Why did you choose to do a Summer Internship in Assurance with PwC?
I primarily chose to do an internship to gain an insight into the type of work that PwC do, as well as being able to get a feel for the ‘working environment’ during my university days. This was a big learning experience for me, as this was the first internship I’d ever done. Naturally I had heard of PwC and the services it provides, a long while before I did the internship.
How did it tie in with your overall career plans?
I used the internship as a way of assessing the opportunities available to me coming out of university. Initially, with only one year left of study, I was unsure of what career path I wanted to take. The PwC internship allowed me to compare the experience I had with subsequent internships that I completed over the following year. It was by far the most engaging work experience I did during that time period.
What was the application process like – any advice for other students?
My application process consisted of completing the online application form, the online mathematical and reasoning tests, a phone call interview, the assessment centre and the final interview. It was certainly a nervous time for me during each stage, waiting to find out if I had been successful. I think getting your application in as early as possible can only benefit you in the process. The main theme throughout the application process is effective time management. Both online tests, as well as all activities during the assessment centre, are very time-pressured, and so my main advice would be to make sure you allocate enough time for all tasks. I believe this was how I somehow made it through to the final interview stage!
What attracted you to apply for the internship?
I used the internship as a way of gaining an insight into what type of work I would be doing in my role in Assurance. I think throughout the entire period, the biggest positive was the variety of work I got to do on the internship. This ensured that my time on the various jobs were never boring, and I got to do a range of work over different types of clients as well (financial services as well as manufacturing companies).
Another big positive was client and team interaction. Being part of a team on-site is a lot of fun, and challenging at the same time, as you’re given a fair amount of responsibility to complete your own work. That being said, the teams I worked with were very supportive and understanding, as they were fully aware I had no audit knowledge whatsoever and took the time to explain how to go about with my work. Also, the away job I was on was a great experience, and the dinners we had on that particular job were excellent!
What were the most important things you learned from the internship?
I think the main things I learned from the internship was how important client interaction can be, as well as establishing a good working relationship with them. Similarly, building good team chemistry goes a long way in maximising efficiency of the work you perform, and also in order to ensure that the time spent on the job is actually engaging. The technical aspect of the work can be picked up quite easily, and you naturally improve this with time.
Do you have any advice for someone seeking an internship?
I would say doing an internship is a really helpful way of understanding the services a company has to offer, and whether these are a right fit for you. Not only that, it also gave me an insight into the type of work environment PwC offers, and whether my working style is compatible with their culture as well. I would certainly encourage people to apply for an internship, as it can potentially change your view about your future career, as it did with me.
What skills did you acquire or improve during your internship?
I would have to refer back to time management once again to answer this. Effective time management was not my strongest skill prior to the internship, but it certainly improved leaps and bounds by the end of it, I believe. Staying organised is also important, as the nature of the work we do means that there will be pieces of work that will need to be parked, and simultaneous bits of testing to do at once, etc. Another main skill that I improved on is communication, simply by interacting with my various team members and especially client contacts. It may seem a bit daunting at first, but holding meetings and conversations with the client really helped my confidence a lot.