Duties in the office included casting and checking financial statements, helping with graduate recruitment activities, expenses, and general admin. We also were asked to complete iXBRL accounts checking which involves a computer based tagging system where accounts are checked in great detail using a standard pro-forma.
I did really enjoy my internship as a whole. Although I don't think I want to pursue it as a career, it has at least helped my in my career development path as it's as useful to rule jobs out as it is to decide I might be interested further in them. It has been a huge learning experience overall and am thoroughly glad I did it.
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I felt valued by my colleagues and felt I was treated no differently to someone who was there as a full time employee. Everyone was very welcoming in the team and always asked how I was getting on. They gave me tasks which contributed towards client work and I felt that I was not just there to do photocopying, make tea etc.
The managers and supervisors in the team are very friendly and helpful. No matter how busy they may be, I have always been able to ask them for help when I needed to. Sometimes, it is difficult to differentiate between managers/supervisors and other colleagues. This is because they are always around to help with work or even just have a friendly, informal chat,
Due to the nature of actuarial work, there was a limited amount of work that could be assigned to the interns. Having said that, the team does take the time to train interns to carry out basic actuarial calculations and reviews. This allows interns to be able to take on slightly more technical work to get some practical experience of the actuarial work.
I found that the work flow had a very good balance, apart from a couple of days where there was hardly any work to do,
As mentioned above, there is a limit to the amount of work that interns can do in this department. Nonetheless, I felt as though I was given enough responsibility to get a taste of the actuarial work. The range of projects vary from assisting a colleague with report writing to independently updating client data.
I would say that the programme does very well in trying to provide the closest experience to a complete one.
Depending on your degree, I wouldn't say that the technical skills developed will necessarily be very helpful in further studies. However, for those interns that are looking to pursue a career in Actuarial Science, I am sure that these skills will be very helpful and will give a head start in your career.
You will also have the opportunity to develop a bunch of non-technical skills which will not only stay with through you university and work life but also help you in your personal and social life.
Generally, everyone was very friendly in the office towards me. Members of staff would say hello and smile at me, whilst colleagues I had worked with previously in the internship would make every effort to catch up with me to see how it was all going. Some days it was relatively quiet and serious in the office, but I think that was just a reflection of people concentrating on their work.
In terms of training, the programme was very well organised and structured, A casual and informal setting for most of the training sessions allowed interns to confidently ask any questions that we may have and allowed us to completely understand the information before moving on.
In terms of the work, it is understandably very hard to organise work in advance, The team, however, does an amazing job at assigning a wide range of work to make sure we get maximum exposure.
I felt that, during my time at KPMG, the team was completely invested in the interns and genuinely wanted us to have an accurate taste of the work life,
In terms of personal training and development, there have been a number of colleagues that have gone out of there way to set up training sessions (outside the organised ones) to explain concepts that they fell are useful for an actuarial intern.
If you were interested in pursuing a grad role at KPMG, the internship over the summer is a great way to secure a place on the grad scheme as the chance of being offered a job is extremely high, provided the feedback you receive from your managers is good enough. However I am sure that you do not need to have done the internship to secure a grad role, many come in from other backgrounds.
On my second day in office, I had 3 socials marked on my calendar for the first two weeks, On top of that, there were a few socials organised by colleagues in the team. Furthermore, KPMG organised a boat party for all the London Vacation Programme students during the third week, Lastly, the actuarial interns were also invited to the SIAS boat party.
I feel any internship outside the South east of England is going to be reasonably priced in comparison. Cost of living is very reasonable plus any expenses incurred during working hours such as travel and lunches was reimbursed by KPMG. Plus the pay for the internship went a long way in regards to paying for living costs.
As the internship was in the centre of Birmingham there are countless options for Nightlife. Even though I didn't go out much during my internship, if you wanted to, there are definitely lots of affordable student friendly places in the city centre that you could go to on a Friday/Saturday.
Yes there were many opportunities to get involved in other activities but I didn't choose to. I think this is just my personal choice and if you were interested you could get involved in more of the societies. Also as the internship as fairly short (4 weeks) I felt it was not really worth my while joining any of the events organised.