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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 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

A day in the life of a GIA associate!

Hi everyone!

Jenny here 🙂 This week, we’ve got a great blog from one of our associates in Government Infrastructure Advisory.. So if you’re interested in finding out more about what GIA do and what the role of the associate involves, please keep reading! 🙂

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