On just the second day of my six week summer internship I, along with my fellow interns and placement students, got the train down to London for the intern and placement conference for all the new starters from across the country.
We arrived at Finsbury Square in time to have some lunch outside in the sunshine before heading into Grant Thornton’s main office in the UK, which occupies a whole building looking out onto the square. We headed all the way to the top floor where we had the chance to have a coffee whilst mingling with the other interns from different offices before Jamie, the Resourcing Advisor, opened the conference.
Throughout the afternoon we had various talks and activities including a funny and informative talk from Malcom Gomersall, a partner in the business, on how GT promotes diversity and inclusivity, and a slightly awkward but fun game of people bingo. We also learnt of some projects that we can get involved in during our time with the company, such as fundraising for businesses in developing countries.
In the evening we headed to a cool bowling alley in Shoreditch where all the interns got to know each other better (and enjoy the free bar!) before heading back to our hotels.
The second day of the conference started with an extremely inspiring talk from Sacha Romanovitch, CEO of GT UK. Sacha spoke of her experience of starting at GT as an intern and how she got to where she is, what she feels the company is currently doing that is exciting, and she answered questions on a range of topics from feminism to how GT are no longer tendering for FTSE350 clients.
Throughout the rest of the day we got the opportunity to ask a panel of current employees who had come through the intern or placement route for their advice, and we also learnt about how we can work hard to secure a graduate role with GT. We also learnt more about the different lines of service, audit, tax and advisory, from partners in these different areas. I was astonished by the varied careers people had had whilst working in these different areas, for example Jayne Archer, who works in advisory, told us about how she has become a specialist in auto-motives and solar energy through the work she has done.
I left the conference feeling inspired and very excited for my internship. Every single person who spoke to us seemed genuinely passionate about GT, what they do and the culture at the company. The fact that GT paid for us all to come down to London, put us up in a nice hotel and had Sacha take time out of her busy schedule to talk to us, despite only being in our first week at the company showed how important interns and placement students are to the company- we’re definitely not just here to make cups of tea! This really felt like it could be the start of a career with a fantastic firm, a firm that not only cares about making big profits (although they are important) but also cares about the communities that they work with and making a real positive impact on our economy.
By Francesca Brown – Audit Summer Intern