My name is Emma and I have just started my 12 month placement in Corporate Finance in the Reading Office.
My first week here has been really helpful, mainly focusing on training and getting to know the other interns and placement students, as well as my CF team. Walking into the office on Monday morning was very scary, I didn’t know a lot about Corporate Finance at all, or what I would be doing on a day-to-day basis. They definitely didn’t throw us in at the deep end though, as most of Monday was spent with general introductions and a few ethics and health and safety talks. We also heard from current placement students / associates, who reassured us and answered any questions we thought were too silly to ask our managers.
On Tuesday and Wednesday there was a national conference in London for all the placement students and interns, which again was very relaxed and was mainly focused on us getting to know the company a bit more. We even had a talk from Sacha Romanovitch (our CEO). It was definitely one of the most interesting talks of the day, and I think I can speak for most people when I say it was very inspiring. She was so relatable, talking about her kids and how she started as an intern as well, before taking questions and answering as many of them as she could. Sacha answered questions on balancing being a mother and a very successful woman in business, as well as questions on Grant Thornton’s beliefs and current strategies and goals. It was definitely one of the highlights of the conference. On Tuesday evening the recruitment team had organised bowling and food/drinks which definitely helped us to get to know each other better, in a relaxed out-of-office environment.
The Thames Valley placement students and interns then spent Thursday in the Oxford office, going through more talks and getting set up on most of the systems we need. Again, it was done in a relaxed environment to help us get to grips with everything and ask the ‘stupid questions’ (there’s no such thing as a stupid question) we needed to.
Friday was my first proper day I would say, and again everyone in my CF team was so welcoming and accommodating that I didn’t feel overwhelmed or like I couldn’t ask about anything I didn’t know. Everything I needed to know got explained to me, and all my questions were answered without any frustration or annoyance. It was really interesting getting into the work, and I finally found out what I would be doing on a day-to-day basis.
What I would say to any new starters, especially those on a placement year like me, is don’t worry. I can honestly say everyone I have met so far has been very warm and welcoming, and they really don’t expect you to come in knowing the answers for anything. Any help you need is offered to you, it’s really not an intimidating environment! People are patient and relaxed with you, knowing you’re not a qualified accountant and not everyone does something finance related at university.
So far, I’ve really enjoyed my time at GT, and can’t wait to get more involved in what I’m doing.
By Emma Ryan – Corporate Finance 12 Month Placement