1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I really enjoyed working at BDO. I have completed to placements as part of my degree and this was by far the best place I worked.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
Everyone at the office was very understanding and helpful when it came to questions about accountancy or the firm. I also felt valued because while on audits I would be trusted to talk to finance directors and CEOs
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
Throughout the internship we were given booklets to fill in with our own personal goals and goals to which out manger would like us to achieve. Some of my goals included getting out onto an audit, finding out about secondments and completing a cash and bank audit file. I had two meetings with my manger over the internship, but this was down to me being out on audit. I could have contacted her more if I had problems but your immediate team around you in audit tend to extremely helpful for any support.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
From speaking to others I was very lucky. I was placed on 3 audits over the 6 week placement. I believe having prior accounting knowledge really helped. My contracted hours were 9-5:15 but over the 6 weeks I think there was only two weeks I didn't fill in overtime. The been said, don't let this put you off. The whole experience was very enjoyable and the slightly longer hours I assume is nothing compared to working in the big 4.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
As this is an internship for anyone the amount of responsibility varies per person. In the first week you are taken back to debits and credits and extremely basic accounting, but by the end of the internship you should be able to fully operate the BDO systems and create/complete certain sections of the audit on your own (depending on the complexity of the audit you are on). This will involve talking to finance directors, CFOs and the finance teams of the client. You are representing the firm the whole time you are working, so this would suggest a fairly high level of responsibility.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
Being on an Accounting and Finance degree this prior knowledge was very helpful in assisting with the day to day work preformed as a trainee accountant. Further to this, the internship and broadened my knowledge of what audit work is all about and this knowledge will prove useful when I come to do my module in final year on audit and assurance.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The office was one of the best things about working at BDO. As one of the best graduate employees you will find that the majority of the people you are sat around and interacting with daily are straight out of university and currently studying for their professional exams. This really helps when you have no idea what you are doing, they were in your position not to long ago.
There is a yearly football tournament set up by BDO and is supposedly a great laugh with students, managers and partners all attending. Unfortunately I was away the weekend of this, so I missed out!
Also, there seemed to be a birthday everyday in my office... always cake.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
As I have already mentioned, you receive a booklet at the start of the placement whereby you fill out your intended goals and your managers intended goals for you. Further to this, there is a great training week at the beginning of the internship where all interns meet in Birmingham to learn who BDO are and general systems and basic accounting. Every night BDO has some sort of paid social event for the interns to get to know one another. Some examples of what I did: laser tag, pizza making, organised night out.
In the last week your progress is reviewed and you are then given a final interview with a senior partner of the firm in regards to a graduate job when you have finished your degree. In most cases this is just an informal chat as your progress has been marked by your manager throughout the weeks.
In the last two days of the internship all interns meet again, but this time in London. This is a debrief and to find out how everyone has got on in their internship and the next steps. BDO are really good at this stage by showing interns what the next steps are if you don't want to work for them and how to get help.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
As mentioned the first week is spent training in Birmingham. You can tell from the start you are really valued and the firm has invested a lot of money into this scheme. Don't waste this opportunity
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Sports and Social Club
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
Extremely appealing, the process is long interview for the firm. They get to see your progress throughout the 6 weeks and then interview you at the end.
I was offered a role and so was the other intern at my office.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
When meeting up for the first week and the last few days the social scene was great. In office I was only 1 of 2 of the interns so there wasn't much of a social scene. That being said I was taken out for a meal with my manger twice and enjoyed a few trips to the pubs after work with some of the graduates, so it wasn't terrible.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
N/A I lived close by in my parents house.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
N/a didn't go out in the Southampton area over the internship. I have been out in the area before and its pretty good.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
As mentioned there was a football tournament. The firm also offer up to 10 days (estimate, i can't remember from the top of my head) off for charity work.