Assisting audit seniors with relevant deliverables by validating financial instruments and statements.
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I very much enjoyed the last three weeks of my internship at BDO as I was placed on to a fieldwork assignment with the execution of an audit - the first three weeks were a little slow as I wasn't given this exposure until later on and was stuck in the office..
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I felt very valued - all of the work I performed, regardless of how significant, was utilised in the final audit sign off. For instance - call and casting seems very trivial and repetitive at first, but its significance is vast for the assurance of the financial statements. All testing I performed was used in the audits.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
I was given a massive amount of support - I was assigned a graduate buddy and a counselling manager, who managed my feedback and appraisals. To this extent, all colleagues I interacted with provided me with some sort of feedback for my appraisal, which was very impressive as I didn't even remember some of the work I performed for certain individuals and their feedback was very detailed.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
My work load fluctuated massively whilst in the office - at times I was working for several managers with many deadlines and had to stay late in the office, and at other times I found myself having to ask colleagues for work I could complete. This was very different when out on site with a client as I always had work to do.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
All of the work I was given had a massive amount of responsibility behind it due to the nature of audit - assurance is necessary through all parts of the work, so even something that seems so trivial such as checking financial statements for grammatical errors is of vast importance. So while tasks seemed small at times, they were all very important.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
My technical and professional skills developed massively over the internship. In particular my professionalism through having to liaise with clients has improved, and my spreadsheet skills are now much stronger due to the nature of audit deliverables which rely so heavily on excel. As you are always working under deadlines, you are forced to improve in efficiency which is great.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The atmosphere was relaxed at times however this always changed as deadlines approached. At times even seniors and managers would joke around with the interns and graduates - it seemed that it was more important to get your work done than how you went about getting it done, which is very important in my opinion.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
As I've mentioned above, my placement wasn't massively well scheduled as my first three weeks were spent working for several managers asking for work a lot of the time. However during the last three when I was assigned and out at a client site, I was working the whole time and this was a much more enjoyable experience.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
The company invested a lot into my development - I was given a massive amount of feedback with development points and was always encouraged to work on new tasks to develop my learning further. I consider this very important as I felt I wasn't been groomed into learning one particular task and then being pigeon-holed into it forever.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Above 25 days holiday
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
Very - BDO sponsor you through your professional qualifications and allow resits if you fail. They provide incentive to pass the exams in the form of financial bonuses and give you time off to spend at college to study for the exams. Further to this, audit seniors are always very friendly if you ask for any help regarding ACA qualifications.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
Yes - there were so many socials. I was only in Ipswich for 5 weekends and there was a social event on almost every weekend. There was a nation wide football tournament, a summer social held at one of the waterfront bars and also a summer social out at a crazy golf course. The graduate scene was also quite strong with several sports teams.
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?
Ipswich I would say sits in the middle ground for nightlife - it exists, but nowhere near the quality as it is in say London or a larger city. Despite this, there were several office socials at a few of the bars which were a lot of fun. Prices are relatively high so this is something to keep in mind if you are used to living in a cheaper city further north and less remote.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?