Although I applied for the position of Audit Assistant, I was actually exposed to a variety of work. I seconded to 3 different departments within the firm (Audit, Restructuring Advisory and Assurance & Financial Reporting) and have a more defined idea about what the work is actually like on a day-to-day basis and whether I see myself doing said work post graduation. This is why I have enjoyed my work placement as the experience was rich in variety and has since improved my understanding of this industry - what I believe is the point of a placement.
Everyone who I managed to work with was very welcoming - I didn't feel like an outsider at any point. Equally, this could be due to the fact that the company has a fairly large graduate, school leaver and placement undertaking - so you're not the only one who is new to the firm when the placement begins. Colleagues at the firm are also very willing to help as they have all been in the same shoes as those they are assisting. Never be too scared or feel like an inconvenience to ask a question.
Although I was a temporary employee of the firm, you are still required to develop whilst on placement. During mine, you had a series of meetings with your line manager to talk about how you are getting on and to discuss objectives to be met before the next meeting. This assured me that if ever I met a problem or needed guidance, I had the support of my line manager. However, this support was not only apparent with the one directly responsible for you, but whoever in your team. Again, my colleagues were very willing to help if needed.
Although during periods throughout the year it was clear that my peers were very busy and sometimes less so, my work was quite consistent. Being inexperienced you aren't responsible for too much from the beginning as a lot of time is spent learning. As the placement progressed work load increased - but at a rate that I could cope with based on my development and increased understanding of the work. I believe if it was quite balanced.
I was given quite junior work because of my inexperience. I was exposed to some more tricky work as the placement progressed as well as my development and understanding of the work being given. At the beginning, a lot of time was spent learning and so little responsibility was handed over. Near the end however I did get given more. I think it also depends on yourself - if you want more responsibility, you're likely to be given it if you are willing.
It has been very useful getting the chance to put my theoretical learning into practice. I have grasped the similarities between work and what I have learnt during my studies. I believe developing this domain-specific knowledge during my placement will be very useful once I return to university as I will have a better appreciation and expectation of how things relate to the real world. Not only this, I have also developed a few of my soft skills such as confidence, professionalism, writing - just to name a few. Again, this will assist me with both my degree and beyond. These are qualities that employers seek and are pinnacle to personal development.
On the day to day basis, the office etiquette is rather professional. However, there are plenty of events and causes to get involved with on the more social side of things. Everyone is very friendly and equally understand the importance of their work. You get a real sense of cohesion here and I would strongly consider returning. All in all, there is something for everyone, and with such a big team, it's not hard to fit in!
My placement was not a set in stone, sort of churned out format where each year, the placement student did essentially the same job and got the same experience. Although there was a timetable in place prior to my start, it was open to changes if they were deemed fit or if it was in my interest - for example, my secondment in one department extended to 6 months from 3 months. This meant for a more tailored experience which I believe is better for the placement student.
The company is a big believer of personal development as its employees are its investments. They want you to develop as it's not only great on a personal level but also for the firm. At the beginning of your placement there is compulsory training that you must complete prior to working for the firm - this is to ensure that you are aware of the work etiquette, e.g. know how to answer the phone in an appropriate and professional manner. Throughout the placement, you have a series of optional and compulsory training courses that again go towards your personal training and development. During your placement, you will also have a series of appraisal meetings with your line manager to talk about how you are getting on and objectives that can be set to aid development. All in all, RSM invests a fair bit in its employees.
There are a multitude of perks related to working at RSM - great team, international opportunities, secondment opportunities, regular social events, the list continues... and so yes, a future with RSM is appealing. It is common to be offered a job post placement - which is worth mentioning as I am aware of some placements that don't offer this. Can't see why not as you have invested time and money into this placement student and it is almost a 'try before you buy' deal.
Yes and it was not only the younger crowd that joined in on this. There is a social committee who organise most of the events that take place and they do come around fairly often. Other than these firm organised events, there are regular social events in each department such as month end drinks and away days.
My work placement is literally a half hour walk from my student accommodation and so it was cheap as chips in terms of living costs whilst on placement (especially when you receive a wage). Not all placement students get this opportunity to still live with students whilst on placement (I mean I'm not too sure many want that opportunity) and so my experience of the cost of living and socialising was not all that different from when I was a student.
The best. I love the Leeds nightlife. Having the opportunity to have two lifestyles (young professional and a student) meant that I got a variety of nights out. I may be a bit biased as I do go to the University of Leeds and so of course I enjoy the city too - but I am quite sure that my opinion is shared!
There are a good amount of opportunities to get involved with at RSM in the Leeds office - women's and men's football teams, choir, networking events. These are the ones that I can think of off of the top of my head! I think whatever floats your boat, there will be something available. And if not, the team are very open to new ideas.