Hi, I’m Toby
I loved university, my three years at the University of East Anglia were some of the best of my life. The friends I met and the memories I have will last a lifetime. Summer days sitting in the square or down by the lake, Saturday nights in the Student Union, spending time with mates and even lectures are remembered with fondness.
I knew I had to make the most of my time at university because ultimately I was there to get a degree and make myself more employable. So while playing hard, I made sure that I worked hard as well. Toward the end of first year I started to look at internships, as I knew this was a brilliant way to get a job following graduation. Having the work experience an internship offers is a great way to get the edge over other applicants. Grant Thornton was the only firm that responded to my enquiry with an email that hadn’t been generically sent by a computer – this was the first major thing that attracted me!
Having got in touch with the recruitment team I asked as many questions as I could. I researched the firm to fully understand what they did, how they did it and what made them different to other firms. The more I discovered about Grant Thornton, the more interested I became and so applied for the internship program in the autumn of second year.
It was a six week program, I was treated like any other member of the team and was thrown in at the deep end straight away. I was going out to clients and carrying out key tasks after just three days. I travelled around East Anglia visiting a huge range of clients and completing a variety of different tasks. I quickly learnt that the job is not just about figures but also about helping the client, understanding their business and developing into a business advisor. At the end of the internship all interns were sent to Grant Thornton’s specialist training centre at Bradenham Manor in Buckinghamshire for a Presentation Skills workshop. I learnt a lot from this, taking tips from the workshop and used it in presentations throughout my final year at university.
Toward the end of summer I was invited to a final interview with one of the partners at the firm. Daunting yes, but having worked with him for six weeks I was far less nervous then I would otherwise have been. Having worked for the firm for that length of time, I could be assessed on the last six weeks not just the 45-minute interview.
The best question someone could ask me during my final year was –
“What are you going to do after university? Have you got a job?”
Yes, I did. Thanks to the internship, I successfully managed to get a place on the graduate scheme. Six months later I love the variety of my job and clients. I’m continually learning and growing whilst I work with other great people. It all started from an application for an internship. Best few hours I ever spent.