1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
As a summer school student at BDO most days at the office consisted of odd jobs for managers, mostly casting and calling (google it) along with a fair bit of research into potential clients. The people where pleasant, helpful and surprisingly understanding and the social events I did go to (a garden party along with a number of lunches) were awkward at times but altogether fun. I even went out to a client during my first week, however any major responsibility is taken up by the much more capable hands of the managers and seniors that ultimately review everything you do.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
In two weeks I went from not knowing what a financial statement is (again google is your friend) to being some-what confident in following it through. Basic accountancy terms have found their way into my vocabulary such as debtors, assets and invoices and have developed (out of necessity) basic office/filing-related skills.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
The work, like anything else, can be repetitive but even it has its moments, however the people and culture is BDO's' saving grace and is naturally a highlight of my time there.
4. How valued do you feel by BDO?
The answer above applies here too.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
While the two weeks of work experience started off well enough, I only went out to a client the one time. And while I could delve into the horror stories that are my personal experiences with BDO and its scheduling, I'd rather warn you to take my bad luck (and rating) with a grain of salt.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
While no one is going to spoon feed you information everyone is more than willing to help if you're having trouble, half the time its really just a case of asking (or looking lost/confused enough).
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
As mentioned before, a lot of work at the office work is given to you by a manager of some type, many of which will remind you to ask if you have any questions and will quite consistently provide examples or a number of notes as a guide.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
The £100 per week covers the suit I bought especially for BDO and travel expenses (the second biggest cost) are covered by BDO, making the salary meet my costs to a 'T'.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
I big part of the industry is networking and exposure and having met a number of chartered accountants, its fair to say that I have made a start in both. Two weeks may not be long enough to know everyone by name but I'm at least better equipped than I would have been.
9. Would you recommend BDO to a friend?
The same reason I went, its a great chance to work towards a practical career.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to BDO?
Meetings, interviews and the office as a whole is fair more casual than you'd expect, obviously there are standards to be met but the sooner you can relax the sooner you really start benefiting from the program.
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