Summer intern in Tax
From start to finish I found my internship at PwC to be an enjoyable experience. It started with a residential trip for all of the interns in the country which was a 3 day long, all expenses paid training and socialising event. After this we joined our teams, who were welcoming and friendly, making it as enjoyable as tax can be.
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I felt very valued by my colleagues. Right from day one I was given real responsibility, and welcomed into the team. I did not feel like just an intern, but instead like a proper member of the team. They provided feedback throughout the 6 weeks which showed what they thought I has done well, making me feel valued.
All support and guidance was there whenever I needed it. If I needed help with something small, I was assigned a buddy who could clarify things for me. If it was something relating to a specific job for a specific manager, they would always make time to help me understand what was needed, or to deepen my understanding of the topic.
As summer is quiet season for many areas in financial services, there were some days where I was busier than others. However, it was nice to experience both the busy times and then to have a little down time in order to do my own research around the topics we were working on. Some days were busy, giving me the full experience.
I was given a large amount of responsibility during the internship. I was trusted with a wide range of important tasks that actually added value to projects, from writing reports that would be sent to clients to performing complex calculations on excel, i was trusted entirely to get it right. If I was unsure or required assistance however, the support was always there.
The skills I developed in my internship will stay with me for a long time to come. The technical skills that come with actually working on real life projects offer a different learning experience to university, meaning I can broaden my knowledge beyond what is taught in the classroom. I learnt some things that have real world applications, and that can not always be said for everything I learn at uni.
The atmosphere was much more relaxed than I was expecting for such a big company. In my mind I thought it would corporate and official, whereas in reality it was relaxed with a friendly atmosphere. Having said this people are still very productive, just in a relaxed way. It was nice to experience this atmosphere in what I thought was going to be a tense and high pressure environment.
The internship was well organised, but I believe some parts were better organised than others. Sometimes there was a breakdown in communication between people in what exactly I was supposed to be doing, but it was always quickly resolved or something was found for me to do. After the first week though this was no longer a problem.
I learned a lot on my internship. I went to many training sessions designed for other members of staff within my team. Not only this, the residential trip has a heavy focus on training, and managers enable you to learn in the work that they set you - they may already have a good idea of the answer but make you do the research so that you learn when doing it.
I have been offered the grad scheme with them, so I would say the prospects are pretty good! If you perform well, then the majority of interns will be offered a place to work with them after their final year of uni. Even if you choose not to come back, having such a big name on the CV is certainly helpful for other jobs!
There was a good social scene, but a lot of this was down to the interns organising things themselves. The nature of most of the people is such that they are sociable and so socialising and organising drinks/lunches comes naturally to most people. Not only this but there are socials within team regularly too, depending on the team.
I lived in my student house as the office is very near my university, so cost of living was not too high for me. If you were to rent in the city centre for the period of your internship it would work out quite expensive, but nothing compared to london prices.
As a uni student in the area I already know all of the good spots to go out, and this helped me in this respect. We have had a few intern nights out which have been good. The Birmingham nightlife scene has pretty much anything you could ask for and offers a wide range of events.
There were some opportunities to get involved in outside of work activities. This was difficult as as an intern you are not there very long. A lot of the events are planned months in advance, so we were too late to get tickets for them. If you were at the firm for a longer time there would be more opportunities for this, though.