I had a great time on the Vacation Scheme, It was very interesting to get a better understanding of what it's like to work for KPMG and also to learn more about the audit process, which I did not know about beforehand. The atmosphere was enjoyable and I learnt a huge amount. I met lots of great people who made the experience even better. The permanent staff were all very friendly and helpful, and we interns all got on very well.
For the audit of the client I was working with there was only the in-charge as permanent staff, so there was a fair amount of work to be assigned. He gave me several tasks throughout my time and I felt very much part of the team. Though the work I was doing was fairly simple, I did feel like what I was doing was useful and helped ease the workload.
Overall there was a lot of opportunity for support. My buddy was excellent, and always available to help me. She regularly checked on me and made me feel like no question was unworthy of being asked. My in-charge explained most things to me well, but there were times where I did not understand even after asking for further instruction. It was also good to meet regularly with my PM and PL as I felt like it kept me on the right track in terms of development.
The skills I have learnt have been invaluable. Firstly, as I hope to go into audit, this insight has provided me with a far greater understanding of what it entails. Also, I have learnt about working for such a large company, and all the considerations that must be made in terms of ethics, independence etc. Another skill I developed was that of learning as much as possible from as many different people, as they all had something different to teach me, or different ways of explaining.
For the most part, it was very well structured. Starting with the Values Day and spending the second day with our buddies was a great start as it speeded up the process of getting used to things. However it did seem that the teams we had been assigned to work with weren't necessarily aware of our arrival or indeed how long we were there for. This meant the first few days were spent waiting for them to assign us work.
The atmosphere was great. It was good to see how well everyone got on with each other in a work and non work capacity. It was interesting to see how different working styles were allowed for, i.e. with hotdesking areas as well as break out areas. I also enjoyed that for the most part, people could work to their own routine I.e. go to lunch when they wanted, providing the work was done. Overall it seemed relaxed, though it was clear that work was being done, and this greatly appealed to me.
I definitely felt invested in. The opportunity to have our own laptops meant we could do so much more in terms of work. Being able to use all the facilities was much appreciated. However I feel it would have been good to have had some training on eAudit before being assigned, as we all have to use it, but it had to be explained by our in'charges who are used to it and therefore don't necessarily realise what we find particularly confusing. What is explained to us is at the discretion of our teams, and as such we all have learnt different things.
For the most part I definitely felt like a full time member of the team, going to meetings, emailing clients, doing work etc so I felt that it was a very accurate portrayal of what it would be like to work here. There was also opportunity to participate in office life and even simple things like having lunch at all the various restaurants. These all added up to make it feel like we were here permanently and definitely made me want to come back.
Our first experience of this was on Values day which was very helpful in exploring all the things KPMG holds dear. The next point of call was meeting our buddies, who were very open in talking about what it is like to work here, actual work aside. From my own experience I could see that this is a company where no one feels more important than others, regardless of their rank. People are friendly and happy to help and they all get on with each other.
Learning more about the audit process was vital for me because I really did not know much about it. I feel much more knowledgeable about it now and I am glad that I have had this opportunity. It has reinforced my desire to pursue it as a career because I really enjoyed learning more about the businesses we were auditing, their financial statements etc.
It was great to know that KPMG reimburses its staff, and also that we get a lunch allowance. These kinds of rewards are really useful when you are deciding between companies and it certainly puts KPMG above the rest. It makes staff feel valued, something I realised even in just 4 weeks.
There were a few networking opportunities during the 4 weeks, however these involved mostly meeting other interns. Whilst this was great, as we could share experiences, it also meant that we did not get to meet many permanent staff from other departments, something I would have liked in order to gain an understanding of the differences between departments.
There were not very many official networking opportunities, though unofficially it was good to go to after work drinks, where I could meet people I did not know and learn more about their experiences and their advice for me. Canary Wharf provides an excellent location for this. The boat party was the most considerable social event, and it was a great idea, and very exciting.
Yes, on values day we were made aware of the societies that KPMG staff can and do join, from sports to culture and much more. It seems there is a huge variety. However speaking to actual employees it seems that not many take advantage of this which is interesting for me to know.
I absolutely would, as it has been a great experience on so many levels. I have met lots of new people, learnt so much about what audit involves and how it is done, and I have also learnt a huge amount about life at KPMG. It has challenged some of my expectations, but also reaffirmed my belief that this is where I want to be,