Summer Vacation Scheme Student within the Tax Department, dealing primarily with clients and their tax needs.
I thoroughly enjoyed my work placement/internship. I was working within the Tax department at Deloitte, so it was a very niche area. Going in I was quite worried about the sort of work that I would be asked to do, given that Tax requires a good breadth of knowledge, which I didn't have, having just completed my 2nd year of my degree. Initially I was being given some smaller tasks to do such as filling out some tax forms on behalf of clients, calling up HMRC to find out the status of particular issues etc. However, after my second week I was given more technical pieces of work which although were challenging, I was pointed in the right direction by my colleagues in order to ensure that I was able to complete the work to a standard that is expected of somebody on a placement. I thoroughly enjoyed the technical pieces of work.
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From the moment I walked into the office and met my colleagues they made me feel very welcome. On my first day I was taken out to lunch by a colleague at a nearby restaurant, and throughout my time I was invited and attended numerous socials i.e. after works drinks, flight club etc. On my last week I was taken out for lunch again by some of the consultants and analysts, and they made an effort to make me feel like I was a part of the team in and out of the office.
I was given a lot of support by my supervisors. At the start of my placement, I met with my supervisor and we set some targets for me to achieve by the end of the placement. After this I arranged weekly meetings in order to ensure that I was doing everything that was required of me, and also to ensure that I was making the most of such a wonderful opportunity. They were very encouraging and supportive, and did not keep me in the dark about anything, making things very clear to me, so there were no 'grey areas' of uncertainty as such. I was also invited to a few meetings of my supervisor which I really appreciated, because this kind of exposure at such an early stage of my career was invaluable.
There was always something for me to work on every day, and rarely was there a day where I would go into the office with little/nothing to do. Having said this, the work-load was manageable, and before being asked to do a piece of work for somebody, they always asked whether or not I had the capacity to take this work on. I was able to manage the work-load with effective planing and setting deadlines on each individual piece of work, but also ensuring that I kept the relevant individuals 'in-the-loop' on the updates.
Throughout my placement I was working on work directly for the client. I was filling out forms, writing reports to be sent to HMRC on behalf of the client, attending and preparing for client meetings, finding answers for queries made in those meetings by clients and also working in small teams of 4 to 5 people to complete work for big clients. Taking this into consideration, I would say that I was trusted with a lot of responsibility on my placement.
The skills I learnt on this placement will be very very very useful for me in the rest of my life. I haven't worked in a big corporate office environment before, so going in at such an early stage of my career (before my career has even started!), i already feel like I have an advantage over other people who would be going into the world of work straight away. This is because I now understand the workplace culture and the environment, and any prior misconceptions I may have had about working in an office are now out of the window. What I learnt here will hold me in good stead for any job I do in life.
The office was honestly a lovely place to work. Everyone was very friendly and pleasant. There was also a perfect balance between doing the work and good office banter, ensuring that a healthy working relationship was maintained amongst all colleagues. Some people would even bring treats in to share with everyone such as cakes, biscuits and sometimes some home cooked goodies as well! Colleagues would go for lunch together and would invite me to come with them, and there was also a big screen outside for people to go and watch the tennis if they wanted a short break.
My placement was very well structured. On my very first day we had an induction day in the London office for all SVS' across the country to attend. Here we were given our laptops and logins, and were told of the formalities of getting an offer for a job. There was also a Q and A with current employees at the firm. All in all it was very well structured, and at no point did I feel like I didn't know what I was doing, or out of place.
On my very first day I was required to complete some basic training courses, and in total there were roughly 15 to complete. This took a few days, but after this I was ready to work. Other than that, the only other times I remember receiving training/development was when I was given a piece of work which was somewhat technical. Taking this into consideration, I would say I got all the support and training that I required.
In my final review which took place on my second last day, I had a meeting with my supervisor and received a job offer to go and work at Deloitte once I having completed my degree and graduated. There is good job security at Deloitte and the career progression is suited to what I aim to achieve.
Every week it seemed like there was something to do. I would regularly get asked by other placement students to meet for lunch, and also asked by colleagues, not just in my team but from other teams as well which made me feel very welcome. On my first week I was assigned a 'buddy' who took me out for lunch at a nearby restaurant, and throughout my time there were a host of socials which i was invited to, such as flight club and after work drinks to name a few.
The area was Central London so it was a bit pricey. However, there was a sainsbury's and tesco all within walking distance, so getting a cheaper alternative to pret, starbucks etc. was never difficult, and a meal deal was never ever too far way from you! There was also a street food market round the corner with lots of different cuisines to try which was very exciting. At one point I remember there were street food stalls right outside the entrance to the office.
The nightlife in the area was good, with a great selection of clubs nearby, so a night-out after long week of work was never difficult! Being in the heart of Central London also meant that getting to any eatery was only a short 15-20 minute tube journey away, which I felt was very convenient when wanting to meet up with friends after work.
Deloitte run various sports clubs such as Football, Cricket and Tennis to name a few. It was very easy to get involved, as all you would have to do it contact the relevant individual and inform them of your desire to take part. More often than not they were very happy to have you participate, on the odd occasion that it was full!