I have thoroughly enjoyed the vacation scheme, it has given me a great insight into how audit works and what it is like to work at KPMG. I have been able to work on several clients and with different people on each one which has given me a wide range of experience and the ability to find out from a large variety of people what it is like and their experiences.
The programme has been great fun and has given me a real flavour of working in audit.
I felt highly valued as I never felt like I was pestering anyone with my questions or getting in the way. I was given responsibility for sections of the audit and given 'real' work to do which made me feel like part of the team.
Additionally I was included in team discussions and encouraged to give my suggestions which further made me feel valued. At no point was I made to feel unwelcome or in the way.
There was a lot of support available. Each intern was assigned a personal manager, we had weekly meetings with them to check how we were getting on and they were available to answer any questions.
We also set goals and had a list of objectives to achieve by the time we finished the programme which created structure and the support was based off of that. We were also given a 'buddy', this was someone closer to us in experience than the manager and therefore on hand to answer questions as well and show us around. This created a strong network of people that could answer questions and provide support.
The client facing skills I have developed will be useful in my dissertation where I have to go and potentially do interviews. Additionally the professional skills I have gained will be helpful in further jobs and at graduate job applications.
The insight was well structured. The first day was an induction event where we were introduced to the firm, given details of our buddy and manager and given an idea of what we would be doing over the programme.
The second day was then based in the office finding our bearings and setting ourselves up. The rest of the programme was based at client sites which was arranged through a centralised system. This created clarity on where I would be based and therefore the programme was well structured.
There was also a CSR event which was arranged and the details were clearly communicated. This was an opportunity to find out about the volunteering opportunities
Everyone was very welcoming and willing to answer my questions. This created a positive attitude where everyone around you is encouraging you to develop your skills, take responsibility and progress.
The office was more relaxed than I was expecting but remains professional which creates a good atmosphere to work in. At client sites there is a team effort and everyone works together which encourages productive work.
There was lots of training provided. The majority was online training which was done remotely, this was based around giving a grounding in the regulations and services that KPMG have to abide to and gave a good understanding of what the company can and cannot do.
The training was also a good starting point for understanding some terms and gave a basic knowledge in some of the key areas I have worked in throughout my placement.
The CSR event was also an opportunity for personal development to see how it is possible to use the 6 available volunteering days.
This programme was very helpful in seeing what working full time would entail. I was able to get a feel for the amount of travelling and the hours required to complete an audit. Through talking to people I got broader perspective of how this varies throughout the year.
I was also able to get a feel for the work that is done and the standard it must be completed to, the managers review work and therefore further questions are raised.
I also got a representation of how little time is spent in the office as almost all the time is at the client site, this is something I was surprised by.
The programme gave a good insight into the company culture, it was clear to see that the company is very friendly as everyone was willing to talk to me and answer my questions.
Additionally, I found out about the company's environmental objectives and their community objectives which gave me the opinion that the company cares about their contribution to society and are actively taking steps to do more.
Following the programme, I have decided I would like to pursue a career in accountancy and therefore it was very helpful. The fact that I got a true representation of what it is like to work in KPMG with the travel, the work and the people means that I am confident I will enjoy working in this industry. Additionally, I found it was possible to do the work with little prior knowledge (although I had to ask a lot of questions) and therefore when I have gained knowledge the work will be even better as I will fully understand what I am doing.
The position was paid and expenses were fully reimbursed through a centralised system. The pay was very generous.
There were plenty of opportunities to meet people in the firm, every client was a different team of people and therefore I was able to speak a wide variety of people who had come to KPMG through different routes. Additionally, everyone was very willing to answer questions and talk to me which made meeting people and networking far easier.
In terms of official networking, after the induction day there was a networking drinks which was an opportunity to meet people working in the London office and talk to them as well as network with the other interns.
There was a social opportunity in terms of a boat party that was put on for people completing the internship. This was a great event and a lovely chance to catch up with interns in other offices and see how they were getting on.
It would have been nice if there were more networking opportunities, however given the programme is only 4 weeks and we were out at client sites during the week it is understandable that there weren't many formal chances.
There are lots of opportunities available outside of work, these were discussed briefly at the induction event and there was a chance to find out more information on the online portal.
There was a large range of information available about the various sports groups and other societies that represent groups within KPMG and also look at raising money for charity.
I would thoroughly recommend this programme to a friend, it is has been hugely useful in helping me decide if this is a career path I would like to pursue and was a fantastic chance to experience audit and working in a Big 4 firm.
Additionally the atmosphere in the organisation was very friendly which made settling in and adjusting to working life far easier.