Administrative duties in the office;
Partner shadowing and stock takes;
Researching potential clients while in the office;
Involvement in corporate social responsibility (CSR) events.
Overall the vacation programme was well organised with most days spent on client site. I found some tasks very basic and menial, but this is to be expected on a vacation programme. I think visiting client site gives a good representation of the graduate role equivalent and there are also great opportunities to speak with graduates on the programme to gain an insight into their own experiences.
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I feel as though I was contributing to the teams work immediately, however at times I felt I was a burden on the team when they were trying to meet deadlines. I was often given work that was repetitive and that others probably didn't want to do. This was however dependent on the client as sometimes I had copious amounts of interesting work which I enjoyed thoroughly and other times I had very little to do.
Senior members of staff were very supportive whenever I had any questions and I felt comfortable asking them anything as they were very understanding having all been in my position in the past. I had a manager and a buddy for any questions, with my buddy only being one grade higher this was useful as they had only very recently joined the company and could therefore explain things on a basic level which made sense.
Some days I was given very little work and others I would be working solidly and staying longer than the contracted hours. It is all very client dependent, but this is also true of the graduate programme. I think that it would be useful to have a rolling task to fill in any quiet periods, but also to have extra support on the busy jobs so that the hours don't become overbearing.
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.
Not too sure about degree, I guess it will serve as motivation to get the required grade to get the grad scheme if you were previously lacking in motivation (which you probably aren't if you got the vacation scheme offer).. I feel like I would have a decent advantage over someone who hadn't worked there previously partly due to doing the work before and having a basic understanding of what needs doing but also the networking you are able to do over the 6 weeks.
My colleagues were extremely friendly and approachable. Most staff members are relatively young having joined through either the graduate programme or the school leaver programme. I found this helpful as it was much easier to talk with them and ask any relevant questions. I cannot fault the staffing quality and office environment, the facilities and social events were second to none.
The recruitment process was very well organised and they were always very quick to get back to me after each stage. They were also really quick to respond to any queries I had with regards to the placement. On my first day which was the induction day this was very well organised and provided me with lots of useful knowledge. The 2 days I spend at the tax business school was also very well structured. When I arrived for my first day at the office however, neither my buddy nor my people manager were there and I found that at the beginning it was quite disorganised.
As this was only a four week insight programme there was only basic online training. I did feel as though the company were putting a great investment into all of their vacation students as they provide the opportunity to informally interview for the graduate scheme and guide students on the capabilities that they should demonstrate in order to continue with the firm after graduation.
As previously stated the vacation students are given the opportunity to pursue the grad programme upon completion of the internship. I am still unsure as to whether or not I will accept as the hours can be somewhat unsocial during the busy season and their seems to be little flexibility on annual leave with staff members having to book leave months in advance. Having previously worked in a company operating flexi time, I much preferred this approach as it is more compensating of the work/social life balance.
Working on client site makes it difficult to socialise with fellow interns as we were all so dispersed across the north of England. KPMG do however put on various social events and have many societies for employees to join. They value their workers and reward them greatly for their hard work.
I was based in the Birmingham office which is also were I go to university so I was able to stay at my uni house during the internship. This meant that living costs were very low. I had to get a 10 minute train in to work every day which was very cheap and easy. It is definitely much cheaper and easier that being in London.
Birmingham is a relatively cheap city with a good night life and social scene. The night life was good with some nice pubs around. There are many pubs and bars in close proximity to go to outside of work. The nightlife is relatively good. You will always find something interesting at night.
I attended a Go Ape day with a team that I was with which gave me a fantastic opportunity to meet everyone and talk to everyone. I also attended a networking evening on my first day which meant that I could socialise with the rest of the interns. They organised a boat party and a corporate social responsibility day during my internship which was for all of the interns across all of the different service lines within the office which meant I could catch up with everyone and hear how everyone else was getting along.