1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I very much enjoyed my internship at BDO. It was an honest and sincere pleasure coming into work every morning. Like with everything in life, you only get out what you put into it. If you are eager, and complete your assigned work, there are opportunities to get involved with more and more interesting areas of work. Was a great decision applying, and was fortunate to work here.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I felt very valued. I gained more and more responsibility throughout the course of my internship as I proved my abilities. This was a good indication to me that my work was valued. Moreover, there were feedback documents that managers could provide you (if you ask) to evaluate your performance on various tasks. Great way to formalise the feedback process and make interns feel valued.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
Support was there every step of the way. They have what is known as the buddy system, which assigns each intern to a trainee. This gave me an opportunity to ask all the technical and basic questions to someone tat had gone through a similar induction process in the not so distant past. They are often very approachable and take good care to make sure that you're set up and understand processes.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
Most days were very busy. Whenever I was out of work, I could approach a senior or manager, and they were always happy to have me involved with other projects or tasks on their plate. Plenty of work, but you definitely need to be proactive in approaching others. You wont arrive with a backlog of tasks or things to do; these evolve over the course of the internship.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
Increasingly, I was given more and more responsibility each week. Tax is technical, so a lot of base knowledge is required to do the work. As I learned to use the systems, I was increasingly given more responsibility. I was never asked to do photocopying or filing during my internship. Got directly involved with practical and meaningful work that was accomplishing.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I feel that I developed my attention to detail skills over the course of the internship. In completing tasks, being evaluated and receiving feedback, I enhanced my skills and gained more confidence in my abilities. These are very invaluable skills that I will carry forward into my degree studies and beyond.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
Mood was positive. People were always happy to help out and everyone was approachable. Partners sit amongst staff as equals, and so there is not physical barriers preventing or intimidating staff from approaching them. Would often have water cooler chats in the kitchen with partners and directors and always felt like people were happy to have a good chat about tax or anything.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The internship was very well structured. Lots of activities during the induction and the conclusion. BDO was very generous and put us up in hotels in Birmingham and London. Socials were fun and engaging. Was definitely a good way of getting people to know the culture of the firm and to get to know other interns that are going through similar experiences.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
They are very generous in their investment into trainees and interns. Both pathways are equally invested in, I would say. The aca/cta route is a three year qualification, that the firm offers to its tax trainees. This is great because it would otherwise cost quite a fortune to do on your own. This is only one of the many investments that BDO makes in its trainees/interns. I think the internship was also a big investment by the firm to engage people with the firm.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
There were no perks with
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
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?
Reading was generally quite affordable. It was also coincidentally the location where BDO's national football tournament was held, so I had the opportunity of participating in that. A pint is about £2-3 and lunch is £8-15. Some of the socials were paid for by the firm and so didn't have to pay of pocket.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Great socials were provided by BDO and the grad recruitment team. Would make every effort to create a positive and fun environment. They had pub quizzes, laser tag, making your own pizza, and ping pong as some of the exciting events which we participated in. Great investment into the internship, and making it high quality fun, and makes you want to be part of the firm.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?