I can’t believe that this is my final blog post! The last six weeks have literally flown by, and I can honestly say that they were the best six weeks of my life. I mentioned that the final assessment process here at Grant Thornton is largely based upon a final presentation made by the intern. I did mine at the end of my fifth week, and invited a host of friends and colleagues including my line-manager (who had to mark me on my performance). I was a little nervous, but ultimately really thrilled by how well it went. I feel that I’d been given ample time by Grant Thornton to do good research, so I knew my topic inside out, and the Bradenham training had given me the confidence to present my findings in a clear and engaging manner.
I love the way that interns are assessed here; we’re all given a “final exit meeting” on our last day of work, where we meet with our line-manager and the recruitment officer for our office and are given feedback on how we’ve performed. When I first heard that it sounded a little scary, but the exit meeting was friendly and relaxed and turned out to be an excellent opportunity for me to find out what my strengths were and how I can improve in the future. I got feedback on my presentation, and my line-manager had also received reports from my in-charges on how I’d performed, which he passed on to me. I’m ecstatic to say that I was offered a permanent position here at Grant Thornton to start in September 2014 after my final year of university is complete!
Despite my happiness at that news, my last day involved some sadness too as I said goodbye (for now!) to the friends I’d made working here. Grant Thornton organised a wonderful farewell event for all the interns the night before our exit meeting, which was a lovely way to say goodbye and gave us a great chance to exchange contact details! The structure of the internship allowed us to form some really close friendships which I hope will be with me for life. The Public Sector Audit interns actually organised our own informal goodbye lunch after our exit meetings, and are already planning a Christmas reunion!
But it’s not just the other interns that I’ll miss. Grant Thornton is notorious for having an open and welcoming culture in which people of all levels of experience mix and treat one another equally. This stood out for me as something that my friends interning at other firms did not experience. It made for a truly outstanding working environment, and meant that I’ve left the firm with contacts and friends in a variety of positions and departments. My in-charge was even kind enough to bring in sweets for the other intern and I as a goodbye present on our final day!
Overall I can’t stress how much I’ve gained from this experience, not just in terms of professional experience, but more importantly in terms of confidence, personal development and memories I’ll treasure forever.