How have you found the training?
Excellent. I did two days of e-learning exercises to learn how Grant Thornton operates and how audits are done, which was very interactive. The knowledge itself involved a lot of detail, but obviously necessary if we were to go out and represent the firm. I also took part in a two-day training course at the firm’s training centre in Bradenham, Buckinghamshire, a true highlight of the internship. It allowed me to get to know other interns from across the country, while learning new skills, as well as being extremely well fed!
How did your internship help you get a graduate training programme at Grant Thornton
I was already preparing to apply for a graduate position at the end of the programme, if I performed well obviously. The internship itself just assured me that this business line and the company were definitely the route I wanted to take. It also meant in my final interview I had more than enough to talk about.
What work did you get involved in on the placement?
I took part in a variety of audits, ranging from colleges, big companies and hotel chains. I was thrown in the deep end; talking on numerous occasions to managing and financial directors. I also did a lot of work in the office, for example helping out anyone who had accounts to check. I also spent a few days in other departments.
What were the highlights?
Definitely the training days at Bradenham; painting a school in London as part of a corporate responsibility day; the office summer barbecue, and my days at the hotel chain audit.
And the toughest parts?
Two things: accepting the fact I had to ask a lot of questions because I was new to the firm and getting my head around the financial jargon. Everyone in the office made this easy for me though, never seeming to get annoyed even if I didn’t understand things that for them would have been very basic. Also the travelling is something I had to get used to, along with the early mornings – it was almost like being back in my old school routine!
What advice would you give to someone thinking of applying for the placement?
Make your application stand out, go to all the events offered at the office itself or at the university you are studying, and just get to know employees. Ask them all as many questions as you can and make it evident in your application that you have actually been to the events. Showing a keen interest prior to your application will definitely help set your application apart from the others.
Best piece of advice you were given during your placement?
To make sure that when I start my graduate programme I try and spend an hour a night studying, so that all my weekends won’t be eaten up with revision, even though I know some will be!
What does the future hold for you?
It's not long now until I join the firm as a graduate. So the future holds… exams, exams and more exams, alongside working and trying to get used to the work routine, especially when compared to my university lifestyle!