4 week internship working in corporate tax department of KPMG.
During my 4 weeks at KPMG I had the opportunity to work for a variety of people including assistants and senior managers - this was interesting to see how different people work and how they communicate. I also had the chance to complete lots of different work including: tax computations getting to grips with the software, letters to HMRC, attending a client meeting, risk procedures online etc. This meant my time was more enjoyable as I wasn't just being set routine tasks. I also found the work varied in terms of challenge some tasks being relatively easy and others requiring a lot more time and consideration.
Everyone was very friendly and welcoming. I felt included in social and professional events at the firm. The office can sometimes be quiet over the summer and so at times there is not much work/social things occurring - during this time you have to make sure you have things to be getting on with so not to loose motivation. I asked for feedback for all my work and the responses were positive and I felt like the work I completed was valued.
Everyone took time out to explain things in depth to me prior to a piece of work they were setting, meeting or phone call. Similarly, everyone allowed me to ask questions at the end of work/meeting/phone call in case something didn't make sense. I had weekly meetings with my project manager which was very useful to raise any concerns or ask questions. Everyone also is assigned a buddy who you sit with and is there to help - it was useful sitting with my buddy to ask quick questions without leaving the desk. You are encouraged to ask questions and no one expects you to have any prior background knowledge so no question is viewed as silly.
The skills I developed were not particularly relevant to my degree but this was expected. However, in terms of skills for beyond my studies I found the experience really useful. My team were willing to let me join another department for a day or two to get a broader over-view of the firm. This enabled me to see which work I am best suited to for when I graduate. Getting the opportunity to visit a client site also allowed me to develop professional skills that will be useful in whatever line of work I choose.
The insight is well structured but I would suggest it is what you make of it. If you ask for opportunities to attend meetings/phone calls or ask for a wider variety of work then people will endeavour to help. If you are pro-active in asking for work then you are more likely to be considered when something interesting arises, At times, there is no work anyone can give you and this is when the insight fails.
I was based in a regional office where the teams are much smaller. Also it was summer holidays so there was always people out the office taking holidays so at times it felt very quiet. However, everyone was very friendly and I was invited to a couple of office lunches which was nice to eat lunch away from the desk. I would have preferred a larger team where more summer interns/graduates are based as I was the only intern.
The internship is quite short at 4 weeks and this goes very quickly. I would say time was best spent getting thrown into the day to day tasks and seeing what life is really like at the firm as opposed to training and development. There are personal training quizzes to complete online but it is more useful getting real world experience when the time at the firm is so short.
The work I was set was work that was relevant and important - managers and people I worked for also explained why I was doing a task so even if I wasn't involved in the next step I could understand why it is necessary. I was able to listen in on calls and go to meetings with clients to see what tasks I would be completing if I took a grad job at the firm. The tasks I was given would be some of the tasks I would be doing as a grad at the firm so I was able to see whether these motivated me and if I found them interesting etc.
Throughout my internship I had to complete a sheet outlining all my goals/targets for my 4 weeks these were all based around the values and culture of the firm. So each task I completed I had to relate back to one of the goals and so the culture was always at the front of my mind. At all the meetings I had with my buddy and performance manager they emphasised how important the values and culture was and it was easy to see how people in the firm adopt the values in things/work they do.
The internship was very valuable in deciding what I do and do not want from a career. It also allowed me to realise that at any frim/work there will be comprises in doing stuff you may not want to do. As the things I was doing I would be involved with as a grad I knew exactly what career path I would be going into if I joined the firm.
My buddy was helpful in explaining how to complete an expenses form and I was told I could do this in order to get reimbursed for my train journey.
At the regional office you get the opportunity to meet all the team and I had the chance to work with the majority of them. This gave me a chance to get to know people personally and professionally. There was no network event put on at the firm but I think it was more valuable to work with people.
There was a corporate responsibility event and social event (thames cruise boat party) - however I was unable to attend these due to compassionate leave so cannot comment.
There was a cascade meeting at the office which outlined all the charity events that were being put on throughout the year. As the internship is only 4 weeks long there wasn't many opportunities to get involved in activities and I think in a regional office sometimes activities outside of work can be limited. It would have been useful to know about whether there was opportunities for activities outside the office.
Yes- it gave me a really good understanding of the firm and the clients we work for. It also provided me with a really useful insight in to what day to day life would be like at the firm and this has enabled me in making a decision about what I want after uni. The four weeks go very quickly but the insight does exactly what it is meant to do giving you an insight into the firm and a bonus is the fact that you get paid!