Creating, Recognising and Taking Every Opportunity
Interns from around the UK collaborated in the Finsbury Square office, London, to listen to a plethora of successful advocates of the internship/placement scheme. Partners and Associates shared their experiences and advice to ensure we achieve our personal successes in the following 5 weeks. Personally, the highlight was listening to Sacha Romanovitch (CEO) speak passionately about the importance of recognising employees as individuals, company changes, and the relevance of GT’s purpose of achieving a vibrant economy. Sacha’s motivation and personable nature left me inspired, grateful, and eager to embrace all upcoming opportunities.
> Sacha emphasised that to be the best you can be you must always relate your task back to the bigger picture - achieving a vibrant economy.
> Malcom Gomersall (Partner) - always ask why to ensure full understanding and do more than you’re asked to demonstrate enthusiasm and excellence.
> “Look up, look forward, look out” – Sacha highlighted the importance of grasping every opportunity and constantly looking to grow, for optimum success within the firm.
Throughout the internship I aimed to keep these 3 crucial pieces of advice in the forefront of my mind; leading to the creation of this blog post to encourage future interns to do the same and show what opportunities can arise by doing so!
Put yourself in the best position to take advantage of opportunities – here I refer back to point 1 and 2 of the key advice: “relate your task back to the bigger picture” and “always ask why”. Taking on board these qualities makes you more engaged, allows you to fully understand the tasks requirements and the reasons behind its completion and ultimately be more confident and produce a higher quality of work. This will lead to more responsibility as people recognise your ability and enthusiasm and puts you in the best position for exposure to opportunities.
--- TIP: Take genuine interest in people and their roles, and ask inquisitive questions! ---
Another obvious but often overlooked quality is taking a GENUINE INTEREST in people’s careers and ASKING INQUISITIVE QUESTIONS. This can lead to secondments in different service lines, for example, that allow you to gain a wider business awareness and a better idea of the opportunities that lie in your future with GT. Despite being an audit intern, I was fortunate enough to gain some experience working with the Growth 365 team. G365 is a tailored service for ambitious CEOs and leaders of mid-sized businesses, providing focused advice and putting plans into action for their growth vision. The aim of my project was to build a picture of the South West in terms of the business landscape – what companies are here, their size, their sector in order to effectively tailor marketing and business development to specific sectors and businesses. It was a great experience, however involved a high level of excel expertise… which was not my forte!!
--- TIP: Take initiative! ---
Which leads onto my next point, TAKE INITIATIVE! There may be times in the 6 weeks where your work load is low (people may be waiting for information to be attained before they can set your task), think about your weaknesses and use this time to increase your job efficiency or expertise. For me, excel was a weakness as I have never been required to utilise this platform at university or in part-time employment. It is highly relied upon in this line of work so SCRUB UP ON YOUR EXCEL SKILLS PRIOR TO EMPLOYMENT! In this respect, opportunities can be used as a word to resemble the learning and development that can take place if you put in the effort and fully utilise the resources available (i.e. pdfs, excel demonstrations and the business school (on the intranet, if current interns are unaware!)).
Recognising and Grasping Opportunities
I’d like to say this medal commemorates the momentous occasion of securing this highly sought after placement, however it’s a medal for something much more significant – my debut as 5-aside football team captain! I was asked if I would be willing to play in a 5-aside football tournament for a networking event set up by the corporate finance team one lunch time, an opportunity I could not let pass! A variety of different businesses such as NatWest, HSBC, Womble Bond Dickinson, Burges Salmon and many more attended - a great day in the sunshine and a great experience to represent GT. I was not, however, told prior to the event that I would be captain!
I was introduced to my team – 5 men, all very successful in the corporal world, with me, a 2nd year university student interning at GT as their captain, with absolutely no idea how to play 5-aside football! Nevertheless, we were victorious!! Returning home with a shiny medallion to honour the experience! Not only did this opportunity introduce me to the corporate finance team and allow me to network with other established business professionals, it also gave me the chance to inquire about spending my final week of the internship with the CF team to ensure I return to university fully aware of the opportunities that can lie in my future.
I suppose what I am trying to signify is: don’t let a moment pass. Don’t doubt yourself, your ability to play 5-aside football or your ability to network with professionals – let nothing be your excuse. With no excuses comes more opportunities and development.
Grant Thornton wants you to develop and create your own path – take full advantage of this!!
By Hannah Sabine – Audit Intern