My work placement within PwC in Belfast, was in one word: Amazing. On Day 1 of working with the firm within Forensics, everyone was so welcoming and helpful. Showing me the ropes and always willing to lend a hand and support me in a time of need. During my placement, I forged a strong bond within the Forensics Lab in Belfast, quite instantly and this helped me settle into a new environment faster than I anticipated. I managed to work on more then 4 Projects and this allowed me to work alongside the wider team in Forensics and interact with everyone and not just the team in Belfast. But London, Birmingham, New York, Kolkata etc.
From Day One, I felt really valued by my colleagues and I felt like a normal colleague and not a placement student whilst working within the firm. The entire team in Belfast helped me as stated above, settle in much more faster than anticipated and this helped me a lot. Settling in quickly, allowed me to learn the job/ skills at a much faster rate and this allowed me to much more available to helping wherever possible.
My Management/ Supervisors were brilliant at giving support and guidance during my entire year here and even with the unfortunate incident of the Corona Virus outbreak occurring and forcing me to Work From Home. I have still been getting daily check ins, from my project managers and my Career Coach within the business as well. Their support and guidance was that useful, that I was able to request to working on different projects, I always corrected a wrong that I made and they made me think in a perspective which I believed allowed me to understand my work/ the business as a whole a lot more.
Daily Work depended on the Project in which I was working on. Fortunately for me, when I first joined and for my first 5- 6 months I worked on a Global Project. Project Train, Train was a project in which involved a lot of documents to solve a case within Forensics, this involved the firms in New York, Kolkata, Switzerland, London, Belfast, Birmingham and more to get involved. So, on that regard I was always kept busy on this project from the start to the end of the day. My following projects since, have kept me relatively busy and I have stacked quite a bit of OverTime to get a job done during a day.
Due to the company's relentless approach for Placement Students to be treated like Associates and not as Interns/ Placement Students. The responsibilities I had varied from project to project. But they generally meant a lot of responsibility was kept on my head, which I liked a bit. On my first project, I was in charge of the daily review stats, in which the law firm used as an updated daily guidance to reviewing procedures occuring on the project. On my current project, I was in-charge of collecting, processing, and loading Data into a review platform, known as Relativity. I now have to document the entire procedure that I have completed.
So, this placement is a very useful insight for me into the world of Digital Forensics. I got to learn how to use Nuix (Processing Agent.), Relativity (Review Platform.) and even EnCase (Data Capturing Tool.) I think this placement will allow me to express my skills that I have learned, working as an eD Analyst and provide my support to anyone else whoever needs it. This helped me in my degree, as Digital Forensics falls into the Cyber Security Sector and this allows me to open up my knowledge and expand upon of the entirety that is Cyber.
We work somewhere in between a laid back atmosphere and a formal one. We have a semi-formal dress code and expect our workers to arrive at a certain time. The firms in the UK, allowed for a Flexible Timing Rule and that rule states that you are able to arrive to work up to 45 mins later than your original start time, as long as you stay that much time at the end of the day. In Belfast, it's very lively too, everyone loves to talk and work and this helped me a lot. As I like that too.
The placement, like many things in the firm. Was really well setup and this is because of the experience they have taking on Placement/ Intern Students. They treated everyone equally and this helped a lot in the sense of progression, as when you treat your placement students as equal as a normal colleague. Interactions can happen much more easily and faster.
In a big extent, during my first week at PwC. I went to a big opening day welcoming me and then from Tuesday- Thursday I went to London for getting setup and training with the basics while working here. I've also been invited again to London for my work sector training courses that were ran.
Very appealing, I do not mind at all coming back to PwC if I do get a Graduate Offer from them and I might even apply externally, if I don't get one. The company as a whole, is just a group of great individuals helping one another to complete Project Work and supporting whenever the times call for it.
Absolutely, we had a group of around 16 placement students/ graduates on Day 1 that went London and from there we travelled around London together, we eat together and we did before the Pandemic occurred, met up outside of work very occasionally to meet and go out to restaurants to eat.
So, this is the only downside for my entire placement experience. Was the cost of living. Due to me gaining the placement very late on and only have a week and a half to find a place, I had to settle with a Student Accommodation and you would think that's perfect. But unfortunately it was not, the cost of living for a small studio room was much higher then even two bedroom apartments in Belfast. The socialising aspect was always there however, as I lived walking distance from work and this allowed me to meet with colleagues.
Nightlife in Belfast was hectic, even though I didn't go out much and enjoy the nightlife, as I don't like clubbing and partying/ drinking. That was the entirety of the nightlife in Belfast for the majority, was drinking, partying and clubbing. Which for me, I only enjoyed meeting up with people to go out to eat.
There were many opportunities to get involved with outside of work. For example, we as an entire team went for an activities weekend and had food and did outdoor activities in a outdoor pursuit centre. Football occurred every Tuesday, that I would always attend and enjoy. Multicultural Network exists and this allows people of different cultures socialise and interact with one another.