Intern v Graduate – Different priorities
14 months ago, back in June 2015, I prepared to join the Public Sector Audit team at Grant Thornton. By this time, I had already applied to be a part of the Spilling the Beans Intern Takeover Team and so wrote my first blog ‘The Weeks Before I Joined Grant Thornton’ which gave an insight into what you might expect in-between receiving an offer and starting at the firm.
Fast forward 14 months… I had an enjoyable summer with the firm, started my final year at university, Christmas came and went, I took my final exams and I am now a university graduate. So what now? After my internship last summer, I received a graduate job offer and so now I have joined Grant Thornton … Again!
There are both differences and similarities in joining as an intern vs. joining as a graduate. Each blog in this series will compare experiences, so it’s easier to understand the differences.
There is a huge difference between being inducted as an intern and being inducted as a graduate. Of course as a graduate the induction period is significantly longer, and highly front loaded.
As an intern, the priority is to get you some practical work experience as soon as possible due to the fact that you are only there for a short space of time. During my own experience as an intern, after a week of learning about the firm, the firm’s strategy, the specific sector and getting to know the team, all the interns were assigned to real and live jobs by the start of their second week in a highly supported nature.
Fast forward again, it’s 2016 and I am on the train heading into work. Today is exactly a month since I joined Grant Thornton as a graduate. One month in, I have been to Talent 16, an event which welcomes all the new joiners, I have spent some time in Bradenham, which is the firms training facility and I have also spent some weeks in college preparing for my first set of exams.
A lot has happened since I have joined and yet I haven’t been assigned to any ongoing or new projects. Why? Well as a graduate, the emphasis is completely different to that of an intern. As a graduate you have chosen to work for Grant Thornton. As an intern, you have chosen to experience Grant Thornton. For interns, the programme is an opportunity for the firm to assess whether you are a right fit for the company, but also it is a chance for you to determine whether you think the firm is the right place for you. Therefore, on an internship programme, it makes sense that the you do get as much practical work experience as soon as possible. This is of course in a supported environment which enables you to learn and find out what exactly life at the firm is like.
As a graduate however, the priorities are different, the firm spends a lot of time ensuring all of the new graduates understand the overall strategy and vision for the firm. There is also a lot of emphasis around increasing our knowledge to put us in a better position to hit the ground running. So what exactly have I been doing for the last month?
The next few blogs will look at exactly that, looking at the different experiences I have had throughout my first month as a graduate at the firm. Although this is the focus, I will also look at comparable experiences from my internship last summer.