The work was very varied; I worked in a different place with a different team and a different client almost every week. This definitely kept me interested and developed my skills and confidence.
The main tasks are audit related. It is difficult to grasp what audit is without actually doing it, as I have found from experience! Work is completed within teams, so there is always someone to consult with, and this is actively encouraged. Performing audits on the client site involves a lot of interaction with clients.
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I enjoyed the variety in location and the people I was working with. Changing the team I was working on frequently meant I got to know many different people from the office. Working on several different clients gave me a broad view of different industry sectors and increased my network of contacts.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
There is a strong emphasis on teamwork, which I greatly enjoyed. Each member of the team is aware of the pressures that the other are under and tries to adapt to help them when ever this is possible. Interns are given responsibility from the start and deal with clients as much as full-time employees.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
Each intern is given a Buddy who is a first or second year training towards the ACA. The Buddy is there to show you around the office, make you feel welcome and answer any and all questions you have. You are also given a Coach who is a more senior person, generally a manager. The Coach is there to give guidance and advice on career and personal development. They help you set objectives at the start of the internship and give you a midway and final review which act as assessments of your performance over the eight weeks.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
How busy you are depends on what job you are on and what stage it is at. When out at client sites there is generally plenty to do. There were some times when I was in the office and there was no client work to be getting on with, but PwC has introduced a project for the interns to complete which fills this time.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
The general impression from the interns was that we were surprised how much responsibility we were given - this really demonstrated how much trust our colleagues had for us. We dealt with clients face to face and on our own, and they were unaware that we were mere interns!
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I certainly developed as a person by doing this internship. My confidence has improved and so have my professional skills and financial knowledge. The internship is a great addition to my CV, so I would feel confident going into the job market. However, I don't need to because I have been offered a graduate job starting in September as long as I achieve a 2.1 in my degree.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
There was a friendly atmosphere which was open for question-asking. It was also a very professional and respectful atmosphere.
There were plenty of social events, including a summer barbecue, where people could get to know each other in a more relaxed way.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
It was a very slick operation. The first week all the interns from across the UK were at a large conference centre for training and networking. The support structures of the Buddy and Coach in the office, the midway and final reviews and the presentation day at the end of the internship meant it was well structured and organised.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
My degree subjects of Mathematics and Philosophy are not directly relevant to accounting, and I don't have the general knowledge about the business world and finance that a business studies student may have. However I didn't feel at a professional disadvantage as the initial week of training brought us all up to the same standard of knowledge. There was plenty of opportunity for further development of knowledge, which was provided by colleagues in the different teams I worked in. The objectives we set with our coaches gave us a way of measuring our development over the internship.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Sports and Social Club
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
I have been offered a graduate job dependent on achieving a 2.1.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
Al UK interns met at the training week. There was a regional midway review day. Then there was a regional presentation day at the end of the internship. There were good social opportunities at these events. Within my office there were three interns and we all got on well and spent time with each other out of the office.
There were plenty of social events with colleagues including a summer barbecue and drinks evenings.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Cambridge is a fairly expensive place to live because of its proximity to London.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
As a university town, you don't have to look too far to find night life in Cambridge. With London less than an hour away on the train it's easy to get to.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
As already mentioned there were plenty of social events. I also got involved with some advertising of community projects PwC Cambridge support and run.