1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I thoroughly enjoyed my time working at Mazars. The working culture is very comfortable and supportive and I felt like part of a real team. I felt my learning was supported and it was a very hands-on role, which gave me a real insight into what working life would be like there.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
The working atmosphere at Mazars was always supportive and my colleagues in my team were always encouraging. Colleagues at all levels made sure I felt valued, from the partners down to the admin staff. The team of interns were always invited to whole team meetings and kept informed of company-wide and team-wide news and developments.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
Management at Mazars were always very willing to give support and guidance. My direct manager sat on the same bank of desks as the interns so that he could be on hand for any queries. When the director in charge of our team was in the office, he would also sit at our bank of desks, and when he was not in the office, was always available by phone or email.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
My workload varied day-to-day, depending on the responses we received from clients. I was rarely so rushed that I felt overwhelmed, but I also rarely had little or no work to complete, until towards the end of the internship. Management always kept track of our workload and progress in order to support us and ensure we never got too busy and that we never ran out of work.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
The type of work we completed meant we were very quickly responsible for completing our own audits with almost complete autonomy. All our work was reviewed by management, but it was still our responsibility to resolve the queries. The work was so hands-on that I did feel I had a good 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?
The work was quite specific to that role, so it did not have direct applications to my future career. But I did feel that there were some transferable skills that could apply to any future career, but particularly in a career in audit. The main skills I developed were an eye for detail, time management and teamwork. The exposure to external clients was definitely extremely beneficial.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The atmosphere in the office was generally quite laid back and comfortable. It was a small office, and the majority of the permanent staff spent most of their time at client sites, so it could be fairly quiet. But it never felt corporate, you could stop for a chat with anyone in the office, people tended to be laid back and jokey, and everyone was extremely welcoming.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The set up of the internship was very organised. With a thorough training programme before we began the main work. Management had taken the time to take on feedback from previous interns, and made adjustments to make it as efficient as possible. Management also took time to for one-on-one sessions and also generally kept abreast of our progress.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
The company ensured we completed a range of training sessions covering a range of topics. However due to the limited amount of time on the internship, and the amount of work we needed to complete, there was not lot of opportunity for extra training. However, the company did allow me to accompany my manager to a meeting with an external client, as they thought it would be beneficial to me to see another side of the work they do.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
There were no perks with
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
As an employer, Mazars is definitely an appealing prospect. The supportive atmosphere and prioritisation of work-life balance is something I am looking for. At the end of my internship I was offered the opportunity to interview for their graduate scheme, and I am happy to say I was successful. I am looking forward to starting my career with Mazars next year!
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
The intern team often went for drinks after work, which were always very enjoyable. However, due to the location of the majority of the other interns a fair distance from the office, opportunities to socialise were fairly limited. We did all organise a big night out for our last day, and I did get on well enough that I am still in touch with some of the other interns.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
The cost of living in Durham was surprisingly high, which was unfortunate. It did not help that there were not many options for short term accommodation because it is such a small city. Socialising was about average, not cheap but not unreasonably expensive. However, socialising in Newcastle, which is only a short distance, was extremely cheap.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
I did not experience much of the nightlife in Durham, but it appeared that the majority of options for younger people were student bars. Unfortunately, being the summer, there were even fewer options than normal. I did go to a few of the bars and pubs, and they seemed nice and reasonably priced, but it is difficult to say what the nightlife is like in general.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
There were not many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work. This is mainly because the majority of staff spend most of their time offsite, so we did not see them enough to organise much. The team does have events outside of work, but, possibly due to bad luck, these did not fall during the internship, with the exception of a cricket match some of the team attended.