You will be given an audit scope outlining the areas of review and what tests you will be completing. During the fieldwork, you will review the controls/processes in place to identify any risks. Once this is completed, you will produce a report of your findings and establish management actions with the client to mitigate any risks. You will complete different reviews across different areas for various clients, those of which will predominantly be in the public sector.
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
Overall, it was a good placement year and I definitely gained a lot of experience in the role. The role itself is not the most exciting however the work is challenging and various audits can be interesting. Over the year I was introduced to a lot of scenarios which will benefit me greatly going back to university and during my career as a whole.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I did not feel like I was treated any differently for being a placement student through my year. It is very inclusive from the beginning as you complete all the introductory training with the new graduates who join at the same time. From here on, you are always invited to events which graduates and other staff are invited to. Everybody has always been welcoming, friendly and fair throughout the year.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
At the start, I was shadowing senior auditors who were always willing to ask questions and explain the process on how to conduct audits clearly, in detail and ensured I was not confused. However management was very dependent on who you were working for as some managers offered more guidance than others. Having said that, management were always approachable if you had questions or needed clarification. All managers offered guidance when reviewing reports which definitely helped improve my report writing ability.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
At the start of the year I had work each day but was not always busy as I was shadowing seniors to understand the role and was not completing audits from start to finish. From January onwards, I started completing audits solo and was always busy from here onwards. If there was no audits, management would find other tasks to be completed.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
From the beginning I was conducting fieldwork with senior auditors and having client-facing work. After 4 months, I was entrusted with completing reviews on my own from start to finish (opening meeting, conducting fieldwork, debrief meeting and report writing). You are also trusted to work solo at the client site regularly.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
There has been a lot of training opportunities throughout this year including auditable skills (specific audits), software competency (Microsoft Office) and professional skills (conducting meetings). The work itself develops key skills which are invaluable in any job, which is due to the role being client-facing and being exposed to a variety of scenarios.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The office environment is very relaxed, friendly and everybody chats. It is hot desks, you are able to listen to music with headphones in and there are dress-down Fridays. The only downfall is that as the role is client-facing, you have to work in their offices alone sometimes and this means when you are in the RSM office not everybody is in.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
You are included in all the same training as a graduate role and there is generally work each work. However, it is hard to always be organised as sometimes audits change at the last minute for various reasons. In addition, you have to be proactive and contact the managers regarding upcoming work.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
During September you complete three stay-away training courses which are a great bonding experience with the new graduates/placements and help you understand the role. From here on, you check the training portal for any upcoming training and you contact your manager for approval to attend - which usually/always happens as long as you do it in enough time!
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Working from home
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
There is a clear path of progression in the internal audit department however it is not as clear on the timescales for these positions. Often opportunities for secondments are circulated via email but these are not, understandably, always available for placement students but rather for more experienced graduates or seniors.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
As people are not always in the office together socialising does require forward planning. The only time when people tend to go out is for a few drinks after work on a Friday. However, there are events which are planned throughout the year. There are more social events when the graduates are not studying for ACA/ACCA/CIA exams.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Luckily as I lived at home during my placement I was able to socialise in London as I was not paying rent. However going out in London is still very expensive - a stark contract to university! There are plenty of things to do socially which are cheap but going out for drinks is definitely not cheap.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
There is so much to do in London and the nightlife is pretty much endless!
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
There are sports teams at RSM (Football, Cricket, Netball, etc) which you can join and get involved in. In terms of other general activities for after work and at the weekend, there is a lot of things to do in London which can be either cheap or cost a bit.