I worked in audit. I was able to work with two teams on two clients and so I spent two weeks at each one. I was part of quite a large team in both cases and was based mainly at the clients' sites. I was the only intern on both teams.
As the only intern on the team, I was also the one with the least experience- which meant team members had to take some time to essentially show me the ropes and explain what all the acronyms meant. I understood that team was quite busy trying to meet deadlines but also wanted to be of actual value to the team. Wish I was given slightly more challenging tasks but I understand that would involve a lot of time invested in training and explaining.
Received a lot of support from the team. Everybody was willing to help explain how things worked. You receive an awful lot of information within the first few days and this can get quite overwhelming juggling this with your work. There is also a lot of terminology that people use on a regular basis that you have to familiarise yourself with, otherwise you may have no idea what people are talking about around you.
The corporate culture is quite different from that at university so my experience probably won't be of as much help at university as it would be once I actually start working. I learnt to adapt quite quickly to working long hours on a single large table with the rest of the team. As someone that is quite used to their privacy, it was a bit odd but everyone is lovely so adjusting wasn't a problem. You also learn to develop the more nuanced soft skills you need at such a corporate place i.e. how to request urgent information from colleagues without harassing them.
I knew where I would be going and what I would roughly be doing at every point of my internship. The firm also organised a number of social events to allow interns get to know each other. Otherwise without those I would hardly have spoken to any other fellow interns because I was always at clients' sites and the only intern on the team.
Very friendly and approachable group of co-workers. They were happy to help when I was stuck and they took the time to explain the more complex aspects as for someone with no experience whatsoever in audit it can be quite overwhelming trying to understand everything without those explanations. Even when the work was challenging, the good relationships between the team members made it ok.
That is entirely dependent on who your supervisor is and how busy they are! Mine was quite busy so I spent more time helping out other team members with any work they wanted me to do. They were able to take the time to explain what I was going to do and more importantly, why I was doing it and how it would actually help the audit.
I got a pretty good idea of what the lifestyle and culture would be like i.e. quite long hours during the busy periods and generally approachable colleagues. However in terms of the actual audit process, it is quite difficult to learn what it's really like because doing anything significant requires training and experience which interns would not have yet. But I could see that as a full time graduate, I would be given quite a lot of responsibility and freedom in your work- but of course you are also held accountable for your work.
You can tell a lot about the firm's culture from the way its staff treat you and how they interact with one another. I got the impression of a very professional and hardworking yet friendly and approachable team. Obviously this also partly depends on individual personalities but did not meet anybody that I actively disliked.
I was already pretty sure I would go into audit before my internship and the scheme has made me more sure of that. There are pros and cons to the job of course but I am glad I got to see both sides so I know exactly what I am letting myself in for.
I was about £20k pro rata for a four week internship. You also receive a daily lunch allowance which you can top up- it is more of a subsidy than an allowance but you still get really good food and way cheaper prices. This allowance increases slightly when you work at client's sites- I was extremely lucky that I got quite a big client and so their canteen food was amazing. You also get reimbursed for travel expenses when you go to clients' sites- you are reimbursed the surplus of what it would have cost you to go the office- in my case the Canary Wharf office.
On the first/induction day we networked mainly with fellow interns although some of the buddies who are also graduates came down but so far I've only met other employees of the firm through actual work. That being said, that's included a range of people from a partner to several school leaver and graduate trainees. I got to know people mostly during lunch and obviously through causal conversation while working.
It has not actually happened yet, but there will be a boat party for all the interns - from all departments i.e. audit, tax, advisory e.t.c. I believe it's basically going to involve all the interns on a boat cruising down the river Thames at night and getting to know each other better. so it should be fun!
They have also organised CSR events where we basically get involved in charity work. I believe all employees are required to do about a week's worth of this each year. The interns will be helping out with a homeless charity this year. There are also several networks that basically cater to everyone e.g. faith based networks, multicultural/language based ones, LGBT networks etc. Almost like university societies.
Especially for someone like me with zero experience in auditing- this is a good way to learn at least a little bit what a full time job might be like. You also get to see if you actually want to work with the firm and its people and if you could potentially be happy working here.