Summer Internship in Assurance, London Top Tier
The way that the scheme itself is set up is ideal for a student with little experience in the working world because every intern is in the same boat as you so you learn together and by the end of the internship you are miles ahead of where you were at the beginning.
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Due to the challenging nature of the work I was given, I felt like a valued member of my team and as though I was doing important work too. The culture at PwC means that everyone is very social and the fact that everyone is quite young meant that I never felt out of place.
I was in constant contact with the managers and senior associates in my team, who always made sure that I understood the work I was given and were always happy to answer questions. The work itself is definitely challenging and there is a steep learning curve, but the support means that it is managable
There was always work to do and I stayed late a few days, but this is very dependent on the project that you are put on. How busy you are largely depends on how proactive you are in asking for more work, but there is always opportunity to push yourself. On the other hand, if you have other commitments there is little pressure to stay late.
I was given a fair amount of responsibility by the end of the internship, but at the same time there is always someone who reviews your work so you never feel as though you are out of your depth in a way that would negatively impact the project you are working on.
Considering my degree is in Politics and International Relations and I was working in Assurance, there is little overlap in terms of the training I received.
However the soft skills I developed, such as communication, teamwork and confidence, to name a few, are skills that I believe will assist me for life.
Everyone is really friendly and always willing to stop and chat. Due to the young nature of the office, with the average age at PwC being 27 and a large number of 1st year grads, it almost feels like being back at university because of all the jokes and banter flowing.
PwC has run this scheme for years and years so are very used to the level of knowledge interns will have at the beginning of their internship and structure it to suit this. For example, the 3 day residential at the beginning of the internship allows you to get to know some of the people you will be working with and the tutoring sessions give you some basic accounting knowledge so you can have an easier transition into the world of work.
The firm started us off with a 3 day residential that meant that we received training before even setting foot in the office. This allowed me to understand basic accounting principles, as I came from a Humanities background and had no idea what I was doing! All the managers and senior associates you work under were always willing to help train you in things you didn't understand.
I received a job offer on the second last day of my internship to continue as grad on their graduate programme. The graduate programme involves working towards an ACA qualification over three years, paid for by PwC, which was very appealing to me. There are also opportunities to transfer within the firm before and after you take on the graduate programme
People were incredibly friendly, and most people had also done internships or business placements so understood the situation perfectly. Due to this understanding, everyone was really social and was always happy to go for lunch or drinks after work. The buddy scheme where you are allocated a buddy at the beginning of your internship meant that you had someone to introduce you to people around the office as well.
I was lucky to have parents who lived in London, but even the commute and lunch every day definitely added up. Drinks around London are expensive, and the lunch from the canteen adds up to about £5 a day. However, drinks at work events are often paid for, but obviously not if you are just going out with some work mates after work.
The nightlife in London is really good, especially because the night tube has opened over the last few years meaning that you can travel further to go to different clubs. My personal favourites are Egg and XOYO, but there are clubs and bars to suit all kinds of music tastes and interests.
On my second day at work, there were drinks on the terrace and we went to Zoo Lates at Regent's park zoo. About half way through my internship we had the PwC LTT summer ball, where everyone got dressed up and had an evening of celebrating achievements in the business unit.