My first client experience
I’m Poppy and have recently started a 6 weeks internship in the Reading office and have just finished working on my first client – I thought it may be useful for any new starters to gain some insight into what this experience is like, so here are some of my thoughts!
I know for me, as I’m sure is the case for most, the opportunity to get stuck in with real responsibility and to gain an insight into life as an trainee was something that really attracted me to join Grant Thornton. Now two weeks into a six week summer audit internship I can already assure you that this is definitely the case! Grant Thornton prides themselves on giving each intern a ‘real world’ experience in their chosen service line and this begins with the opportunity to travel to client sites and get hands on insight into what the job actually entails. In your first week you will be told which clients you will be working with over the course of the summer and you will also be able to see who else is on your team.
My first client was a group of 19 telecommunications companies consolidated into 2 holding companies based just off the M3 – after extensive google mapping to discover the best route to the location I set off and after driving past the offices twice – I found it! Whilst somewhat daunted by the prospect of arriving at a novel location with what felt like very little audit knowledge, getting in touch with the job manager prior to my first day I was able to find out a range of information from the basic workings of the company to what I should wear and where I needed to be and when, all of which helped put me at ease. As I’m sure you’re aware one of the CLEARR values which Grant Thornton create their culture around is respect, they have a desire to promote an inclusive environment that values the capabilities and contributions of each person. Whilst at the National Intern and Placement conference at the Finsbury Square office it became obvious to me that this is something that those within the firm encompass in their daily work life, and I can confidently say this has only been reaffirmed since being on site. From the moment I arrived in the office it was obvious that the team not only had a great deal of respect for each other but also an appreciation for what each person could bring to the team which created a really enthused atmosphere amongst the group.
The opportunity to work within a small group gives you the chance to get to know a group of individuals on a more personal level. I felt this enabled me to begin to develop an understanding of the role in a comfortable environment where there was always someone on hand to answer all my questions (however annoying I may have felt!) and guide me through the work at my own pace. The team were really keen to get me involved in a whole range of tasks, helping me develop a broader understanding of both the business and the major aspects of the audit. However, I also found just being in the onsite environment and listening to the conversations going on around me to be equally as beneficial.
Working in a small close-knit team also offers a great opportunity to form new relationships. Speaking from my own experience (and what seems to have been many others) the whole team were super eager to get to know me and by the end of the job I felt I had made some good friends. This is great when you get back into the office as it means there is always someone to have a chat with over lunch or to reach out to with questions in a more relaxed environment.
I hope I have got across to you that this is a great experience and I that there is really no need to be too nervous! I definitely encourage you to go into it with enthusiasm and an open mind and I am sure you will enjoy your first client just as much as I have!
By Poppy Suthon – Audit Summer Intern