Takeover 2016: Our Summer Internship experience in Reading
As part of our development and goal setting as interns, myself, Rebecca and Stephen decided to write a blog expanding and reflecting on our experience of joining Grant Thornton for 6 weeks over the summer. We all agreed that Spilling the Beans was an extremely useful tool in finding out information about the application process and made the whole experience easier. Because of this we decided to try and give something back to the Spilling the Beans community and to help provide information to potential future interns about what being an intern at Grant Thornton actually entails…
Our First Week at Grant Thornton
Although arriving at the office was nerve-wracking, immediately we were made to feel welcome and relaxed as we met those who would be in charge of looking after us over the 6 weeks. After being introduced to the firm by our extremely friendly and welcoming overall managers, the rest of the first day involved getting to know the other interns and the office; as well as sorting out the admin side of things. As we were given the opportunity to experience both audit and tax in Grant Thornton, Tuesday and Wednesday entailed a basic introduction to these areas. The rest of the week saw our move into the main office. Most of us were based in the office, although Becca was out on site the first day. Although this seemed scary at first, everyone else was so helpful at answering any questions we had, making our days so much easier.
As part of our introduction to the company, we were sent to London for two days. A social event was put on by GT one evening at a Ping Pong bar in London, where we met all the other interns across the country. It was amazing to meet everyone else and get to know some people from the different offices. The next day we attended a conference at the Finsbury Square office. This conference involved getting to know the other interns some more as well as gaining more insight into Grant Thornton itself and on our final presentations. Although the two days were very tiring, it was definitely the best way to get all the information across to us, and it was a lot of fun!
Working in Audit
We spent the next 3 and half weeks in Audit. We each had the opportunity to experience around 3 different clients, which gave us the chance to meet a lot more people within the department. A lot of the time we were out at the client’s site, giving us a brilliant insight into what the job actually entailed. The amount of time on each client varied, however, we were given a wide variety of testing to complete to expose us to as much of the fieldwork as possible. One of the brilliant things about this internship was the fact we weren’t treated as typical ‘interns’. From the moment we joined the team on a particular client, we were instantly given responsibility, whether that be going to talk to the client, or managing an entire section of the audit testing. Although this was baffling at first we found that there were many people on hand to ask questions to and we were never left with work we couldn’t cope with. As time went by, the structure and process began to become clearer and it was a thrill to feel like we were actually contributing to the overall work.
We had the fantastic opportunity to partake in a two day workshop titled ‘Developing your business impact’ at Bradenham Manor. We were all very excited to go as we had heard a lot about Bradenham during our time in the office; especially about how good the food was! Again, all of the interns across the country were there, so it was really great to see people from different offices again and find out how their time at Grant Thornton was going! During our two days, we took part in multiple exercises to develop our presentation skills and confidence; all to help us feel more assertive when we would give our final presentations-which at this point were only a few days away!
Our Time in Tax
We were lucky enough to spend the last two weeks of our internship in the Tax department. We are aware that not many interns had the opportunity to spend time in different departments so we felt really privileged. During our time in Tax, we got to oversee tax computations being made, draft different emails and letters to clients, as well as calling HMRC.
For our final presentation we were given the humongous question of “What skills and working practices will look like in the future of a Vibrant Economy”. For someone that has only worked at Grant Thornton for 6 weeks, this is difficult to get your head around! So what did we do? Becca spent two weeks individually talking to people in different departments about what a Vibrant Economy meant to them. This was extremely helpful as she had the opportunity to talk to people at various levels; from an associate to a partner, each gave a very different insight. Georgia also got the opinion of a client on the topic when she was working on site, who was equally willing to share their thoughts.
I suppose a tip we would offer if anyone is doing an internship at Grant Thornton is to not leave the presentation to the last minute and collaborate with those around you! Everyone is so willing to help, so take advantage of that and ask them questions!
Overall, we have all loved our experience here at Grant Thornton. We have been made to feel so welcome and part of the team, and we have only been here 6 weeks! We still have a few more days in the office, in which lots of things will be happening, like our final presentations, final performance reviews and the scary (yet exciting) thought of perhaps being offered a graduate job. But it is safe to say that we have all loved our time here and are so grateful for how much everyone has helped us along our 6 week journey!
Georgia Allpass, Rebecca Crampin & Stephen Tolcher