Eight questions you may have as a prospective intern
What will I need at the start of my internship?
A lot of the information and equipment (including your own laptop!!!) gets given to you on the first day by GT. All I’d say you need to bring is some smart clothes, pens, passport and a trusty notepad. GT should get in touch with you to let you know where you are and anything extra to bring.
What’s it like on the First Day?
The first day can be really nerve-racking, but what I tried to remember when I was there is that I was with 14 other people in the same position. You’ll likely see some people there from your assessment day or from an ice-breaking event Grant Thornton may have arranged, so you’ll be sure to see a friendly face. It’s a nice introduction to the company and with the people you’ll be seeing in the office over the next six weeks. Just try to speak to them all and remember to be yourself.
What are the people like?
You’ll hear Grant Thornton brag a lot about how good their people are, but this isn’t just them saying what you want to hear. Everyone has been in the position of knowing nothing before and because of that they’re very understanding. They’re also very friendly and will happily answer the questions you will inevitably have. Not once in my time so far have I not been greeted with a smile. I can guarantee the people will be one of your favourite parts of your six weeks.
Will I just be making the tea?
There’s always a worry with internships that you won’t actually get a feel for the job, and if you do it will only be shadowing. That is really not the case here. In my second of six weeks I was being put in charge of making documents for a huge client (under supervision of course). It was great (but also very scary) to see a document made by me being uploaded and signed off on the Audit system. You also get to do a range of tasks in your area and have the freedom to feel you’re contributing.
Am I always going to be in the same office?
The simple answer is no. For my first week I was in Reading on the Monday, London on the Tuesday and Wednesday, Oxford on the Thursday and Southampton on the Friday. This is really nice as you get to see the very different offices, I can assure you London and Southampton are chalk and cheese! You also get to spend time on client sites as part of a team, which is a very different experience to the office. If that isn’t enough, you also get to spend two days at a training site. You’ll be able to try a range of meal deals all over the country!
How difficult is it to travel?
After the last bullet point this is probably your first thought. If you have a car and are confident in using it, then you’ll be fine. If, like me, you don’t have a car it is more difficult, as not all the offices and client sites are easily accessible by train. It can be done though, one of the guys I worked with has managed to get everywhere so far by using a mixture of train and bus. My personal preference however would be to try and car share with others. You inevitably feel bad for asking but it is a great solution. Not only does it make your travelling easier, being stuck in a car for an hour and a half with your fellow interns is a great way to get to know them better, something you’ll appreciate in the office.
Will I always be doing the same thing?
The cliché you’ll hear from the auditors when you start is that “every day is different”. I was personally quite sceptical of this idea as it must surely be the same work. For your internship though, this cliché is definitely valid. Whenever I’ve been working on audit I have been able to do a wide range of jobs to help the team, with almost every one being something new. By the end of my six weeks I’ll have also spent days with the tax team, corporate finance team, marketing team, with clients on site and even at a training facility right out of Downton Abbey!
What advice would you give me?
The advice I would give from my own personal experience would be to not hold back during it. Ask as many questions as you can, say yes to as many things as you can, offer to do as much during the days as you can, speak to as many people as you can. You realise when you get here that six weeks is really not a long time, because of this it’s important you find out as much as you can about the job and the company in that time, and you can’t do that by being half-hearted.
By James Holcombe – Audit Summer Intern