1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
The social aspect of the year was great. All the graduates and placement students are treated as one and you all complete your induction, training and college time together. This allowed us to form a really close social group which I still see now that I'm back at UNI. In audit, depending on the types of jobs you work on, you can be working in different teams every other week so you get to know a lot of people very quickly and get plenty of variety in the work you do.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
It's clear the importance of the work that we do and how it fits into the wider picture of completing client audits. However, having worked under a number of different managers on placement on different jobs, it's clear some managers do a better job of making their team feel valued over others. Cannot fault the relationships I built with my fellow peers however.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
I felt personally a lot more could be done to help prepare me for when I moved onto different jobs. I found it not uncommon to start a new job and be given no or limited background information on the client and expected to pick up work only to find out at a later date there were certain technicalities that I could not have possibly found out on my own through my own research. The help is there if needed though and if you know what questions to ask managers and seniors are often more than happy to help.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
This varied from client to client. Jobs with tight deadlines there was little give and flexibility as to the hours you could work and the workload at times could seem unmanageable. However, other times there would be jobs at the earlier stages where the pace of work was more relaxed - not that you'd want your manager knowing that.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
There was no managerial responsibility during placement. You are essentially a member of the audit team on jobs and follow the lead of your senior associate or manager on the various jobs you do. In terms of completing the work you are given full responsibility to complete this and are expected to challenge the client where appropriate.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
The training received is exceptionally good. I learnt so much in the 11 months I was on placement and cannot fault this aspect of the placement. PwC pay for you to go to college and give you time off for this in order to sit 7 out of the 15 ACA exams you need to pass to become a chartered accountant. This is a significant investment from them and one which makes the year very worthwhile.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
I was based in a medium sized regional office. I think this contributed to a really good working culture where if you didn't know someone, you always tended to recognise them. This made for quite a close knit community and there were a number of well known characters in the office which made days in the office enjoyable. Worth noting however, in the audit line of service, I only spent perhaps 15% of my time actually based in the office throughout the course of the 11 months. The rest was either in college or on client site.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
Cannot fault the organisation of the student recruitment team and the whole process itself. Very well throughout and you run alongside the current intake of graduates in terms of training and college. If you are lucky enough to be offered a job for when you graduate uni, you come back into the second year of the grad programme.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
PwC expect a lot of the people they take on however this is paid back in the investment they make in you. The training given is of very good quality and is often run by senior associates throughout the business. There are plenty of professional development opportunities throughout the year and they pay for you to go to college and sit 7 out of the 15 ACA exams on your placement year which is quite unique but very welcome.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Sports and Social Club
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
I was lucky enough to be offered a position for when I graduate which I am happy to accept. In making this decision I recognise the investment that they make in you as an individual and the wide variety of experience you get doing the role that I am going back to do (audit). However, I am aware that this comes at a cost of working very hard at times and sometimes in unsociable hours.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
Absolutely. Still see a lot of my colleagues now. Plenty of events organised by the social club as well as the local accountants student society. Class some of my work friends as my closest friends now. Which is not surprising because everyone is generally really nice and easy to get on with.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
I was based in the midlands so it was reasonably affordable. Difficult to get around because a lot of towns and cities are spaced out with limited public transport between them.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?