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From Graduate Trainee to Audit Lead

18 January 2022
  • I joined Audit Wales fresh out of Uni in June 2015 as a Graduate Financial Audit Trainee.

    One of my main audits as a trainee was the European Agricultural Fund which had me travelling to all corners of Wales to visit farms – certainly not what I’d expected when I applied for the job, but I absolutely loved it! I also gained experience of Local Authority, Police and Health audits during the graduate scheme. One of the best bits of the scheme was the support offered by my colleagues and the development opportunities that were available. During my time as a trainee, I was given the opportunity to lead a section of the Agricultural Funds audit which gave me experience in coaching and developing more junior staff as well as how to run an audit from the team leader perspective.

    Towards the end of my training contract, I was successful in securing a position as a team leader within Audit Wales. My experience on the trainee scheme and support of my colleagues meant I had the skills needed to progress to this new role. Since then, I have been promoted to Audit lead and now lead the audits of two Local Authorities and some smaller central government bodies. As part of this role, I’m part of a management team for South Wales audits which takes a broader view of our work. I’ve enjoyed being part of this team which tackles resourcing, well-being and logistical matters as well as the nitty gritty detail of individual audits. Since becoming an audit lead, I’ve also had the opportunity to undertake performance audit work looking at financial sustainability and deliver training to our new intake of trainees and apprentices during their induction weeks.

    I’ve benefited a lot from the support of my managers throughout my time at Audit Wales and I thoroughly enjoy being part of that same journey for our current graduates and apprentices.

    My main piece of advice to Graduate Trainees or those looking to do a trainee scheme would be that you get out what you put into the trainee scheme so to just go for it and try things. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes or not knowing the answers, we don’t expect you to as you’re here to learn and remember that we’ve all been there.

    About the author

    Image of Rachel Freitag

    Rachel Freitag joined Audit Wales as a Graduate Trainee in 2015 and is now a Financial Audit Lead. Since joining she’s led Local Authority Central Government and the European Agricultural Fund audits. Before joining Audit Wales she graduated from Swansea University where she studied mathematics.