Overall I really enjoyed my internship at BDO. I got to work with many great people on a variety of auditing tasks, as well as having great social events with other interns. Gaining exposure to many facets of audit kept things interesting and exciting, while the socials were great for getting to know my colleagues and having time to relax after work. I found the industry very interesting and would like to pursue a career in auditing. I also got to learn and do work for other departments ad travel to different offices, giving me a better overview of the firm as a whole. This was exciting and I found the whole experience worthwhile.
My colleagues were very welcoming and friendly throughout, as well as being supportive. I could ask anyone any questions and they would find the time to help me as soon as possible. I also got to know my colleagues better through social events, making me feel more part of the team. I worked alongside many colleagues on a variety of projects, where they would give me timely, constructive feedback and were grateful for my help. This made me feel valued throughout the internship and has encouraged me to work harder and to return as a graduate.
My managers were very supportive throughout the internship. They would check up on me regularly to see how I was doing, my progress and to ensure I always had work to do. I also felt comfortable asking them about the job and the firm, where they would try to make time for me when necessary. In the beginning I was given plenty of guidance on introducing me to the industry and the job, but as the internship progressed I was given more freedom in terms of time and jobs. I believe this was the ideal amount of support and guidance for me.
Most of the time I was busy with various jobs and projects for different departments. Some weeks were very busy, such as my first week for training in Birmingham, one week doing client-side work and the final few days doing a presentation in London. They were challenging but rewarding and some of the best times in the internship. However, there were a few days were I had little work to do. This was because all my colleagues were out and I did not have any ongoing or prior work to do. I would have liked to have been more busy on these days.
I was given a fair amount of responsibility during my internship, since I was given a variety of work to do on multiple projects. The work I did was important to the audit testing and I did this client-side. I was also partially responsible for creating a CSR presentation with other interns and had to communicate with clients when working client-side. However, I was only given tasks that were doable within my experience and training, which was fair. I was not given jobs that were too important and all my work was reviewed by other colleagues.
I believe the universal skills I developed will be very helpful in the future. I have learnt how communicate professionally with clients, as well as having good attention to detail and remembering complex procedures. My Excel skills have also greatly improved from my internship. In terms of my training, some of the knowledge I have gained complements my degree topics and should help me gain a quicker understanding when studying. However, some of the more specific auditing skills will only be useful if I continue to work in auditing at BDO, since other firms have different procedures and values.
The atmosphere was very good, with everyone being friendly and helpful. There were plenty of fun office activities and conversations and the office itself was pretty nice. It was generally quiet, but everyone was working hard and it motivated me to continue to work hard as well. The atmosphere kept me focused on my projects, but I also had the freedom to take breaks when necessary. There were no consistent perks or issues, since people would be in and out of the office regularly. This meant the atmosphere would change often depending on the number of people in. Overall, it was a nice place to work in.
The first week was well organised, with a strict schedule and good communication on what was going on. I knew exactly what I had to do and what was planned over the first week. In the subsequent weeks, I was mainly in the office doing odd jobs and tasks for different clients. For the first couple weeks my work was planned and I was allocated a few days to work with other departments. However, the later weeks were emptier and there was less organisation and communication on what work I was doing. There were many times were there was no work for me to do, and I had to ask around often for tasks to do. However, in general I knew what was planned for the internship and there was normally a good amount of work to do.
The first week as spent purely on training, where we stayed in Birmingham and worked in the Birmingham office as a collective group of interns. This must have been a major investment for the firm, since we were given full-day training and social events every night. The last 2 days were in London, where we had more social events and did a presentation for a potential CSR project that BDO would implement in the future. These were significant investments to provide us with the necessary training and to make the experience worthwhile. In the office, I was given as much work as possible. However, it was limited due to my experience and knowledge. Additionally, summer is a slower period for BDO in terms of work, so there as only so much I could do. My colleagues gave me time when asked for and they introduced me to every aspect of the office, so overall BDO greatly invested in me.
Employment prospects are very appealing for the future. I was given the offer to join the firm after graduating for a 3 year contract, which will also allow me to study and gain a professional qualification in accounting. However, there is a lot of restructuring currently going on within BDO and there have been various mergers and organisational changes in the past several years, so the company culture is constantly is shifting. Therefore, I am unsure where the firm is heading to in the future and therefore employment prospects are relatively unknown.
During the time in Birmingham and London, there were social events everyday, so the social scene was strong among fellow interns and colleagues. We were given plenty of time and freedom to socialise. However, I was the only intern in my office, so I did not get much opportunity to socialise with other interns throughout my time there. I went out for drinks with my colleagues occasionally, but interns was excluded from many of the firm-wide social events and away days. Therefore, the social scene was good at certain times and weak in others.
I lived at home during my internship, so the only expenses were bus travel and food. Therefore, it was very cheap and inexpensive for me. In terms of socialising, there were not many social events I could participate in during my internship at my local office, so I'm not sure how expensive socialising would be in Leicester. The few socials I did go to were drinks at local bars, which were paid for by the company. There were also no other interns in my area, so I did not socialise much overall. This did make working here very cheap though.
There were not many opportunities outside work, since interns were excluded from certain events such as away days and training days. However, due to the length of the internship it would probably be best spent doing work and getting experience. There was a football tournament to get involved in, but in terms of volunteering and other activities there was little to do. I spent nearly all of my time working, either in the office or away.