1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I really enjoyed my placement at PwC. The work I was asked to carry out was engaging and interesting, and there was a real range. My team was also incredibly friendly and welcoming, getting me involved in team socials and events outside of the normal workday, so I really feel like part of the team.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I feel that the work I did was valued by my colleagues. Unfortunately, because I have very little technical knowledge about VAT, there were many projects I could not help with. However, wherever I was given a task my colleagues explained to me what I was doing and how it was helping in the bigger picture. I was not given any menial tasks - everything I did had an impact.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
PwC's Career Coach and Buddy system means that I had a Buddy, who is roughly my age, and a Career Coach, who is a manager, to help me during my time. They were very good at catching up with me, making sure I had work to do and there were no issues.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
I was fairly busy a lot of the time, but unfortunately summer is quite a quiet time in the office. I was advised of this when offered the internship, but this was the only timing I could do. Everyone put a lot of effort into making sure I always had something to be getting on with, but I was not rushed off my feet.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
While I was never given any great responsibility in terms of contacting clients etc., I was given responsibility for taking charge of certain aspects of projects and liaising with colleagues at member firms. This means I was emailing people overseas, organising meetings and collating their responses. It was also my responsibility to talk to people in the team and organise catch ups or meetings if I wanted to find out a bit more about their role at PwC.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
While it is unlikely that I will be able to use the technical VAT knowledge I have gained in my degree, I do think that it has given me a greater understanding of how the tax system in our country works. I have also been given great insight into potential Brexit implications and other political decisions which could have widespread impacts. Writing professional emails and engaging in conversation on a topic I am unsure about will be really transferable to my final year at university.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The office was always a professional environment, but that is what I was expecting and what I wanted. However, everyone is very approachable and friendly, everyone gets on with each other. The hot-desking system (where no-one has a set desk, and you can move around each day) means that the relationships between members of different teams are much stronger than I had expected. Everyone seems genuinely happy to be at work, and that positive atmosphere made my experience of the internship really enjoyable.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
Having applied to quite a few internships, one of the reasons I was so attracted to PwC was the organisation of their application process. I was always kept in the loop, informed well in advance, and given feedback promptly. This level of organisation was maintained through the internship. I received regular emails from the HC team updating me on things I needed to do or checking that everyone was OK. They even provided a Google Slides with the answer to every question you could possibly think of and a link to the answers. I always felt that I knew what was happening and who to get in contact with.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
Before going to the office, the first 3 days of the internship were spent at a residential induction course. There, we met the other interns, but also had 'lessons' about the line of service we were going into. This meant that I had 2 full days of training where they explained to us all the different areas of tax and some of the basic rules and principles. This was so useful because it meant I could hit the ground running when I got to the office, and not have to get my colleagues to explain every little thing to me.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
At the end of the internship, they let you know if you have been offered a graduate job. There is no additional interviews or testing days required. This is an amazing opportunity because it means you have a job secured before your final year of university, so you can focus on doing your best academically.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
The residential induction at the beginning of the internship was for every intern across the country. It was so nice to get to know people, but also meant I could find out who was working in my office to set up a group chat. We met up for lunch sometimes, or went out for drinks after work. There was also a strong social calendar for the team I was working in, and we went bowling and mini golfing during my time at the firm.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Working in central London means that prices are quite high, but luckily I was able to commute from home rather than having to rent in the city. When socialising, my team often just went for lunch at the office (we all got food from the canteen and went out to the terrace) rather than having to go anywhere expensive. Our socials were also very reasonably priced.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
I did not experience the nightlife in the area I was working on account of commuting to the office. In addition, none of my team went on nights out while I was working there.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
Yes. I was invited to several socials with my team, a few of which I was able to attend. There was a wide range from actual activities such as bowling to drinks and lunches. It was really easy to get involved and everyone was really welcoming. The invites were always very wide, so you never felt like you were crashing.