Overall it was an enjoyable experience. I particularly enjoyed hearing from the employees at BDO - especially about Forensic Accountancy and the format was good. There was some waiting occasionally after finishing tasks or sessions, time that could have been used more productively. The person leading the insight day was friendly and guidance from her and the employees was very good.
The recruitment representative was welcoming and easy to talk to. Likewise, the employees were engaging and friendly. They all answered our questions concerning their jobs and the company as a whole very well and seemed happy to give honest opinions and advice surrounding these areas, as well as exams and the application process to careers at BDO.
Available routes with BDO, such as the Summer School and apprenticeship/internship programmes were outlined well, with good further analysis into the application process and interview advice. The more hands-on tasks, such as PEST analysis, were explained clearly and in a straightforward way. More of these types of tasks would have been welcome.
The advice surrounding interview technique and applications to programmes was very helpful and can be applied in a broader sense. Information about the various forms of accountancy/business services, such as tax, audit and forensics, was in depth and useful in helping to discern my interest. Further information about BDO and the day-to-day work of employees was also very good.
The order and content of the insight day was good. However, at times it didn't flow as well as it could have done - with some brief waits between sessions. On the whole, the insight day was well put together and allocated a good amount of time to the appropriate sessions.
Although it was not as a result of the way the insight day was run, the sessions were fairly quiet at times and discussion started off limited. Although this improved as the day went on, more active tasks and possibly a chance to see the office floor rather than staying in the same room for the whole day would have bettered the overall experience.
Time available for active training and development on an individual basis was understandably limited as the Insight Day was only five hours long. However, I would have like to have seen more opportunity for hands on activities, expanding on those such as PEST analysis, as would allow for more understanding of the actual work done by accountants at BDO.
The Insight Day was quite informative in this area due to good information from the representatives of the company that spoke to us for an hour or so about what their day-to-day jobs involve. However, more active tasks and an opportunity to go up into the offices and see the workplace, as opposed to staying in the same room for five hours, would have been appreciated.
The employees were helpful to an extent in this area and the explanations of the core values of the company were good and insightful. However, as we were only able to remain within the one room, and didn't have a chance to explore the office spaces and see the work of accountants in action, opportunities to truly understand the culture of the firm were limited.
The insight day was very valuable in helping me to discern which aspects of accountancy at BDO would interest me and what I might consider applying for to the Summer School and the variety of other programmes and opportunities available at a later stage. Again, more hands-on experience could have improved this even more.
Meeting employees from the firm allowed for sufficient time to get an understanding of how employees operate and a general idea about what life working for BDO is like. Further, the recruitment manager was helpful and told us we were welcome to keep in touch if we had any questions.
As mentioned within my answer to the question 'Were there opportunities for networking and meeting other employees of the company or firm?' the opportunities to hear from employees and ask questions about their careers, etc, were good. However, opportunities to meet employees in a one-to-one environment would have been ideal.
This was an area in which the Insight Day was quite week. The only information that was delivered, as far as I can remember, surrounded the ten days leave available to employees for voluntary activities and the benefits provided by the company. Other opportunities open to employees as a result of working for BDO were no mentioned.
I would definitely recommend this Insight Day to a friend who knows they have an interest in accountancy or other financial services provided by BDO and similar firms but do not have a clear idea of which specific sectors within these areas they might have an interest in or what programmes would be available to them. It would also be of help to those who know they want to / have applied to one of these programmes but would like to know more about BDO.