Guest Blog: Wacky Wednesdays

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Hi all! I’m Rachel and I’ve recently joined Grant Thornton as a placement student. I’ll be here for the next year in between my second and third year at Sussex university where I study Accounting and Finance.

Every Wednesday, within the Public Sector Audit (PSA) department at the London Euston office, we do something called Wacky Wednesdays. This takes place…you guessed it…every Wednesday afternoon for the duration of the internship programme. As  placement students, we get involved with the summer interns in the in Public Sector Audit team based at Euston, London.  We take part in a range of social activities with some of the managers and associates. Here’s a little insight into what has happened during the first few Wacky Wednesdays…

Week 1 was hosted in the Euston office and involved us taking part in a a quiz competition led by two of the PSA managers. The rounds were varied, along with our scores; the general knowledge round being an extremely low scoring round amongst all the teams! Other rounds included predicting the top 10 countries who have most often won the Eurovision song contest, a photo recognition round featuring PSA client logos and, a personal favourite of mine, the music round! Two songs were mashed up together and we had to give the title and artist of the songs. Some of the other teams decided to utilise one of Grant Thornton’s CLEARR values of collaboration during quiz…  but by copying our answers! Of course this was because our team demonstrated Excellence!  Overall we ended up second, which sounds good until I tell you there were only three teams.

Week 2 saw us take a trip to Regents Park. We discussed what the CLEARR values meant to us as interns and placement students before taking part in a game of Rounders. Memories of playing the game in PE at secondary school came flooding back and I was still just as bad as I was back then! The afternoon was completed with a trip to the pub afterwards.

Rounders1

Week 3 Wacky Wednesday involved a trip to the CIPFA London offices. CIPFA is the Chartered Institute of Public Finance & Accounting. It has recently introduced an integrated qualification for auditors in conjunction with ICAS, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland, providing the opportunity for people signing up to this new qualification to have the ability to work in  both the public and private sector. We heard from a number of CIPFA members who have either completed or are studying for the qualification. Having spent the afternoon at CIPFA, I personally think the new qualification  is a great opportunity, which opens the door to many options. The afternoon was rounded off with a another trip to the pub involvingmany cocktails! We were joined by new intern Amir this week, who has come all the way from Germany to spend six weeks in London PSA. Here’s his first selfie in the UK.

CIPFA pub group selfie

During Week 4 of Wacky Wednesday, three of the interns gave presentations to a number of the PSA team as part of their internship program. Once these were complete, we headed to a bar close to the Euston office to celebrate. This week we were joined by Elly, who has started her internship a little later and so will be staying until mid-September.

Wacky Wednesdays have given us the chance to catch up with the other interns on what we’ve been working on, since the nature of the work means that we spend a lot of time  out on client sites. During our second week’s social activity one of the PSA managers commented on how close our group of interns and placement students had become, and how we all appeared to be a strong unit. Wacky Wednesdays has definitely been the main contributor to this; we all have a whattsapp group and try to catch up when we are free.

I will be sad to see Wacky Wednesdays end on 19th August – not only because I’ll miss the interns when they leave, but also because it means no more avoiding work on Wednesday afternoons for us placement students! Wacky Wednesdays has been a great way to learn more about the culture of the firm, and what our future at the firm could look like, but to learn it in a relaxed environment and have some fun!

Rachel Ferguson

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