Starting any placement or internship can be a daunting experience, well at least it certainly was for me. At times you will feel like a crash dump of information hits you straight in the face and that you have to desperately force your two remaining brain cells to focus and retain any salient information possible. But remember, you are never alone and that this is one of the most invaluable experiences of your life to date. So I decided to write a post detailing how to get the most out of your time with GT.
Embrace that you know nothing
It is okay to feel at times that you have absolutely no idea what you are doing. In fact, it is completely natural. Going on a placement is one of the biggest learning curves you will have faced so far and I can guarantee at the start you will question whether you will actually be able to learn even the most basic work. Relax, I can confirm that you do learn and you do pick things up as you go along. I implore you to always ask questions as everyone is incredibly talkative and friendly. At the end of the day you are here to learn and the only way to do that is to ask questions, sitting in the corner slowly drowning in questions but refusing to ask any will not help you.
Connect, connect, connect
During your first week here you will be part of the National Conference, where over 100 interns and placement students from across the country come to London for 2 days. This is a fantastic networking opportunity so make the most of it, get to know new people and have a good laugh along the way. Grant Thornton is an amazing firm, everyone I have met are super friendly and the people really are the backbone of the firm.
In the grand scheme of things a year is a very short period of time (6 weeks even less), it will fly by. Don’t be a passive participator, try and make a lasting impression of your time here. Be friendly, be chatty, but most importantly be yourself. If you get an offer from GT then the interviewer must have seen something that they liked about you already. The people are the firm, so don’t pretend to be someone you aren’t, be true to yourself and put yourself out there.
Take every opportunity
If you have an interest in another service line then go and explore it. There are opportunities to go on Secondments to both Tax and Advisory and you have an opportunity to explore more about the firm and what it has to offer, don’t let this opportunity pass you by. Get involved in team days and careers fairs, if someone gives you an opportunity to do something different always say yes and see where it takes you; hopefully it takes you somewhere warm and sunny but in the UK this may well be hard to find!
Enjoy your time here, there will be highs and lows but make every effort to enjoy it. Like anything, what you put in is what you get out of it in the end, so put as much as you can into your work and beyond your 9 to 5 job and there is no reason why you won’t have very fond memories of your time here.
By Alexander Prentice – Public and Third Sector Audit Associate