I helped with day to day activities in the tax department. This ranged from activities such as writing a cover letter to a client to ringing HMRC for information. I was also able to carry out research work and I was able to attend client meetings.
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I was able to get involved in a range of activities and gain a real understanding of how BDO works and its values.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
My colleagues were very friendly and gave me positive feedback on the activities I completed.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
We were each assigned a 'buddy' and counselling manager at the start of the internship. They were able to help us with any questions we had. We also had an assistant manager who looked after us who was also there to help with any questions and arrange things like talks from other departments.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
I was generally busy throughout the internship as different colleagues gave me different tasks to complete. It was also a good idea to ask for work if everything else had been completed. If there were any quiet periods there was always the two projects we were given to work on.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I was given important tasks to do such as drafting letters/ emails to clients or research for upcoming client meetings. Even though this was quite a lot of responsibility my work was always checked over before given out which was reassuring.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
We had three training days in London during the first week which was taught us the basis of a tax computation. This was helpful as we could understand the basis behind tax computations etc however in respect to my degree studies it would not be useful unless I had a specific tax module. However other skills I developed such as team work/ research skills and presenting skills will be very useful for my final year in university and in my career.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The atmosphere was very good, all the interns fit in well with the graduates, managers and partners in the office.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The internship was well organised in terms of structure; we spent our first week in London for an introduction to BDO and for training, then joined our regional offices. Our last 2 days were also spent in London. It was also well organised because we were given internship packs which contained all the information we needed, appraisal forms and information for our individual project and group project. However the actual work in the regional offices understandably wasn't very organised as we were just given whatever people thought suitable.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
We were given three full days of tax training in London at the start of the internship. In terms of personal development we were given projects to complete which allowed us to develop our report writing and presentation skills. We also had a surprise task in which two of the partners acted as disgruntled clients and we were able to develop our client interaction skills.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
There is a good chance that interns will be offered a graduate job at BDO as the different departments have seen how they work.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
Yes! All the interns got on well together when we were all in London in the first and last weeks. Lots of fun.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
I was able to live at home and commute to the Manchester office everyday. Food and drink costs were average which was good when we went out for lunch and for drinks after work.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Nightlife in Manchester is good. There was lots of bars/ pubs we could go to as well as nightclubs. The BDO football tournament was hosted in Manchester this year so there was a big night out with most of the other interns and lots of the graduates and others which was good.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
There were opportunities to play football with other colleagues. There was also other sports activities arranged while we were there such as a softball tournament. While in the office we got to attend their away day where there was clay pigeon shooting and hovercraft racing!