Hello everyone, my name is Daniel Moore-Oats and I joined Grant Thornton as a Technology Risk Services (TRS) intern in the Leeds office in the summer of 2013. In this blog post I aim to give an insight into TRS and why I feel that my internship was a truly unforgettable experience.
TRS is part of Business Risk Services, offering expertise Information Technology (IT) services to clients covering most sectors. I chose this service line as I wanted to be part of a more specialised team and although I had no real background in technical IT areas I was assured that simply having a passion for the subject, accompanied with a willingness to learn would suffice at this level and I would be able to be trained in the areas necessary to do the job. It has been my experience that this has been true although a background in IT would obviously help.
My first week was a bit of a whirlwind of events, taking part in three separate induction days (which included three free lunches!), playing in an after work cricket match and then being involved in the UK Grant Thornton football tournament on the weekend. It was a fantastic way to start my six weeks and really gave me an opportunity to connect with the team on a more social level which immediately pushed the fear of any possible awkwardness to the side. Another big help was that my buddy (a mentor that each new starter is assigned) was always there for me in the lead up to the internship starting and was on hand throughout if ever I needed help.
As soon as I had completed my inductions I was sent straight out to West Lancashire Council to conduct a review of their IT General Controls (ITGC). This required an early start and quite a bit of travelling but this is something that should be expected as visiting clients is part and parcel of professional services, don’t worry though these journeys are covered by expenses so you’re not paying out of your own pocket. One of the predominant roles of TRS is to review an organisations approach to the risks that are posed by aspects of technology. An ITGC review looks at key areas of IT such as, physical security, change management procedures, disaster recovery etc. to determine whether the IT environment is running as it should be. You would therefore do research through examining their written policies, reviewing their systems and processes, and conducting interviews to find out what their controls are. A final report is then provided to the client in which the key risks are identified and recommendations are made as to how these issues can be resolved. I also conducted a similar bit of work for an American based company however this had to be compliant to Sarbanes Oxley regulations. These are two typical pieces of work that are conducted by TRS, however as you can imagine this is only a brief description and a lot more detail and complexity is involved.
One of the great things about my internship with Grant Thornton was the fact that they really went out on a limb to be able to cater to what I personally wanted to get out of the internship and for me a big aspect of this was to get exposure to the London offices. Through my line manager and members of the TRS team in London I was able to spend one week in the Finsbury office. Whilst there I got to experience work within some big Financial Services clients as well as being given work to do on proposals for new business. It was an amazing week and being involved in such important work from the get go was a great learning curve for me.
To be honest there is just so much to write about from my six weeks and I’d love to be able to give you all the details however for the sake of keeping things concise I will just briefly touch on the other aspects which really made accepting the job offer an easy decision (yes I got a job offer, but I will come to that in a bit). The great group of people who I worked with, both the other interns and the members of the Grant Thornton TRS/ BRS national team, the vast opportunities to be able to be involved in social and volunteering activities and the first rate training opportunities offered at Bradenham. All of these you will be able to get a flavour of through the other intern blogs, but I can assure you that they were fantastic experiences.
As I just mentioned I got offered a job at the end of the internship, which is something very achievable as long as you work hard, fulfil your objectives and prove that you can work well within the firm. I had no doubts when sending of the signed contracts and I am incredibly excited for next year and starting work in the London office. One piece of advice I would give is always be open and honest with your team about what experience it is you are looking for, if you do this the team will understand your decisions and will do their best to try to help you out.
Hopefully some of you may read this and be encouraged to apply for an internship in TRS or maybe even a graduate role, I hope you do and I can safely say you won’t regret it.