Alex’s Final Corporate Finance Diary

With only a month until I leave, in this final blog I will be reflecting back on my year at Grant Thornton, and what some of the highlights have been. In the last few weeks I have been mentoring a student from the Peter Jones Academy, as well as helping a new joiner get settled. Both of these jobs have reinforced the phenomenal amount I have learnt this year, most of it without even realising it. The credit for that has to lie with the team that have always gone out of their way to install a fundamental understanding of the work I have been doing, as well as the unique way Grant Thornton encourages development in its employees.

If I think back to what I knew, and what work I could (or as was more often the case could not) actually do at the start of my placement, it seems amazing that it has only been a year since then. The training invested in me by Grant Thornton really has been tremendous and it isn’t over yet with a much anticipated, and highly coveted course on Private Equity funding and structuring to look forward to in a couple of weeks’ time. There is also a junior networking event at Nabarro Law firm which I will be attending with another Grant Thornton placement student, an invite that came about from drinks with the firm a few months ago. This really reinforces the first major highlight of the year; the amount of networking opportunities has been second to none. As a student, it is invaluable to be building up these connections across the city at such an early stage in my career, and one of the mementos of my year I will be taking away with me is a huge stack of business cards! From a practical point of view, my fellow intern has used the networks he has built up along with the firm’s connections, to land himself an unofficial internship with a leading Private Equity firm.

The second highlight has to be the variety of deals I have been able to work on. As well as the standard Lead Advisory assignments of disposals and acquisitions, I have also helped model a management buyout – I never realised spread sheets could occasionally be interesting – and worked on IPOs (initial public offerings). As mentioned in previous blogs, being able to combine both private and public company work during a single internship is an experience pretty unique to this Grant Thornton team, and has really allowed me to understand the different parts of the financial industry and the aspects I like and dislike, enabling me to make a much more informed career choice.

The final highlight has been the amazing team I have had the opportunity to work with. They guys (and girls) have invested their time in teaching me, and also giving me the responsibility and opportunity to make meaningful impacts on live projects for the firm. The whole Grant Thornton culture of a non-hierarchal, collaborative atmosphere is one that really works on a day to day basis, and it has been a long time since I have thought of myself as an intern. Moving forward I have met the placement student who will be taking over my role (I even had an input on the decision which shows you how highly all team members opinions are considered). To succeed in any job environment it is all about being given the right tools to maximise your own work and potential and I have certainly found that to be the case at Grant Thornton. If you have taken the time to read my blogs I thoroughly encourage you to apply for a position here, whether it is an internship, a placement, or as a graduate role the opportunities really are second to none.

Thank you for taking the time to read my posts (or not if you have just skipped straight to this end part) I hope they have been informative. If over the next months you have any questions about the job or Grant Thornton, please feel free to contact me at alex.r.peake@uk.gt.com

 

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