I spent roughly 4 weeks working in the Life department, and the other 4 weeks in Non-Life. Both areas were extremely varied - with projects and audits being undertaken in each. For 2.5 weeks I was based out of London in Swindon, carrying out an audit of a life insurer there. (All expenses paid!) ... this work was mainly writing about the systems of the company, a lot of technical analysis (asking lots of questions for help!), and discussing with the clients on a daily basis points that needed verified for the audit.
Back in the office, on the Non-Life team ... work was again varied. The more proactive I was, the more I got to work on different things. If there was something I enjoyed, or wanted to try out, I got to! Asking was the main point.
A lot of Excel work - financial modelling, and even working on buildng a model. Given a lot of responsibility for just an intern!
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I hadn't had much work experience before - but wanting to go into the actuarial profession, I found this the perfect place for me! I enjoyed the work and environment in AIMS (Actuarial Insurance Management Solutions) so much that I actually looked forward to Mondays!
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
Everyone from new graduates to partners had a way of making you feel like family. People were never too busy to answer questions - even repeatedly! Since there were a lot of social events too within the department, you really got to know people.
I felt like part of the 'team', whichever project I was working on. And people always let me know that my contribution was highly valued.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
A buddy (graduate level) and a coach (senior management) were assigned to me. Every couple weeks I'd have a 'formal' meeting with my coach. Also the Resourcing team scheduled meetings to chat about what I wanted out of the internship, and how they could find me work that I was eager to try.
Support wasn't limited to my specified buddy and coach however... as anyone I worked with became a buddy/coach for me, and was always happy to help.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
Most days I was very busy with projects... due to the short term of the audit (2 weeks in which to complete everything), and then having to submit documents to clients. However, even though I occasionally worked overtime (and was told off for doing so by members on my team!), I never felt as though things were too much for me.
If there really wasn't enough time to get something done - it was possible to give some of the workload to others who were less busy (not interns).
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
Working on a few projects meants that I could really get involved in them. Thus I was able to attend client meetings, work on classified information, and even delegate work to other interns when necessary!
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
The work undertaken and friends made have been invaluable, and the experience will stand me in good stead for the rest of my actuarial future. I've been given a graduate position starting in 2009! The AIMS department of PwC is really a fantastic place to work.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
Generally fairly laid back - ie not investment banker crazy style! Always friendly, people asking if they could get you drinks from the kitchens etc. Occasionally quiet with people taking study days.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The scheme was excellent... there were formal ways of receiving feedback from people we'd worked for. Two reviews (middle and end) helped us to track our progress. At events for all PwC interns it seemed as though not every department was as well set up as AIMS - the Resourcing team really did their best to give us interesting work.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
People went out of their way to help - although we were working for them and putting in many hours (a great deal of which were chargeable ... ie making a lot of money for PwC!), in no way were people forced to be as great as thy were!
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
A final interview at the end of the internship confirmed that they want me back in 2009! :) (3 out of the 4 interns were given a grad place ...)
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
Among those in AIMS (4 of us), we got along great - and had lunch together most days. There were less goings on between interns in different departments/offices - but in normal working life you don't often know that many people in the other departments anyways, so it didn't seem too much of a problem. Within your department, plenty of organised/unorganised events take place, with lots of opportunities for getting to know other workers.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Fairly standard London Prices... apparently there is a London Bridge discount card which I think you can get if you work there full time, but not sure?
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Plenty of pubs around London Bridge... some were particular AIMS places. We had our summer ball at the Dorchester Hotel - nice!
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
Not too much ... there was an Intern Softball day which was held with the Recruitment department. When working full time there are a bunch of community programs ... like helping to teach in schools etc, that you could get inovled in tho.