1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I thoroughly enjoyed the 6 weeks I spent at Smith and Williamson - not only with the work and tasks I was set, but also getting to know the team and other employees working within the firm. The working environment was really lovely, making it all the more easy to get work done. I would go back tomorrow!
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
My colleagues really made me feel valued as an intern, which I think can be a rare thing! I was given tasks that were meaningful and I could see my work being used, which was very rewarding. People really took time to get to know me as a person as well, not just purely for the sake of work.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
As an intern, I was paired up with not only a trainee buddy, but also a manager buddy. This meant that I had two lines of support for any kind of queries/issues I had throughout my time. It was also made really clear to me that any member of my department would be happy to provide me with help and support throughout the duration of my time there. I definitely felt supported.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
Both myself and the other business tax intern were glad to be kept very busy throughout the duration of our internship. We were constantly being given tasks by colleagues across the department, which really meant we got a flavour of a proper working day and the variation of different work you would undertake in this industry.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I would say that as interns, we were given a good amount of responsibility during our placement. We were given access to all the same areas that permanent members of staff would have (folders and emails etc) which meant that we weren't restricted in the work we could help with. I think this is key, as otherwise interns can become limited in the work they can do on a day to day basis.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
To pursue a career in tax, or even simply the finance industry, I feel that the skills and knowledge I have gained on this internship would help me. Specifically, I have now had exposure to lots of tax related software and systems, which would provide a good basis to work in this area going forward. Equally, gaining exposure to the workings of a financial services firm and how they operate will definitely be of value as an area I look to work in in the future.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The working environment in the business tax department of Smith and Williamson was very upbeat, friendly and positive. It was very noticeable that the people within the department are not only colleagues, but also friends. This atmosphere really makes a big difference, and is something I would hope to find wherever I work! The days are much more enjoyable with an atmosphere like this.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The internship was well organised. At the start, we had an induction day with all the interns, and were provided with a welcome pack and a day of introductions. A rough timetable of our 6 weeks was scheduled ahead of time, and it was organised for us to have talks with multiple people from departments across the firm. Continuing from the first day, managers from our department also then continuously organise and schedules for us to attend meetings/coffee catch ups etc.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
We were always encouraged to ask as many questions as possible and learn from the people around us. Everyone I spoke to was happy to give up their time to explain things to me, and help increase my understanding. It very much came across that the firm wanted us to progress over the 6 weeks as much as possible, and this was definitely reflected by the ways in which we were encouraged to attend and participate in all that was going on in the firm- both within and outside of the working day.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Sports and Social Club
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
I would be thrilled to work at Smith and Williamson in the future. It came across very much from the start, that as an organisation they were invested in us, as much as we were invested in our role and the firm. I think that this is really key as it ensures that we will get the most out of our experience, as our progress is valued to them, as much as it is to ourselves.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
Yes- all of the interns have got to know each other well and we will regularly meet for lunch/after work. An intern social was organised for after work one day, which provided a really good opportunity to socialise with each other out of work.
Equally with other colleagues, there were weekly changed to get involved and socialise, be that at sports events, afternoon coffees, or drinks after work on a Friday. The work and social aspect of life at Smith and Williamson seemed to blend very well with each other, making it a very enjoyable place to work.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Naturally, being in London, the cost of living and socialising is high- this is expected and didn't particularly surprise me. Personally I am currently living at home and commuting to London each morning, which means that I don't have to worry too much about the cost of rent etc. Bringing lunch from home is definitely a tip to help save money!
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
There is definitely always the opportunity to socialise after work, particularly because of the area the London office is in. It is in a buzzing area, where people are often seen catching a quick drink after work, chatting with colleagues and meeting friends. I have heard some very fun stories about the nightlife around as well!
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
There were plenty of opportunities to get involved with activities outside of work. Personally, in the last 6 weeks I have participated in both a cricket match, and also a netball game. The team encouraged the interns to get involved, and it really was nice to be able to experience this aspect of working within a firm, as well as the more serious side of work. I don't think all firms would give you the same extra opportunities.