1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
The six week internship in Assurance external audit at PwC allows you to explore the ins and outs of a business. You learn a huge amount and this contributes greatly to the overall enjoyment as you genuinely get a lot of learning points out of it. The on the job learning really helps contribute to this.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
Being part of an audit team of about 10 people allows you to develop both working and personal relationships with your colleagues within a large firm. You do feel part of the team and even if you work on a small area, colleagues do trust in your opinion and the work that you do.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
After the first catch up meeting for the client i was assigned to, I was given a full overview of an entity that I had no prior knowledge about. The guidance I received for the team was exceptional and they were always keen to answer your questions however simple they may be.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
To an extent it's up to you how much work you want to take on as there is always work available for you. I had ongoing tasks and various problems to sort out for each element of the audit I was assigned to. You are not required to work longer hours but you can if you wish to push on.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I was given a number of tasks to complete across the audit, including creating outsourcing instructions to delivery centres in India. This allows you at a junior level to project manage which is a very unique opportunity. Equally your colleagues value what you have to say, and trust that the judgement you bring to the engagement is important.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
Coming into audit from a non-finance background, the skills I learnt will not be directly applicable, despite a steep learning curve of technical knowledge. However the soft skills such as managing people, interacting effectively within a team and active listening will be extremely helpful to any group or individual work carried out in the future.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
Very friendly, everyone was getting on with their own work but were more than happy to have a chat and discuss things with you. You are often out on client site and basically working internally within the client. The close team bond you develop with the audit team create a friendly learning atmosphere.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The placement started with a week induction at a hotel including team building, technical skills and basic things to know. It was efficient and well organised and was followed by an office induction to reinforce what we had learnt. The internship was geared to you as an intern which was well organised.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
A week of training at the beginning of the internship including team building and classroom sessions. This included building both technical knowledge and soft skills along with basics of integrating into the company. This investment meant we had a lot of our basic questions answered and a good investment was put in for a short internship of 6 weeks.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Sports and Social Club
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
The 3 year training contract sets you up with a basic understand of how a business operates through attaining the Institute of Chartered Accountants England and Wales qualification. This sets you up well if you choose to stay with the firm or move elsewhere as you learn a huge amount. You have the opportunity to be offered a graduate role after the internship.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
At the end of every month there is an office social at a bar nearby, and often opportunities to socialise with team members more ad hoc. Being in a youth dominated organisation there are plenty of opportunities sporting wise or through various other societies and quiz nights at the firm.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Being on the outskirts of London the price for a drink will always be relatively expensive. However this is made up for the close proximity to the areas involved, with a bar a 30 second walk from the office and plenty of places to go and eat nearby with ease.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
I didn't get to experience this hugely but there are plenty of bars and pubs to visit and for something bigger central London is accessible quite easily via train. It depends how far you are willing to travel and who you go with more than anything when it comes to this.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
Although the opportunities were not obvious at first, the best way to get involved is through asking plenty of questions to discover what you can get involved in. Whether you want to go for a drink or play sport there is plenty on offer such as squash, tennis, football etc