The placement I completed with Mazars was one of the most enjoyable work experiences I have ever had. I worked in corporate and personal tax, learning about small and medium business operations, along with employment and benefits and personal tax affairs. I truly enjoyed the variety of work that I have been passed on, the team activities organised during my time with the firm and the friendliness of the people I worked with during that time. It was a truly inspiring experience.
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Even though I was only a student who just entered the professional world, I was treated very equally by given loads of responsibilities. I have also actively participated in team meetings, projects brainstorming sessions and client meetings. As a very young member of the team I felt comfortable to approach anyone from the team, no matter what level or grade, or how much experience they had.
Honestly, I have never felt so supported to develop my professional skills and expand my technical knowledge! I had a really good personal relationship with my line manager, as well as the team that I was directly reporting to during a project. This certainly helped me to learn a lot and feel that the new work place was a safe environment.
I had a lot of different tasks and gained experience in various teams. At the time, it felt like I have gained different experience in different areas not only because I wanted to widen my knowledge and understanding about tax, but also because there was specific business need from different areas during the course of the year. For example, I started my placement with tax compliance (all the way until November/December), then moved to personal tax (December/January) and then finished off with tax advisory and employment and benefits work. If I had any spare time I was encouraged to use this to learn more about the rules and regulations that were changing during the course of the year, for instance Government guidelines and BEPS Action point 7.
As much responsibility as possible, depending of course on my experience and skills. I was very motivated and driven individual, and very eager to do as many things as possible - from organising client meetings, to taking notes, brainstorming ideas and networking within and outside of working hours. I think my colleagues have certainly recognised this very early and would pass on to me variety of work and guide me through new ares of tax. This sertainly gave me a good sense of working equally well on my own, and as part of a big team.
I learned how to better manage my time and became a lot more organised and focused in exercising my work and assignments during my final year at university. I have also undertaken a tax module, and the knowledge and experience I gained throughout my placement helped my to achieve excellent result and really enjoy this module. I have also used this experience to support my friends who were struggling to understand the tax course materials. I also believe that the placement I undertook helped me to improve my networking skills and confidence speaking in front of a big audience.
Mazars as a firm is very friendly, and the office environment is no different. All offices are open plan, which means that you sit in one massive room with all other employees - no matter whether you are a junior, manager or a partner. Also, this open plan office helped me to meet a lot of people who worked in other service lines and get to know better the Mazars culture. Everyone is really approachable and I made a lot of friends, which certainly is a good reason to go back to work when you want to stay in bed on a Monday morning.
It was really well organised - both from my university side and the firm side. I had three meetings with my line manager and my university superviser, as well as regular weekly catch ups with my team and line manager. Everyone tried to keep me well involved in ongoing projects, client meeting, as well as provide and support me with any training that I was eligible to take on and off the job. Also, at the start and the end of the placement we set up some smart goals, which I have consistently worked toward and achieved at the end of my placement.
From the start of my placement I have noticed a great investment in time and support from Mazars, from my line manager and other managers who I worked with, along with internal and external training. Within the 12 months I was working at Mazars I have undertaken over 10 days of technical off the job training, along with 5 additional days to cover general company culture, professional software, business and professional etiquette; and a number of other skills sessions. I had to do an evaluation before and after my placement on the skills and behaviors that I have developed over the course of my placement with Mazars, and the results were really positive.
I was really keen to secure a future job with Mazars after the completion of my placement and worked toward this with my line manager. I always looked for opportunities to get to know more people within the firm and make my contribution to the team stand out. This really helped me to secure a graduate role.
Yes, absolutely - we were all young and motivated to learn, work hard, but also explore more of the life outside the office. I actually spend a lot of time with the rest of the placement student and graduates exploring the events and music festivals that were going around the city.
I completed my placement in Birmingham, and spend a few weeks in London as part of my training courses and work arrangements. I would say that Birmingham was really affordable option and I managed to do a lot of things outside of work. London was obviously much more expensive, however you could still find some affordable events (for students) and live music bars around the city.
I would say that it was busy, but not too busy - I guess that's more how I approached it during my placement. There is a greater choice of clubs, bars and restaurants than where I used to live as a student, however I actually spent more time in restaurant than clubbing as the food choices were absolutely over the top!
There was so much going on in the city wen I was doing my placement - from charity work, to CSR days with the wider office, to business networking events, to video competition and event sport clubs and careers fairs. I had a great time taking advantage of all these opportunities, and the firm was really encouraging for all employees to take their extra day dedicated for CSR activities.