1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
I have been involved in various tasks, both in the office and on site with clients. This has ranged from casting accounts to performing tests on clients' accounts. I have worked with many individuals as part of a team, both in the office and on site. These have included both BDO employees and staff of clients.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I have developed my Excel skills and learnt how to manipulate data using this program. I have also discovered more about auditing itself, learning new terminology and understanding how an audit is conducted. This work experience has allowed me to further my communication skills whilst working with clients and as part of an audit team.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
The programme has been very worthwhile and enjoyable. I was able to meet all my objectives that I wished to achieve and everyone who I spoke to and worked with was friendly and willing to help with any questions I had. In the office, the atmosphere was relaxed and I felt comfortable working there at all times.
4. How valued do you feel by BDO?
The members of the audit team made me feel very welcome and tried to get me involved wherever possible. Rather than performing tasks that were unrelated to audit, I was gaining a real knowledge of this line of work by undertaking relevant tasks that were set out for me. Whenever I did not have any work to do, someone was always looking for something that I could help out with.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
There was an induction day in London at the start of the work experience which gave a general overview about what I may experience during my time at BDO. During my time there I was assigned a buddy and a counselling manager who were always there to offer me support. I was also given a timetable at the start of the placement for the two weeks which meant I always knew where I was meant to be and when.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
My counselling manager was always ready to offer support but was also happy for me to work with other members of staff which gave me the opportunity to work on a variety of tasks. I was also given a review by the counselling manager at the end of the work experience which outlined my strengths and areas for development.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
Everyone at BDO, both in the office and on site, was willing to help and support me. When I encountered IT problems, these were resolved quickly by the IT team. No one was reluctant to offer me support and I felt like a valued member of the audit team at all times during my placement.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
Expenses could be claimed for certain journeys and a bonus was offered at the end of the placement for successful completion.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
Although no events took place during my work experience I was told about multiple activities that BDO put on for their employees. From my time at BDO it was apparent that the well being of employees was very important and that there was obvious care taken to make sure that the work environment was friendly and everyone was happy, with no one being excluded. They also had dress-down Fridays in support of charity, which was a clever initiative.
9a. Would you recommend BDO to a friend? *
9b. Why? *
The BDO summer school programme is an excellent way to experience the workplace and help with decisions regarding what you want to do in the future. The tasks that I performed were relevant to the line of work and I feel like I developed key skills over my time at BDO. I also felt valued, rather than a burden, and this gave me confidence to get involved and ask questions when I needed to.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to BDO? *
If you are thinking of applying to the BDO summer school programme I would suggest that you read about BDO online before your interview as this will create a positive impression on your interviewers! The application process itself is relatively painless, and takes a very similar form to when you are applying for BDO's graduate programme, which means it is excellent practice for the future. Finally, I would say that at interview it is important to ask questions yourself as this allows you to get a greater understanding of what you will be doing on the summer school programme.
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