I found the experience incredibly enjoyable. The week was set out well so that I had the chance to experience lots of different parts of BDO all within a short period of time. Everyone that I met during the week was very pleasant and happy to answer any questions that I had. The schedule was also not too full on and gave time for me to get used to how things were working. Overall I had a great time and really happy that I got the chance to complete it.
Since the online experience was only a week-long there was no possibility to contribute any particularly valuable work for the firm. However, they still made me feel valuable in the sense that they put a real emphasis on myself and the others being the future of the company. They had all taken significant time out of their working schedule to help us with this week. Additionally, since they were always happy to answer questions it made me feel valued during the week.
The early in careers team were great not only during the week but in the period leading up to the virtual week. They got in contact multiple times over email and phone to discuss what was happening and offer anything they could be of help with. I also reached out to them for help with an issue and they were very quick to get back to me and help with it. Especially in a year where the program had to change so much, they could not have been more helpful.
As it was only a week the skills that I developed were very limited. The main skill that was improved from the week was the ability to teamwork in new groups to prepare a presentation on the task at hand. This helped to build my teamwork skills which will assist me immensely in the future. The information that I was given surrounding the career path will be hugely helpful for once I am finished with my studies and moving into employment.
The virtual experience was well structured, especially due to this being caused by the unexpected circumstances that this year has brought. There were a few technical issues and blips but considering the short term that was available in which to organise this week it was very impressive that these were the only issues. I am sure if this process is continued in the future and the team has more time to structure it that it will flow seamlessly.
Everyone from the company that featured in any way throughout the week gave such a positive atmosphere to the events. This was through not only their own personalities but their outlook on the business and clear enjoyment working for BDO. All of the interns that had been selected were also very pleasant which made the experience even better. There were no negative moments personally from the week and I came out with a really positive attitude towards BDO from this.
The whole week was tailored towards me and the other interns so that we could get the best possible experience from it. They gave us plenty of opportunities to ask questions so we could get the most we possibly could from each session. Along with this, they gave us a large task to complete in groups from our own offices which not only gave us a chance to develop our teamwork skills but to network with colleagues we may work with in the future.
A large amount of the week was spent giving a real in-depth insight into life at BDO. We had sessions learning about all the aspects of BDO that make it the company it is. Then we also had small group sessions with our particular stream, which gave me an insight into my particular area of interest and was able to ask people in that field questions which gave me a much deeper insight into that role.
I feel like after the virtual week I completely understand the culture within BDO. There were multiple sessions with people who work on key areas of the culture, such as diversity and minority groups, showing how everyone is included in the firm. Almost every employee who was running any of the sessions made at least a small reference to the culture of the firm which helped to install the view that the culture is a very real thing within the firm.
Although I already had what I intended to do in my career path in theory, after completing this week it was set in stone. From the information that was given and the responses to questions that I asked it confirmed that it was the right career path for me. This was mainly from the detailed covering they gave to a normal 'day in the life' type overview for my specific area of interest that confirmed it for me.
I was paid very generously for this experience as I feel I was benefitting from it massively and still getting paid a very good wage for that week.
There were opportunities for networking during the week. Obviously, there was only a short timeframe for all of the sessions that needed to take place but they also managed to input a few sessions which gave a focus towards networking, which were very useful. Ideally, I would have liked more of an opportunity for this but that would only be possible in a longer experience with the company, not in a week-long program like this.
Of the opportunities there were I was very happy with the chance they gave to mix with various members of the firm.
Absolutely there was multiple talks about the extras that go alongside working at BDO.
Absolutely for anyone interested in any of BDO's roles I would recommend it 100%.
12th November 2020