1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
The 10-week internship was just a right length of period to learn something new. There were many fun events dedicated to the interns. My projects were also interesting and I learned a lot in terms of tax technical knowledge. I worked as part of a team and really learned the value of collaborative team development.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I really felt valued in the sense that I was constantly receiving positive but constructive feedback from my team. The team would actively ask for my opinion on the processes improvement and would sometimes even get me involved in adjacent projects in my team. I was given sufficient ownership of many tasks and had to demonstrate the efficiency of getting them done.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
My manager was always relentlessly helpful, not to mention he is very experienced and has much to teach. For a huge part of the internship, he had dedicated a lot of time into working with me on the project. Moreover, I was assigned a mentor with whom I would be talking to her regularly and have the opportunity to ask questions and for advice.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
We always had the work awaiting for someone to do. That means on a daily basis there would be enough work to do to keep me actively engaged with my manager. At the same time, we would also dedicate our time to the opportunities, such as the charity challenge, external presentation, community activities, speaker events and others.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I was given sufficient responsibility to feel that my work leaves a legacy or has an impact and it is generally useful to learn. I also felt like my manager trusted me on things like dealing with external business and tax advisors. However, I really likes that there would usually be reviews on the completion of important tasks.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
To quite a great extent. Having experienced working in this professional environment greatly improved the way I communicate and work with people, which is an essential skills which I would never acquire in university. I learned plenty of technical skills which will mostly likely improve my employability in this field. It really improved my understanding of corporation tax, VAT, how the group manages tax losses, how to produce tax computations and how to liaise with HMRC.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
Relaxed, friendly atmosphere. Lots of charity events. People usually work together to do sports and other recreational activities. People share knowledge and experience and discuss in casual settings. The dress code was dressing for the day. So we wear whatever we feel appropriate for whatever coming up during the day. Generally a very inspiring and motivating environment that would help the way we learn and think about solving problems.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The overall internship was organized well. We get informed of everything prior to the internship start date and we know what the plan was for the whole period in advance. Manager already prepared whatever you need such as employee pass, IT equipment and others. Communication with HR was prompt and they sent calendar invites and internal chat for updates. Everything was transparent and clear.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
To quite a great extent. There were a lot of training slides in the shared drive. There was also a training site online that would allow us to have a look on what is happening at the forefront of the industry. Unluckily, the training sessions are not during the summer, so I didn't get to attend much training on the technical part of the job. However, the colleagues are always there to teach you whatever you need.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Above 25 days holiday
Working from home
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
Quite appealing. They have a graduate scheme for the interns. The company is also quite huge in the UK and there are plenty of opportunities. They offer a flexible transition from the internship to the graduate scheme. They offer prestigious qualifications for the graduates which in turn enhance the employability of the graduates. That is another reason for wanting to work there in the future.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
Yes! We would have internal chat rooms and intern gatherings, often having lunch together. We usually get familiar with other interns and we get to shadow each others' departments. That really gave a great overview of the Group in a bigger picture. Interns also participated in events like 'Lunch n Learn' with the graduates to gain more insights into how the graduate scheme works.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
The city manages to maintain a great balance between big city life and affordability. The great thing about the internship is that you are given accommodation for the entire 10 weeks. That already saves a big portion of our living expenses. The salary that you get is more than enough to cover everything you do in Edinburgh.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
The nightlife is very good in Edinburgh. Many pubs, bars, parties, clubs everywhere. And there are silent discos as well. People are friendly and approachable. The Fringe festival is the biggest things that happen in Edinburgh during the summer. It last for the entire August and there are thousands of shows happening around. That would already keep you busy enough during your free time.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
Yes. There is a charity challenge for interns throughout the entire internship. That would allow you to volunteer to fundraise either during the work hour (as long as you let your manager know) or during your free time. There were many meet ups and special interest groups. So you are likely to find a group to join and pursue your hobbies. I had the chance to play badminton around Edinburgh in many different clubs.