I was a first year audit associate, which involved going out to different clients, and as part of a team performing tests of detail to gain comfort over their financial statements.
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
My time at pwc was an overall enjoyable experience, where I got to meet and work with a lot of new people in a lot of different industries. I developed a lot of my skills such as confidence and communication. However as expected the work load along with studying for the ACA exams was a challenge.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I felt that I was valued by my teams that I worked with day to day such as the people in the year or two above me. However sometimes I wouldn't feel as appreciated by the more senior members who would only visit the team occasionally, as they would spend most of their time talking to the people above me.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
You are given a lot of support from your colleagues, and are encouraged to ask questions. They would rather it would take longer by asking questions and get it right then trying to do something by yourself and getting it all wrong without asking for help. Before you start the actual work you are given a couple of weeks of training.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
This varied upon the time of year and the job that I was working on. For example January through to march is a very busy period for auditors and involved a lot of long days. I was also very busy when I had exams to revise for, which involved finishing work and then going home to continue studying.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
You are given a surprising amount of responsibility, however all of your work gets reviewed by someone more senior so you don't feel stressed about the responsibility. For example I had days where I would go out and do a stock count by myself without knowing the people I was going to meet or the situation I would myself in.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
Some of the skills i developed include; resilience, communication techniques, confidence and organisation. Going into my final year at university these skills are extremely useful. Your time is much more limited and there is a lot of work to get through (organisation and resilience) and part of my assessment for the year is done on presentations, of which the confidence and communication skills are essential.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The atmosphere in the office was very chilled out. The desks worked on a hot-desk system so you got to set next to a variety of different people. Half way through the year my office implemented a 'dress for your day' dress code which meant that if you weren't meeting clients you could wear a distinctly less smart outfit.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The placement was set up very well, with us being treated exactly like graduates. We had training at the start of the placement to prepare us for our role. We had a people manager who caught up with us regularly to discuss progress. When the placement ended we had a leaving meeting with the recruitment team to discuss our future within PwC.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
The firm invested very strongly in me individually. The main way in which they did this was by paying for my college tuition and exams for the ACA qualification. We also had many days throughout the year that we could study at home. In addition we had training throughout the year that helped us with our job.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Sports and Social Club
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
Future employment prospects are very strong as you continue on the graduate scheme as a second year graduate when you return. There is also the bonus of continuing with the aca qualification to become a charted accountant. There is a a clear cut progression ladder with pwc and if you want to change line of services this is also possible
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
I joined my office with around 100 graduates and undergraduates. There was a strong social scene. We organised events outside of work and along with pwc. You spend a lot of time with the graduates and other undergraduates during the beginning of the year through training which sets up a nice platform
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
I lived in Birmingham, which was actually home for me so I saved money this way. The cost of socialising wasn't too bad and the salary you received made if affordable. From my colleagues i know that the cost of living isn't too bad and with good money management it is ver doable.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Being a fairly large city the nightlife in Birmingham is very good.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
There were various opportunities to get involved in extra activities. For example group socials happen every couple of months and we had a office social once a month. There are also sports teams that you can play for. There are also opportunities to do volunteering, as pwc gives you 6 days a year to do volunteering.