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