Intern v Graduate – Do Interns go to college?

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.



Following the Breaking Records workshop at Bradenham, we spent the next two weeks at college in preparation for our first set of exams. Our first set of exams were due inside our first three months at the firm and so our time at college, as well as Bradenham was necessary to ensure we are ready to tackle these three exams. All of the graduates on the Rotational Advisory Programme were starting with exams in accounting, assurance and law.

Out of our ten days at college, seven days were focused purely on accounting. Our time at Bradenham particularly paid off over this time, and meant that we weren’t being introduced to any concepts for the first time in college. As a law student, getting used to accounting concepts is something I found particularly challenging, but Bradenham alongside the time at college definitely saw me take strides forward.

Following this, we then spent three days working on assurance, before being given two days’ study leave in which we were urged to work through some law materials which we were given.

Going to college can be well described a little bit like going back to university, except with school hours. Your classes don’t change and are full of people on the same programme as you, and so you will spend a lot of time with your friends. You are in college for the full working day however, so if you have come straight out of university, getting used to being in class for so many hours can be a shock to the system.

To summarise, college is something which is hugely important in terms of getting you ready for your exams. In most teams gaining a qualification is of prime importance and so you want to get through these as smoothly as possible. Our time at college was fun, and after speaking to some of the older graduates, it is definitely something that they look forward to doing throughout their training years.

Do interns go to college? As an intern, you won’t spend time at College, simply as you have no exams to work for. But after your internship, most of you probably have a final year of a degree to work on, so I am sure you will be kept busy with exams.

Posted by Mass Ndow-Njie   |    13 October 2016 at 12:22 PM

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