1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I really enjoyed it. I had a large amount of exposure to different clients and individuals in the office, The people at BDO are all so lovely, they are all willing to help out and are patient when you're new. The work is varied too which means everyday is different, so if you're looking for variety, BDO is the firm for you.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
The firm is very people orientated. I definitely felt valued, all the way from the activities provided in the training week to the individuals who I worked with. Everyone was very patient and offered support regardless of your prior knowledge and ability. Feedback was given verbally and in written form which reaffirmed that I was valued.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
100%. Everyone was willing to provide support even when not asked. But when I asked, my colleagues were willing to go out of their way and use their own time to support me even if it kept them from completing their work when they wanted. This was true of everyone from trainee all the way to partner which as great to see.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
Some days were busier than other. My hours were 9:00 - 17:15. But I wasn't expected to work outside of those hours. I chose to work through lunch and sometimes stay later to complete work but I wanted to push myself. Depending on your ability I can imagine you may be busier if you are knew to accountancy as I had prior experience so was able to complete my work more timely and had more free time.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I was given responsibility from day 1. I was trusted to email and speak to clients. I represented the firm in the local community in my CSR project through contacting charities off of my own back. I was responsible for my own work, completing it and submitting it timely. Responsibility also came in the form of submitting my expenses and contacting managers I was working with.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I feel I am able to approach study in a more professional manner. I believe it has also reaffirmed my aspiration for post university. I now want to work for BDO on the graduate scheme. I believe the communication skills I have developed will allow me to interact better with my classmates and also when speaking to those in the industry in the future.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The office is really vibrant and energetic. Everyone says hi and ask how you are. There is always laughter and upbeat conversation going around. There was never a dull moment in the office.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
The first week is a training week,; basics of accounting, basic software training and client facing training. Throughout the internship there is opportunity to complete online e-learnings which expand your knowledge and introduce new concepts. But also if you ask someone to explain something, they will go out of their way to teach you new information and concepts.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
I have the opportunity to join the graduate programme which is a 3 year traineeship to gain the ACA qualification. This will be a great opportunity for me to shape my future and gain more responsibility. I then have the opportunity to take my career in any direction. I would 100% recommend anyone to go down this route.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
I was in Reading. There are plenty of bars and clubs but as a university town, it is pretty quiet in the summer. The younger colleagues in the office go out regularly so there is still plenty of people to be involved with going out. You will find that you won't necessarily have time to go out as the working week is completely different to university! But each to their own!
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
There is a BDO National Football Tournament every year. I got involved with the office team. There was a night out on the Friday and then a tournament on the Saturday.
The internship programme provides social activities in the evening of the training week.
The offices also run regular office events and there is always leaving drinks for colleagues.
Both on arrival and on leaving the office, there was a lunch provided.