I worked as an assistant in the audit department at the Crawley office. I got the chance to help out with jobs across the audit process including setting up of lead schedules, Audit Finding Reports and Plans, testing of reserves, journals and nominal ledgers and things like call and cast of accounts. I also undertook work with other departments including targeting potential clients with the Business Development Team and helping with general admin
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I had a great time on the internship, it allowed me to see what a typical audit grad would be doing on a day to day basis and the variety of clients and tasks I got to work on meant that after the 8 weeks I was able to confirm that a career in audit was what I wanted to pursue.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I was always thanked for my work and it was nice to see how research I had done actually got used later on, for instance when targeting potential clients. As they took the time to let me know how my work was being used it reiterated that I wasn't just doing work for no reason!
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
This was probably the only area that I feel needed to be improved- the lack of clarity surrounding who my line manager was. I would have preferred having more sessions with them during the 8 weeks so I could get feedback on the go rather than simply en bloc at the end. However, when I flagged this as an issue at my exit interview they were keen to look into improving this/formalizing the structure more for future interns which I thought was good.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
It varied a lot. I appreciate that I interned during a quieter period so there would be less work available, however I did end up doing a fair amount of non chargeable admin work which I felt wasn't utilising me being there. However, I did get a good range of tasks and experiences, so I didn't mind that I had quieter periods- it also enable me to learn more about Baker Tilly as a company and to meet people in other departments that I may not have had the chance to interact with otherwise.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I would have liked slightly more challenging work but that's probably a personal view as I enjoy working alot! As mentioned I had a range of tasks and they assigned jobs across the whole of the audit process. I also got to work with some of the new grads which helped ensure I had really understood all the processes, as otherwise I wouldn't have been able to successfully teach others.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I'd say that the experiences were most useful for a future career in audit rather than relating to my degree (Maths). It showed me what an audit grad would be expected to do on a day to day basis, gave me experience of research programmes like FAME or Orbis and I got more familiar with Baker Tilly's approach to audit and some of the software they use.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
A great team to work with, everyone was really friendly and helpful throughout. Working with a smaller firm it was obvious that everyone got on well and this was across departments, not just in audit. There were regular office emails letting us know about cake/ goodies that people brought in for birthdays or leaving dos. I was invited to take part in the firm sports day and an audit office away day, both great chances to meet employees from other offices who I had been only in email contact with.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
There were periods when I didn't have much work as I wasn't assigned to any clients formally for the 8 weeks, so perhaps being put onto the system could have helped it flow slightly better. At the end of internship I had an exit interview with HR to discuss my experiences which was useful and they seemed keen to take on any feedback.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
I had a variety of elearning modules that I undertook whilst undertaking my placement which introduced me to the firm's views on things like confidentiality and billing time. I also undertook additional training on some of their systems including SalesLogix so I could assist other departments, which proved useful in quieter periods.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
From grads I spoke to the benefits packaged seemed pretty good although I didn't do much research into this, but seemed on a par to other companies.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
Yes, colleagues often set up events but these seemed to mainly be within audit with not much chance to socialise across the office except for things like leaving dos. However, speaking to the grads it seems that there was a good social scene for them.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
I was based in the Crawley office and the main cost to mean was travel. Whilst you could claim back travel to client sites this was not the case for normal travel. The area itself though has a good range of shops at reasonable prices so if you wanted to buy lunch it wouldn't be too expensive. Train links were ok but not as frequent as if you were say in London,but then most employees were more local so it wasn't an issue for them.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Didn't really get a chance to experience. We did got to Brighton for a meal following our audit away day though which was fun.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
I was invited to attend leaving dos, the firm sports day and department day, all of which were a great chance to meet others in offices across the South.