Adrian Chau's Stepping Into story

Sun 22 February 2015

Professional services firm PwC is known as a company with a progressive diversity and inclusion agenda. As part of their commitment to diversity, they have participated in Australian Network on Disability’s Stepping Into internship program since 2011. 

PwC Manager Gunell Medis supervised student Adrian Chau throughout his recent internship, and says that he helped the company through a very busy period and was easy to integrate into the existing team.

“Jenny from AND was very helpful in briefing us ahead of Adrian’s start date,” Gunell says. “While specific / significant adjustments were not made, things we may take for granted were clarified in advance for Adrian’s managers and teams – for example, ensuring Adrian could see us when we were presenting to large groups, within our teams or in meetings to facilitate lip reading.”

 A student of business at UTS, Adrian Chau’s internship goal was to gain hands-on experience of working in a professional firm, and to ultimately gain a graduate position.

 Adrian Chau

“It was amazing being able to work in a new, challenging environment with different teams and clients,” says Adrian. “My colleagues were really helpful and they were aware of my disability. So it was more enjoyable than I thought what it would be. Team leaders were able to give me feedback on how I could improve my skills.”

Gunell encouraged Adrian’s progress at PwC.  “I think working in a team environment, interacting with different clients on a professional level and taking tasks from start to completion really helped in building his confidence,” she says.  

Adrian also learnt to work independently whilst asking questions when he needed help.

“Prior to commencing to the internship, I would just follow instructions without understanding why this or that has occurred,” Adrian says. “The experience heightened my sense of curiosity of the real world and deepened my thinking.”

Thanks to his successful internship experience at PwC, the company has offered him a graduate position as an auditor, starting in January 2014. This will assist Adrian in his long-term goal of becoming a manager/partner at the firm. “Being accepted into the graduate position has made my life easier, and my goals are becoming more real,” he says.

“Adrian will join Base Camp Assurance, our internal Graduate Program, in 2014,” says Gunell. “He is driven and motivated so I’m sure he’ll make a great addition to the wider Assurance team!”

For more information on Stepping Into, please contact Program Manager Stephanie Littlewood at stephanie.littlewood@and.org.au or 02 8270 9200.

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