1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
For this placement I worked for two weeks as a work experience student in audit. Working in audit involved reviewing and checking the figures and wording in financial statements. I also completed tasks on Microsoft Excel and using the APT database. I also had the opportunity to visit a client's site and carry out work there.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
Over the two weeks, I developed my confidence and communication skills. I expanded on my understanding of how businesses work and my knowledge of the different components of financial statements (through doing lots of call and cast work). I also developed my IT skills as I was required to use Microsoft Excel for some of the tasks.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I thoroughly enjoyed my time at BDO, and the scheme exceeded my expectations. I particularly enjoyed being able to work on real client cases and the experience of working at the client's site. There was a positive atmosphere, with a good mix between professional and friendly, which made it a great environment to work in.
4. How valued do you feel by BDO?
Right from the start of the placement, I was made to feel welcome and like part of the team. The staff were all really friendly, patient, and happy to help with all my questions, regardless of how small the query was. They seemed really appreciative when I completed work for them, which made me feel like recognised and valued.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
Overall the programme was well organised. There was an induction day held at the London office, which was a really positive and encouraging start. We were each allocated a buddy and counselling manager, which was really helpful. Initially I did not have a lot of work to do, but quickly the work came in and I was kept busy with lots of exciting tasks to work on.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
The buddy that I had was very helpful and supportive, and answered all my questions with patience, even when they were busy with work of their own. Any issues that I had were looked at and I had assistance in resolving them, which I greatly appreciated. Even when my buddy was not in the office, I would email them and receive quick replies.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
My counselling manager was very helpful in making sure I had enough work to do and that I was never bored. I felt comfortable asking questions and felt very supported by the whole team. Any problems that I had were quickly dealt with and everyone always seemed willing to help me with anything.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
Considering that I was not expecting to be receiving payment for this placement, I was pleasantly surprised to find that we would be getting paid at the end of the two weeks. The amount covered my both my travel costs and general costs (i.e. lunch) so I was pleased with the amount that I was paid.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
Although I did not experience this during my time at BDO, I heard that there are many social events outside of work, and that teams sometimes go out for drinks after the completion of a project. I was also aware of many charity initiatives that were going on, such as holding auctions and raffles to raise money for charity.
9a. Would you recommend BDO to a friend? *
9b. Why? *
It is a really useful and positive experience that allowed me to grow in confidence, as well as meet fantastic people along the way. I gained so much industry specific knowledge and after the placement I was able to make a fully informed decision about what I would like to do after I finish school.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to BDO? *
Before the interview, make sure you are well aware of what is happening in the news regarding the sector you are applying for and their clients. While you're here, make sure you make the most out of the opportunity. Go out of your comfort zone and network with as many people as possible, as it will definitely be worth it!
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