Tag Archives: Cardiff

The Summer Internship

Hi, I’m Liam and this summer I completed a six week internship working mainly in commercial audit from Grant Thornton’s Bristol office. I also had the opportunity to spend time in the commercial tax, corporate finance and public sector audit departments, as well as working from the Cardiff office for one week.

At the moment I’m in my fourth year studying Mechanical Engineering at the University of Warwick. I get asked a lot why I chose to work for an accountancy firm and, at the time, I applied because I was interested in business from modules at university and reading newspapers. I also enjoy watching TV shows like Dragons Den; which I think really demonstrates how important understanding the numbers is for a business.

I’d considered other business and finance careers, but chose accountancy because of the chance to study for the ACA qualification and the opportunity to work closely with clients. Grant Thornton stood out to me because they work mainly with medium sized businesses and promised a greater variety of work than some of the larger firms.

I certainly wasn’t disappointed and from my second day I was out completing real work on a client site. Each week I was with a different client and was involved in most sections of the audit. It surprised me how independently I was expected to work and towards the end of my internship I was responsible for entire sections of the audit. The fieldwork was normally led by a second or third year trainee, making it really easy for me to ask lots of questions without feeling silly. All of my work was of course thoroughly checked and everyone was encouraged to share feedback at the end of a job.

The open plan office at Bristol made it easy to talk to the managers and I felt a real effort was made to fully involve me with the department. Working in audit, however, does mean you can sometimes feel like a stranger in the office, but I personally enjoyed working in a small team and visiting clients.

There were of course aspects I found difficult, such as getting up early to catch a train to Cardiff and working with detailed spreadsheets. However, I was grateful to have the opportunity to work with clients in a different city and enjoyed being engaged by the work.

At the end of my internship I was fortunate to secure a graduate position with the audit team. My summer with Grant Thornton was a brilliant experience and I’m really looking forward to starting with the firm next year.

If you have any questions please post on the Facebook page. I’m also the Campus Ambassador at Warwick this year and am really looking forward to hopefully meeting some of you at our events.

Location Blog Special – Cardiff

Hi everyone I’m Natalie and work in the Cardiff office. My aim as part of these location blogs is to give you an insight into this office which will hopefully aid your application process.

The Cardiff office is relatively small in relation to other Grant Thornton offices, but this was one of the selling points to myself as being part of a smaller team allows me to get to know my colleagues better with scope to take responsibility in the team. Set about a five minute drive from Cardiff city centre the office is in an easily accessible location opposite a lovely park which is great in the summer (if it ever stops raining!). One of the main benefits of being just outside town if the ease of parking and the savings on multi-storey fees!

The Cardiff office has a number of departments comprising of; commercial audit, public sector audit, tax, recovery and reorganisation and forensics investigation. The commercial audit department is made up of approximately eight trainees with a further three in public sector and one in tax. The office generally takes on three graduates a year, two for commercial and one from public sector. This can mean the posts get pretty competitive but please don?t let this put you off from applying. Tax graduates are not employed consistently each year in this office but rather when the position arises due to the small size of the team. Audit trainees joining the firm can expect to experience a vast majority of clients during their training contract across many locations. Grant Thornton are keen to involve junior team members in varied aspects of the client work, with key responsibilities from the outset, and so as a new graduate you can be expected to be involved in exciting but challenging work which always keeps the job interesting!

Like other offices the audit department “hot desk” as many of us are rarely in the office and are generally based at client sites. Our clients consist of lots of manufacturing firms but also include varied clients including a chocolatier, schools and charities. The office also specialists in auditing pension schemes. The fact that clients are varied gives us graduates a great insight into many different businesses with good opportunities to communicate with different personnel levels at each firm. Some trainees in the office are lucky enough to fly to Romania and Philadelphia each year for audit clients and so the opportunities to travel are exciting. As audit can involve quite a lot of travelling at times, a driving licence and a car is pretty essential! Since I have started I have worked across the UK and have loved the opportunity to visit different cities including Manchester, London and Belfast. Secondment opportunities are also available within the firm and a recently qualified trainee from the Cardiff office is currently on a 22 month secondment to Australia and is having a great time. The tax department however tend to spend the majority of their time in the office so if travelling is your thing audit would be a great experience.

The Cardiff office is closely linked with the Bristol office and so you can often find yourself working with a mix of staff from each office which is great for variety and sharing experiences and knowledge. This is particularly true on larger clients where more staff are required for the audit.

As trainees we are known to enjoy a few drinks after work on a Friday evening in the city centre and aim to have a good social life within the team. As an office we hold a summer party every year which has ranged from watching the 20:20 cricket last year to a comedy opera act this year with the whole office joining in and giving it a go! Christmas is also an opportunity for everyone to gather for lunch and a few glasses of wine to celebrate the holidays.

As the capital of Wales, Cardiff is a busy and vibrant city with great nightlife and many relaxed bars and restaurants. Known for the millennium stadium the city is also a great host to sport. The city centre has recently had a large new shopping centre which is great for spending your hard earned salary on the weekends but also has cultural visiting places such as the National Assembly for Wales, the Millennium Centre Theatre and Cardiff Castle.

If you have any questions about the Cardiff office please feel free to leave a comment on this blog or tweet at me through GT_Natalie.