but worth it in the end. With my application going to a friendly organisation I had high hopes going into my first interview. The welcome I received was a positive one and immediately I knew this was a place I wanted to work.

Why did you decide to work in this industry?

The public sector really interests me and I find it motivational that I am working to ensure that taxpayers’ money is being spent wisely. The ICAEW qualification I get through the training programme is an added bonus.

What do you enjoy most about working in this industry?

I genuinely believe that we, as an office are making a difference. I am able to meet a wide range of people as part of my day to day work. Most days in the office are challenging and I am rarely bored by what I am doing.

What have you struggled most with since starting you career, and do you have any advice on how to overcome it?

As a new starter I was nervous about having to interview clients and attempting to remember everyone’s names! The advice I would give to those who are nervous about things such as this is to be yourself; it is often the case that others are just as nervous as you and people aren’t normally offended if you have to double check their name.

Do you feel diversity is an issue in the Industry you work in?

There is often the perception that the finance/accountancy sector is more popular with male graduates. At the NAO however, women make up almost a half of the graduate intakes and is a diverse and supportive place to work. The NAO makes a real effort to ensure that this stays the case.

What's the best career advice you've ever received?

Never work for someone you don’t respect. My time in the office has shown me how important trust is between colleagues. Being able to work together means that the results you produce are of a much higher quality than they would be if working alone or against colleagues.

What advice would you give to other aspiring graduates looking to work in your field?

Be prepared to work hard, but enjoy yourself while you are doing it.

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