I enjoyed being given genuine responsibility, and I was treated as part of the team from the beginning. The tasks I was assigned became increasingly challenging over the course of the month, meaning I was always learning. However, on occasions I was asked to stay late into the evening, in spite of not having much work to do.
I was able to become more and more involved in helping my team over the course of the month, as I was able to progress through a series of increasingly challenging tasks. Although my team took a lot of time out to explain things to me, I hope I was able to pull my weight by lightening their workload.
My immediate team working at the client site were incredibly approachable and ready to help at any time, supportive at every time. However, it was more difficult to obtain guidance when I had questions about the organisation of the programme, for exampling regarding the IT equipment given to interns and company compensation.
Studying a humanities degree, it is difficult to transfer across audit-specific skills to my degree, but I learnt invaluable skills in communication, team-work and time management. I was encouraged to take responsibility for my own work, boosting my confidence in my capacity to do work independently, and to develop my own voice.
Apart from being assigned to an engagement and a performance manager, the vacation scheme lacked structure, and my engagement team were initially unsure as to how best to use me. When I arrived at the KPMG offices I found that my buddy was to leave on secondment the next day, and that my performance manager was on holiday and unreachable for a week, meaning I was missing two key support figures.
The general atmosphere at the client office was positive, even during stressful times when the workload suddenly increased. I very much enjoyed the atmosphere at both the client site and the KPMG offices, with people even up to partner level making an effort to be friendly and approachable, and encouraging me to ask questions.
In addition to doing the work of a first year audit trainee, I was able to ask people at all levels within the firm questions about their experiences. Firsthand insight into working at KPMG was invaluable, and being put into a room with trainees, managers and partners meant I was able to overhear many conversations relevant to parts of their roles I was not able to see for myself.
I was paid, and am attempting to receive reimbursement for my expenses, but I am finding it difficult, as it seems that information has not been shared consistently across the student recruitment network, and I have been given different information by different people. My salary for the scheme was generous.
There was at least one social event each week, which enabled me to meet KPMG employees across financial services, mainly trainees, but a few at manager level as well. These social events were a mixture of purely social occasions, a chance to relax, and informal opportunities for employees to give feedback.
At times these events seemed under-attended, but they were fun opportunities to meet people across the firm in a more relaxed setting. Everyone I met was very friendly, and eager to share their experiences as employees of KPMG. The events were well-organised, and gave me the chance to see more of KPMG's Canary Wharf building.