Tag Archives: Internship

Eight questions you may have as a prospective intern

What will I need at the start of my internship?
A lot of the information and equipment (including your own laptop!!!) gets given to you on the first day by GT. All I’d say you need to bring is some smart clothes, pens, passport and a trusty notepad. GT should get in touch with you to let you know where you are and anything extra to bring.

What’s it like on the First Day?
The first day can be really nerve-racking, but what I tried to remember when I was there is that I was with 14 other people in the same position. You’ll likely see some people there from your assessment day or from an ice-breaking event Grant Thornton may have arranged, so you’ll be sure to see a friendly face. It’s a nice introduction to the company and with the people you’ll be seeing in the office over the next six weeks. Just try to speak to them all and remember to be yourself.

What are the people like?
You’ll hear Grant Thornton brag a lot about how good their people are, but this isn’t just them saying what you want to hear. Everyone has been in the position of knowing nothing before and because of that they’re very understanding. They’re also very friendly and will happily answer the questions you will inevitably have. Not once in my time so far have I not been greeted with a smile. I can guarantee the people will be one of your favourite parts of your six weeks.

Will I just be making the tea?
There’s always a worry with internships that you won’t actually get a feel for the job, and if you do it will only be shadowing. That is really not the case here. In my second of six weeks I was being put in charge of making documents for a huge client (under supervision of course). It was great (but also very scary) to see a document made by me being uploaded and signed off on the Audit system. You also get to do a range of tasks in your area and have the freedom to feel you’re contributing.

Am I always going to be in the same office?
The simple answer is no. For my first week I was in Reading on the Monday, London on the Tuesday and Wednesday, Oxford on the Thursday and Southampton on the Friday. This is really nice as you get to see the very different offices, I can assure you London and Southampton are chalk and cheese! You also get to spend time on client sites as part of a team, which is a very different experience to the office. If that isn’t enough, you also get to spend two days at a training site. You’ll be able to try a range of meal deals all over the country!

How difficult is it to travel?
After the last bullet point this is probably your first thought. If you have a car and are confident in using it, then you’ll be fine. If, like me, you don’t have a car it is more difficult, as not all the offices and client sites are easily accessible by train. It can be done though, one of the guys I worked with has managed to get everywhere so far by using a mixture of train and bus. My personal preference however would be to try and car share with others. You inevitably feel bad for asking but it is a great solution. Not only does it make your travelling easier, being stuck in a car for an hour and a half with your fellow interns is a great way to get to know them better, something you’ll appreciate in the office.

Will I always be doing the same thing?
The cliché you’ll hear from the auditors when you start is that “every day is different”. I was personally quite sceptical of this idea as it must surely be the same work. For your internship though, this cliché is definitely valid. Whenever I’ve been working on audit I have been able to do a wide range of jobs to help the team, with almost every one being something new. By the end of my six weeks I’ll have also spent days with the tax team, corporate finance team, marketing team, with clients on site and even at a training facility right out of Downton Abbey!

What advice would you give me?
The advice I would give from my own personal experience would be to not hold back during it. Ask as many questions as you can, say yes to as many things as you can, offer to do as much during the days as you can, speak to as many people as you can. You realise when you get here that six weeks is really not a long time, because of this it’s important you find out as much as you can about the job and the company in that time, and you can’t do that by being half-hearted.

By James Holcombe – Audit Summer Intern

My Bradenham Experience

I went into our two days of training at Bradenham with high expectations, as almost every associate I had spoken to at the firm had talked so highly about it. After a few wrong turns on my drive up, including missing the entrance, I finally arrived nice and early on Monday morning and instantly understood why. The grand entrance and the acres of lush garden land were an incredible welcoming, and we got started with our workshop straight away. The title of the workshop was ‘developing your business impact’ and was mainly based on improving our public speaking and presentation skills, looking at our end of internship presentation.

The group consisted of all the audit interns from across the country, and we started off with a few ice breakers; getting to know each other and finding out everyone’s hobbies and interests. The course was very ably lead by Jamie New, Ursula Hughes and Carolyn Sansom and their unique insights and feedback across the two days were incredibly helpful for our personal development.

We were given a lot of on the spot training, being given very little time to prepare for a short presentation. The first of which was a sort of elevator pitch to a manager as to why we’d be the ideal person for a job, presenting to small groups. The instant feedback we received was incredibly helpful as it allowed us to implement the changes in a short time. Presenting to a range of people allowed feedback from different perspectives who could pick up distinct features of yourself, whether it was your shaking legs, over the top hand gestures, or poor engagement with your audience. We later learned that over 50% of the overall delivery consisted of body language, about a quarter tonality, and less than 10% of the actual words you say, meaning that even if your content was remarkable, your audience may not take any of it in if your tonality and body language were poor.

After a lovely lunch break, we reconvened, and after some more theory we set about our next task. Three new groups were each given a topic of a feature of the Vibrant Economy Index, with my group presenting on ‘sustainable growth’ which was more at ease for me with my economic geography background. After 25 minutes of prep we presented back to the whole group receiving constructive, positive feedback in the GT framework. For topics people knew little about, all three groups spoke very well and confidently. The audience would’ve struggled to tell that the group had such little time to prepare for it.

At 6pm, we all had a barbecue in and sat around in the picturesque garden while some of the guys ‘attempted’ to play some croquet. Then at 7pm as soon as the bar opened, everyone flooded in to watch the football on the television, and even after the game finished, everyone remained to watch the evening’s episode of Love Island which allowed for plenty of bonding, interaction, and interesting debate. After a few games of pool, more socialising, and LinkedIn/Facebook adds, everyone went back to their rooms for some well earned rest.

The final day was all about our own personal presentations, which were going to last around 7 mins on any topic of our choice. So again after some more theory, we went away on our own to work on our presentations; mine was on my recent field trip to Havana where I investigated patterns of music consumption among different social scenes. Our group went out into the garden to present and it was already clear to see everyone taking in the advice they’d been given as everyone spoke immaculately well. Everyone spoke of genuinely interesting topics with particular favourites in my group being Marianna Emmanouilidou’s life of travelling having visited 57 countries aged 20, Jack Chisholm’s volunteering and charity work, and Rebecca Rowland’s passion for dance.

After another tasty lunch, we all parted ways, with new friendships and connections. I believe everyone definitely felt more confident with themselves at the end of the second day, with lots of practice and astute feedback which will put everyone in a better position for ‘improving their business impact.’

By Nikhil Rawal – Audit Intern

Getting the most out of your Placement at GT

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.

Express yourself
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!

Be happy
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

‘Being Thrown in The Deep End’ – A Dive Not a Fall

Having started my audit placement at Grant Thornton three weeks ago I understand how daunting it can be beginning a new job at such a respected firm. Whilst excitement prevails, there was definitely a part of me that was scared I wouldn’t be able to perform my job in line with the standards of this successful family. My personal experience in accounting prior to this job was extremely limited and so knowing I was starting work with my first client in my second week was a pretty scary prospect. However, looking back now, I wish I never worried.

Everyone in the firm I had spoken to had always said that us placement and intern students were very much thrown in the deep end. Whilst this was exciting as we knew we were given responsibility from the start, it was also unnerving to think we were expected to go from knowing nothing to everything in such a short time frame. This is where I was wrong.

You aren’t expected to know everything at the end of your first day. You’re expected to have a resilient attitude and a passion to learn. Yes, you are immediately doing the work you probably will perform at a plethora of businesses throughout your time here, but you aren’t ‘thrown’, you’re ‘introduced’, as how else are you to learn?

In my first official week of work I was guided through every step of the way, but never spoon fed. It was up to me to take initiative, explore areas of this work and learn through both the assistance of my teammates as well as my own personal curiosity. Therefore, even though you do find yourself in the deep end, it’s a dive not a fall; an exploration not an accidental disaster.

The truth is, everyone you’ll be working with has been in your position before. They’ve had a first day, they’ve had a first client and they’ve learnt along their journey to be where they are today, so why would you be any different? This common ground instils an empathy across the entire firm that not only make colleagues patient with questions, but also provokes a desire to be a helping hand in the learning process.

Something I was told so many times in my introductory week was that ‘no questions is a stupid one’ and that is meant so sincerely. No matter what your query is, just ask – likelihood is it’s been asked a hundred times before and everyone else has been worried over its validity as well. You always have a team and you are always a part of the wider GT family, so have both confidence in your part of that family and trust in the family you are part of.

So, enjoy your first few weeks and indulge in the unknown. It’s such an exciting time, and an introduction I’m sure you won’t forget. The deep end can be a scary place, but if you always paddle on the surface you’ll never know what’s down there.

By Sky Hormbrey – Audit Placement

My first client experience

I’m Poppy and have recently started a 6 weeks internship in the Reading office and have just finished working on my first client – I thought it may be useful for any new starters to gain some insight into what this experience is like, so here are some of my thoughts!

I know for me, as I’m sure is the case for most, the opportunity to get stuck in with real responsibility and to gain an insight into life as an trainee was something that really attracted me to join Grant Thornton.  Now two weeks into a six week summer audit internship I can already assure you that this is definitely the case! Grant Thornton prides themselves on giving each intern a ‘real world’ experience in their chosen service line and this begins with the opportunity to travel to client sites and get hands on insight into what the job actually entails.  In your first week you will be told which clients you will be working with over the course of the summer and you will also be able to see who else is on your team.

My first client was a group of 19 telecommunications companies consolidated into 2 holding companies based just off the M3 – after extensive google mapping to discover the best route to the location I set off and after driving past the offices twice – I found it! Whilst somewhat daunted by the prospect of arriving at a novel location with what felt like very little audit knowledge, getting in touch with the job manager prior to my first day I was able to find out a range of information from the basic workings of the company to what I should wear and where I needed to be and when, all of which helped put me at ease.  As I’m sure you’re aware one of the CLEARR values which Grant Thornton create their culture around is respect, they have a desire to promote an inclusive environment that values the capabilities and contributions of each person. Whilst at the National Intern and Placement conference at the Finsbury Square office it became obvious to me that this is something that those within the firm encompass in their daily work life, and I can confidently say this has only been reaffirmed since being on site.  From the moment I arrived in the office it was obvious that the team not only had a great deal of respect for each other but also an appreciation for what each person could bring to the team which created a really enthused atmosphere amongst the group.

The opportunity to work within a small group gives you the chance to get to know a group of individuals on a more personal level.  I felt this enabled me to begin to develop an understanding of the role in a comfortable environment where there was always someone on hand to answer all my questions (however annoying I may have felt!) and guide me through the work at my own pace.  The team were really keen to get me involved in a whole range of tasks, helping me develop a broader understanding of both the business and the major aspects of the audit. However, I also found just being in the onsite environment and listening to the conversations going on around me to be equally as beneficial.

Working in a small close-knit team also offers a great opportunity to form new relationships.  Speaking from my own experience (and what seems to have been many others) the whole team were super eager to get to know me and by the end of the job I felt I had made some good friends.  This is great when you get back into the office as it means there is always someone to have a chat with over lunch or to reach out to with questions in a more relaxed environment.

I hope I have got across to you that this is a great experience and I that there is really no need to be too nervous! I definitely encourage you to go into it with enthusiasm and an open mind and I am sure you will enjoy your first client just as much as I have!

 

By Poppy Suthon – Audit Summer Intern

Five Weeks In and I Do Not Want to Leave! My Internship Experience So Far

I joined Grant Thornton on the 4th of June 2018 as a summer intern in audit for six weeks. My internship began with a day of induction where we met our resource coordinator, but also had talks with people in the office about Quality, Ethics and Excellence. It was a great chance to meet my fellow interns, but also to get the feel of the firm that we were going to be a part of for the next few weeks. We received our laptops, which was very exciting and were shown all the IT tools that the company uses to stay organized and connected.

On just my second day in the firm, I was sent out to client site, which although intimidating at first, was one of the best experiences I had. I met my team, who were all lovely people that made me feel welcomed and were keen to answer any queries I had. For the next 3 weeks, I was on client site mostly, with a new client each week and a new audit team. This gave me the necessary client exposure, which was one of the goals that I wanted to achieve at the start of my internship. The work I was given to do was diverse and quite challenging at times, but it felt rewarding once I saw that it was contributing to the overall audit. Everything I was doing linked with each other and I slowly began to understand a little more of what audit is. I completed various tests for different items on financial statements, spoke to clients with the guidance of my team and that propelled me forward, motivating me each step of the way. Everybody I worked with was genuinely nice and always reassured me that they were there should I need any help; that is the one thing that stood out to me about Grant Thornton from day one: the people. Ultimately the people make a firm and everybody at Grant Thornton wants you to succeed, ask questions and most importantly make you feel like you are a part of their family.

Grant Thornton were fantastic in organizing events for us. On our second week, we had a pre joiner’s pizza and drinks event at the Finsbury Square office, where all interns and new joiners attended in order for us to meet and network. It was such a relaxed and enjoyable event, which included a speed dating game, in order for everyone to have the chance to meet as many people as possible. Everyone clearly enjoyed the game and it was an amazing opportunity to speak to people in the same position as me, but also school leavers and graduates joining later in the year. The following week we had our national intern and placement conference, which was definitely one of the highlights of my internship. Interns and placement students from other regional offices came to the London office to join us for the day and a half conference. The conference kicked off with various people, including partners from audit, tax and advisory that came to speak to us about the firm, but also about their experience at Grant Thornton. This was then followed by an interesting version of bingo, which was also structured in a way that made sure we all had a chance to speak to one another. The conference closed off by an evening of bowling and drinks, where we all shared laughs, got to know each other a little better and obviously attempted to bowl a strike! The second day of the conference was opened by our CEO, Sacha Romanovitch, who came to speak to us about her journey, the obstacles she faced and how we could enrich our experience during our time here. I appreciated so much that she took time from her schedule, to come and speak to us and I found all her tips and lessons very useful for my future.

Another pinnacle moment of my internship, was our day and a half trip to Bradenham. This is the place that Grant Thornton employees go for training, located in High Wycombe. The manor house is surrounded by greenery and picturesque views, making it a relaxing place for training and a nice break from the office. We went there to enhance our presentation skills and learned so many tips and tricks in order to nail our final week presentation. We were a total of eighteen interns from London and other regional offices, which made it easy for us to bond and get to know one another. The weather was glorious and all of us enjoyed laying down on the lawn to soak in as much sun as possible. We did various group and individual exercises around presentation skills and I can safely say that I left Bradenham feeling much more confident in public speaking and presenting. All these events helped me expand my network, but they also taught me how to distress, relax and enjoy the company of the people around me.

I am currently in the fifth week of my internship that will soon be coming to an end. I met amazing people, gained the necessary client exposure and become more confident in myself. I achieved these goals with the help of everyone that I worked with and that is something that I will most certainly never forget. My experience so far at Grant Thornton has been nothing short of astounding and my six weeks here will definitely be missed!

By Marianna Emmanouilidou – Audit Summer Intern

My First Week on my 12 Month Placement

Hi,

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

My first few days as a Summer Intern at Grant Thornton

On just the second day of my six week summer internship I, along with my fellow interns and placement students, got the train down to London for the intern and placement conference for all the new starters from across the country.

We arrived at Finsbury Square in time to have some lunch outside in the sunshine before heading into Grant Thornton’s main office in the UK, which occupies a whole building looking out onto the square. We headed all the way to the top floor where we had the chance to have a coffee whilst mingling with the other interns from different offices before Jamie, the Resourcing Advisor, opened the conference.

Throughout the afternoon we had various talks and activities including a funny and informative talk from Malcom Gomersall, a partner in the business, on how GT promotes diversity and inclusivity, and a slightly awkward but fun game of people bingo. We also learnt of some projects that we can get involved in during our time with the company, such as fundraising for businesses in developing countries.

In the evening we headed to a cool bowling alley in Shoreditch where all the interns got to know each other better (and enjoy the free bar!) before heading back to our hotels.

The second day of the conference started with an extremely inspiring talk from Sacha Romanovitch, CEO of GT UK. Sacha spoke of her experience of starting at GT as an intern and how she got to where she is, what she feels the company is currently doing that is exciting, and she answered questions on a range of topics from feminism to how GT are no longer tendering for FTSE350 clients.

Throughout the rest of the day we got the opportunity to ask a panel of current employees who had come through the intern or placement route for their advice, and we also learnt about how we can work hard to secure a graduate role with GT. We also learnt more about the different lines of service, audit, tax and advisory, from partners in these different areas. I was astonished by the varied careers people had had whilst working in these different areas, for example Jayne Archer, who works in advisory, told us about how she has become a specialist in auto-motives and solar energy through the work she has done.

I left the conference feeling inspired and very excited for my internship. Every single person who spoke to us seemed genuinely passionate about GT, what they do and the culture at the company. The fact that GT paid for us all to come down to London, put us up in a nice hotel and had Sacha take time out of her busy schedule to talk to us, despite only being in our first week at the company showed how important interns and placement students are to the company- we’re definitely not just here to make cups of tea! This really felt like it could be the start of a career with a fantastic firm, a firm that not only cares about making big profits (although they are important) but also cares about the communities that they work with and making a real positive impact on our economy.

 

By Francesca Brown – Audit Summer Intern

Why Public Sector Audit?

As a placement student in Public Sector Audit (PSA), you soon learn that when Grant Thornton job advertisements state that your job role will entail early responsibility, they are not joking! You will be plunged straight into work after your first week of induction training, with a supportive team around to answer questions and to help you get to grips with the day-to-day activities of your job.

However, as is typical with audit, there are peaks and troughs in the volume of work throughout the year. During quieter periods, you can utilise your time to learn more about the business and your chosen department. Commercial awareness is widely valued at Grant Thornton, so an understanding both your clients and the wider assurance department helps you to improve the quality of your work.

I interviewed Richard Percival, an Associate Director in the Birmingham office to learn more about the world of Audit. His candid replies offer a more personal insight into PSA, and he has a few words of advice for those of you that may still be uncertain of whether to apply for an intern or trainee role, helping you to make an informed decision based upon your interests and motivations. It’s not a shortest of articles, but it is definitely worth a read, so here goes! Read this post

Public Sector Audit Internship: My First Week

From what I thought and who I met, to what I did and where I went, this blog gives a pretty comprehensive account of my first week as a public sector audit (PSA) intern at the London Euston office. Although your experience won’t be the same, I hope this gives those soon to join Grant Thornton a flavour of what is to come in your first week.

Holly, Public Sector Audit Intern

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