Went out on Audit jobs with clients, helping them with the audit process.
I had a great time in my 6 weeks at BDO. The whole work place was very welcoming and helped me to feel comfortable and settle in nicely. The office was also very impressive and modern. I enjoyed the variety of work I took part in and it is something I want to be doing going forward. My only negative would be that I would have liked to have spent longer in Audit, but I still enjoyed the time I spent in Risk Advisory Services.
In the last few days of my internship, one of the colleagues that helped me the most throughout the 6 weeks summed up the Birmingham office perfectly. She said that the office is just one big family, and that is the impression I got during my time there. Everyone was lovely to talk to and very helpful with all the advice they gave, being patient with me if I didn't understand something straight away.
I didn't really have any problems during the internship, but I always knew that I could talk to management/supervisors if I needed help and the support and guidance provided was fantastic. They also played a big part in me settling in so quickly, for instance taking the interns out for lunch early into our time in the office and were very friendly and approachable.
In general I think I had a good level of workload throughout the 6 weeks. Some times were busier than others but I never felt overworked or particularly bored. Sometimes if I completed a task particularly quickly I would maybe have to wait a little while for another task as my colleagues were obviously busy themselves and there were only certain tasks I could actually complete with my knowledge, but this was never to the point where I was bored for very long.
Obviously there was only so much responsibility I could have expected to be given, due to my lack of experience and knowledge. However I did feel like the work I was doing was valuable and genuinely contributed, rather than just getting the coffee for people like I have heard some internships entail. By the end of the 6 weeks I was taking on greater responsibility at client sites and had more control over certain sections that I was completing.
I think the skills I have developed will be crucial both in my working life and in my personal life. Since I am going to be doing the Audit Graduate Scheme with BDO, the training I have received so far will be invaluable in making the start of the Graduate Scheme more comfortable. As well as this though, the personal skills I have developed, for instance teamwork, talking to clients, presentation skills and problem solving will be useful both inside and outside of the office going forward.
The atmosphere in the office was extremely good. Obviously it was professional and serious, but that didn't stop it being enjoyable. There was an overwhelming sense that so long as you did your work on time and to a good standard, you could have as much fun as you wanted (within reason). Everyone seemed to love working for BDO and it seemed that everyone got along as well, which is really important in creating a good atmosphere. The socials that were arranged were also an effective way to bring everyone together and let off some steam from a hard day/weeks work.
I can't really remember anything going wrong in terms of organisation during the internship. I was a little disappointed that I wasn't working in audit for the whole 6 weeks (I spent some time in Risk Advisory), but I understand the reasons behind this and had a very good time working in RAS anyway. The events that were arranged for the interns were all very enjoyable and well run, and helped to relax everyone and build friendships. I particularly enjoyed the time in London at the end of the internship, I think the two days were organised very well.
We had a week of training at the start of the internship, which helped for us to learn the essentials of the jobs we would be doing throughout the 6 weeks. On top of this, the help provided by members of staff at each stage of the internship was very useful and helped me to navigate my way through comfortably. I never felt in a position where I didn't know what to do and didn't know who to ask to help me, which is testament to the initial training and the BDO staff.
I have been offered, and have accepted, a place on the Graduate Scheme, starting September 2017. I accepted this offer without hesitation, as this is a company I want to spend many years with. I loved my time on the internship and am looking forward to my future with BDO. I also feel like they offer extremely good career progression, so it is a company I would like to stay involved with for some time.
I think BDO really encourage their staff to be social, which helps to keep morale high and avoids the possibility of burning out. All of the events arranged were enjoyable and served the various purposes they were trying to. The events in the first week helped all of the interns to get to know each other better and start building friendships and relax people for the job. Then, the events throughout the 6 weeks in the office helped to integrate the interns into the groups of staff, making it a more enjoyable and comfortable working experience. The highlight was the BDO national football tournament in Liverpool, where some of us were invited as interns to participate.
I had my student house in Selly Oak so the cost of living for me was low as I'd have been paying for the house anyway. As the office is in the city centre, certain places were expensive to eat/drink, but not too expensive so that we missed out.
The nightlife in Birmingham is very good in my opinion and I would recommend it to anyone who has the chance to go out in Birmingham.
As part of our internship, we were raising money for the WildHearts Foundation, so we were organising events which ran outside of work hours. As well as this, we had a lot of opportunities to socialise with staff outside of work, for instance going to the casino or the trip to Liverpool as I said before.
Birmingham is also a very good city to do a variety of different activities, so there aren't many limitations for people.