I have really enjoyed my internship programme at Smith and Williamson in the Business Tax department. The team have been really good at getting me involved in work and I have been learning and working throughout the programme. Everybody will sit down with you and try to aid in your understanding of business tax even when they are really busy. It was overall a great insight into the world of tax.
I was working on real client projects with graduates all the way up to partners. The team get you really involved and you feel like you are a full time employee. I was taken to client meetings, sat in on phone calls and we even got involved in team socials (including cricket and netball against external firms). The whole team would be really grateful for the work I did for them.
This was one of the best things about the programme. Each intern is assigned one graduate buddy and one manager buddy. The graduate buddy's were great at supporting us with any issues we had relating to the work we were doing. They would also show us everything involved if we were to become a graduate here and carry out the ACA exams. We would meet with our manager buddy's every week and go through what we have done throughout the week, and they would check to see if we are getting the variety of work that we wanted and if not, they would inform the relevant people to make that happen.
I was extremely busy on a day to day basis. I have done previous internships where you are counting down the hours until the day ends. At Smith and Williamson I always had lots of work to do to the point where I had to turn down work from people.
As an intern I feel that it is quite hard to be given a large amount of responsibility, especially as everybody at the firm is or has completed the ACA/CTA qualification. However, I was still very involved in projects and once you start work on a certain project, you will see that through till the end, whether that then involves sitting in on calls or going to meetings.
During the internship you have to prepare a proposal presentation about a fictional client which Smith and Williamson want to take on. Doing this allowed me to develop my communication skills presenting to senior members of the Business Tax team. I did the presentation with another intern in the department which taught me teamwork skills. Lastly setting a side some time each week to work on the presentation whilst also balancing work given by members of the team helps develop time management skills.
Atmosphere in the department is great. Everybody is very friendly and chatty with each other. The partners sit at the end of each row of pods so you chat to everybody in the department. Everybody is really sociable and the department do a lot of social activities after work including drinks, sports matches and ski/football trips abroad.
The internship is very well structured. The buddy scheme ensures you have a variety of work to do and everybody is very active at getting interns involved in various projects. I think it could be even better if the firm introduces a rotation where interns can spend even a day or two in other departments. Just so we get even greater exposure to how other areas of the firm work.
Working from home
This seems like a great place to train as a graduate because whilst doing your ACA/CTA exams you do not specialise in a specific area of tax like other firms. This means you can learn about different areas of tax opposed to just one, which I believe is better for your development. They also offer you a graduate role if the feedback from your team is good.
The firm organise a lot of socials, not just within the department but with the other interns. We had a lot of drinks, lunch/dinners and even bowling organised by the firm. They also organise breakfasts with other areas of the firm where they speak to you about what they do. It means the interns get a lot of interaction with each other and a result we have become quite close.
Internship (1-4 Months)
Central London and City
10th August 2018