Tag Archives: Warwick

The Summer Internship

Hi, I’m Liam and this summer I completed a six week internship working mainly in commercial audit from Grant Thornton’s Bristol office. I also had the opportunity to spend time in the commercial tax, corporate finance and public sector audit departments, as well as working from the Cardiff office for one week.

At the moment I’m in my fourth year studying Mechanical Engineering at the University of Warwick. I get asked a lot why I chose to work for an accountancy firm and, at the time, I applied because I was interested in business from modules at university and reading newspapers. I also enjoy watching TV shows like Dragons Den; which I think really demonstrates how important understanding the numbers is for a business.

I’d considered other business and finance careers, but chose accountancy because of the chance to study for the ACA qualification and the opportunity to work closely with clients. Grant Thornton stood out to me because they work mainly with medium sized businesses and promised a greater variety of work than some of the larger firms.

I certainly wasn’t disappointed and from my second day I was out completing real work on a client site. Each week I was with a different client and was involved in most sections of the audit. It surprised me how independently I was expected to work and towards the end of my internship I was responsible for entire sections of the audit. The fieldwork was normally led by a second or third year trainee, making it really easy for me to ask lots of questions without feeling silly. All of my work was of course thoroughly checked and everyone was encouraged to share feedback at the end of a job.

The open plan office at Bristol made it easy to talk to the managers and I felt a real effort was made to fully involve me with the department. Working in audit, however, does mean you can sometimes feel like a stranger in the office, but I personally enjoyed working in a small team and visiting clients.

There were of course aspects I found difficult, such as getting up early to catch a train to Cardiff and working with detailed spreadsheets. However, I was grateful to have the opportunity to work with clients in a different city and enjoyed being engaged by the work.

At the end of my internship I was fortunate to secure a graduate position with the audit team. My summer with Grant Thornton was a brilliant experience and I’m really looking forward to starting with the firm next year.

If you have any questions please post on the Facebook page. I’m also the Campus Ambassador at Warwick this year and am really looking forward to hopefully meeting some of you at our events.

Successful Applicants Meet the Team

Last week, Warwick students with offers from Grant Thornton, were invited to a New Joiners event at the recently opened Glasshouse in Leamington spa.
Organised by one of our soon-to-be graduate trainees, Nick Leese, a group of us from one of the London offices met the potential new graduates over some canapes and cocktails in a relaxed

Having attended employer events in the past, and knowing how intimidating it can be for some students, I realised how the setup of this event would make Grant Thornton stand out as a firm: The use of a cocktail making class acted as a great ice breaker and ensured that the potential new graduates felt relaxed and welcome.

And sure enough, once the drinks were flowing, the students started becoming more forth-coming with their questions: Why did you choose Grant Thornton? Do you have to come from an accounting background to succeed? What does an audit actually involve? Did you consider other career options? How much control do you have over your career?

One particular question that stood out was “I have seen loads on the website about how Grant Thornton trainees get loads of responsibility and exposure. Is this really true? Have you got any examples?”. Apart from mentioning the open plan office, the variety of clients and secondment opportunities, I was able to draw upon my own experience as a new graduate to illustrate Grant Thornton’s unique culture: During my first three weeks at work, I was involved in a pitch for the audit of an international insurance group. In the process, I not only met a senior tax partner, two senior audit partners and the 2009 “Jaguar Women of the Year”, Sacha Romanovitch (our head of People and Skills), I was also given exposure to the pitching process and the work that partners do ? not an everyday occurrence!

As midnight approached, the four of us continued to pass on our knowledge of the firm and its unique position in the market. Feedback from the students was very positive and suggested that this type of event is hitting the right notes: informative yet friendly, professional yet relaxed. Given the quality of the attendees, it seems that the future is bright!

Congratulations to all those with offers. See you in September!