In simplest terms, the duties of an internal auditor are to: Objectively review an organisation's business processes and evaluate whether there are any underlying risks that face the company.
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I really enjoyed my placement at RSMUK in their Risk Assurance department as an Internal Auditor. The placement gave me the same opportunities as a graduate with the same amount of responsibilities. I learnt more than I every realised I could! The placement started with a lot of learning, both on the job and on courses. This quickly progressed into working towards clear target and being given more and more responsibilities as time went on.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
This is a difficult question for the role I was in. I did not often work with my colleagues, we just caught up when we could when we were in the office at the same time. As for the assistant managers and managers, I felt very valued and the advise they gave and how constructive they were made me feel like they really wanted to help me develop.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
Personally the level of support was perfect for me. At the start there was a lot of support and guidance and then as time went on I was given a lot more freedom to get on with my own work. The key reason why I gave RSM a 10/10 for this is because I always felt that my line manager was there for me on the other end of the phone. My manager was there for me regardless of the issue, whether it be work related or not.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
RSM is a very fast paced firm and in Internal Audit there is a lot of flexibility in the work but there is good amount of work. To elaborate, you always have enough work to be getting on with and it is always something that will help you learn and never the same as the previous week or sometimes even day. BUT, if you need to finish early one day but can make up the hours with an early start/ late finish on the next, this is often a possibility.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
This was one of the best things about my placement. After about 4 months, I was working almost independently. I was being given tasks, organising my own meetings, undertaking my own audits with contact with relevant management where appropriate. If you prove your self at RSM, they will nurture your development.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
My degree and my placement were not very relevant to each other. Is this good or bad?
Bad - I'm going back to uni to study something that I have not thought about in a year.
Good - I have SO much of a wider knowledge regarding businesses as a whole (especially Not for profit organisations) and an invaluable increased knowledge of risk and the assessment of risk.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
I've put 10 but noting that my time in the RSM office was very limited. I spent most of my time at a variety of different client sites.
When I was in the office, the atmosphere was great. Everyone in the Internal Audit team was friendly and the office is open. You could literally be sitting talking to another grad or a partner/ director about either work or personal matters... it was amazing.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
Due to placement student being treated exactly like graduates its great. To be honest, due to not studying towards a professional qualification (unlike the grads), as a placement student you are actually exposed to more work, more clients and you develop faster. What more could you want from a placement?
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
To be honest, I think the firm invested more than they needed to ( that's not a complaint). When I commenced work at RSMUK, I was invited to attend an assortment of training sessions including, but not limited to:
• Induction to double entry and bookkeeping (2days)
• Group catch up on how we were doing after 2 week (1day)
• Business and personal skills (3days)
• Introduction to Internal Audit and Risk Management (3days)
All of which I was in hotels for with food paid for. In addition to these I did a variety of one day and two day courses throughout the year.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Working from home
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
I have already been offered a job for after university. In the Internal Audit team, as long as you show that you work hard and are willing to learn and be flexible they will probably want you back. I also know that they two placement students from last year in my role in Milton Keynes are also both returning this year.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
Due to the nature of the role, most of your colleagues will leave across the country even though they maybe based in the same office. Therefore meeting up and socialising is quick a lot of effort for everyone involved BUT with a Christmas work do, a couple of summer work bbqs, sports day, two staff training days ( we did an escape room for one of these) - when your all together it is great!
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
RSM are pretty flexible where you live due to the large amount of travel required. For example, although my office was in Milton Keynes more work was anywhere from Norwich to Kent to Slough to Peterborough. So if you want a cheap life stay somewhere cheap, if you want an expensive one then that's fine too. I move to Northampton and stayed in a student house for less than £400 a month all bills included and my gym membership was £18 for all classes and gym and swim... no complaints from me
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Ive put 10 but I didn't go clubbing loads. I was in a student town so there was clubbing there and it was meant to be good in Milton Keynes too but I wouldn't really know. Although, I went to a few pubs including a good old spoons and that was pretty good.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
As above, this varies on where you decide to live. For me, this year I went to the gym, I played squash and I played underwater hockey. All of which were off my own back and not through the company.