1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I very much enjoyed my summer internship at PwC -Cambridge. I was given the opportunity to work on a variety of clients over the 6 weeks and gain a great insight into Auditing. All of the people I worked with were very helpful and friendly, which made my time very enjoyable.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
All of my colleagues involved me in conversations regarding the work and with the clients. They always made the effort to explain more technical terminology that I didn't understand. I felt that my work was making a valued contribution to the team and was equivalent to the level that a first year grad would be performing.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
There was extensive support from a variety of people. Before I started I had contact with 'my buddy' - a final year grad - for any queries or questions about the programme or concerns for the first day. I also had a 'career coach' - at manager level - to discuss my work, progress and development with. Then each day either in the office or on site I was coached, helped and advised whenever I needed it
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
The majority of days were very busy. It was never too much but there were always things to be getting on with and working through. Everybody made an effort to set you up with new tasks once you were finished and by keeping busy the days went very quickly. A couple of days were quieter depending on the client and the stage in the audit process.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I believe I was given a good level of responsibility for an intern. My work had a genuine contribution to the audit and needed to be accurate and precise. I was responsible for preparing documents, meeting with clients 1-to-1 and checking through accounts but there was always someone on hand to check with if I was unsure how to do something.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I gained a lot of confidence throughout my time on the internship and learnt to not doubt my work so much, which I will definitely use in my studies. I also developed an extensive understanding of the auditing and accounting process. There was a lot of training for the fundamentals and then plenty of client work to get more realistic experience of the job which will definitely help me in the future.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The office was very friendly and welcoming from day one. The new, modern office was an excellent space to work in. There was extensive use of technology to make work easier and more efficient and the clear desk policy meant that I got to meet and work alongside many different people. It was also very supportive and everyone was willing to help if you ever had a problem.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
Overall the programme was well organised. It began with a 3 day residential induction that was meticulously planned and we were kept well informed throughout of admin tasks to complete. Once we were in office the external resourcing to jobs was not as well organised and sometimes we were given short notice of the client sites we needed to travel to. Despite this there was sufficient support in place to sort out any problems quickly.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
I felt like the firm heavily invested in my training and development. From the initial residential induction training to the regular catch ups with a career coach there was a clear focus on my development. I was given feedback every couple of weeks on each job I had worked on and had goals to achieve from the beginning of the placement.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Working from home
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
The future employment prospects are very appealing, there is a clear path for quick, valuable career progression whilst gaining qualifications. While it is clear it can be hard work and long hours, the firm is clearly one that respects and rewards its staff for this. The organisation also offers a lot of flexibility in terms of changing line of service or exploring other jobs within the firm and promote their secondment programmes. They're also very positive throughout the whole process about being offered a job upon successful completion.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
I've made good friends with the other interns and the residential induction was a great social environment for meeting like-minded students going into offices across the country. Since going into the offices the group of interns have been a good support base and has provided a good social scene going out for dinner and drinks a few times. The grads in each office have also included us in social events and attending the office Summer Ball was a clear highlight of this.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
I was able to live back at home so this wasn't really an issue. While general living costs in Cambridge are probably slightly higher than average I was able to save a lot more of my salary compared to working in London. The socialising with the firm was heavily subsidised for events and our competitive salary meant that overal costs were low
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
During the 6 weeks I attended a couple of evening events which were good for nightlife but were also inclusive for all the team. Generally it was a more relaxed approach to socialising with work, such as a few drinks on a friday evening.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
There were several opportunities to get involved in charity activities such as bake sales, a local sports day and a theatre visit. We also had a firm wide day exploring new technology and doing outdoor activities and well as a Summer Ball which was a good socialising event with outdoor games.