1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
Involved in the two week summer school programme in Corporation Tax in London.
The first few days was hard because you was given work so you had to go and ask staff if they had any work but afterwards it was a lot better as people asked me to complete work for them, such as computations on Alpha Tax which was mainly focusing on looking at the profit and loss accounts and going into more detail. Additionally, engagement letters, tagging iXBRL accounts. I was also lucky enough to go on client visits with partners where BDO would go to win work and involved in external discussions with clients on how to structure the business is the most-tax efficient way. So there was lots of variety of work and as you are given your own laptop, you are given lots of freedom so become extremely independent so therefore have high levels of responsibility, more than what I would of thought.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I have learnt new skills by using new and specialist programmes like Alpha Tax.
I have developed many existing skills e.g. organisation by juggling work with meetings, meeting deadlines and prioritising etc. Furthermore, people skills as interact with lots of different people at BDO from entry level to partners and clients and lastly to be self-reliance as you have so much freedom to find you're own work.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
The culture of BDO is really good as everyone is friendly and willing to help you and as the office is open planned, so even more so.
BDO have such a wide range of clients so the work you do is varied and different so I never become bored as always something different to do.
4. How valued do you feel by BDO?
As mentioned above, everyone is so friendly so if you every need help or support it is there from your buddy or manager and all the staff and partner, so you do feel valued and I my buddy and counselling manager so you are recognised for your work and do feel valued.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The application process was very structured as have to complete: online application, online tests, interview and presentation to be successful for the Summer School and the induction day was well organised as understood more about BDO and team-building exercise with all the Summer School team as well as had good support from counselling manager and buddy.
Although, it could of been more structured in terms of work as I had to ask people for work whereas people could of pre-planned work that I could of completed which would of been better.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
Not applicable as only a 2 week placement, so don't complete any training.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
As only a 2 week placement, the support was a lot better than expected as had catch ups with counselling manager and buddy as well as can speak to HR and operations team for any problems.
Over the 2 weeks, I had conversations with partners about the summer school who was interested and could talk to anyone in BDO if you had any problems as all very friendly
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
All travel expenses paid for and an extra £200 for the two weeks which I wasn't expecting as it is only work experience. Therefore very happy.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
Yeah, BDO have charity events inside of work and also social events which range from football to dragon racing. Wide range of opportunities.
9. Would you recommend BDO to a friend?
Good culture so don't feel intimidated. Excellent, social working hours as BDO advise against overtime which enables a good work, social life balance.
Range of client sizes so gives a range of different work and each day can be different.
If you want to join BDO for the School Leaver programme the Summer School programme is a huge stepping stone as it allows you to work and understand the BDO and accountancy to see if it is for you (so like a taster) as well as you have partner interview at the end of the 2 weeks which is like an interview for the job.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to BDO?
I enjoyed the Summer School programme but it is a big commitment as it is 2 weeks of your Summer, it is what you make of it.
Make sure you do extra-curricular activities which can be anything, just shows you're personality and benefits in the interview as something to talk about, the same applies to having a part-time job as it shows you're active and willing and develops many skills which is useful at BDO!
Prepare for the interview by looking up competency questions, do some history on BDO and know there key values and important dates in history e.g. PKF merger in 2013.
For the Summer School - don't by shy, be active and willing which goes a long way as I was able to go on client visits with partners whereas many other Summer School students didn't. Be a sponge and soak up all the information, as you may be able to get a School Leaver job out of it for the following year after AS-Levels