Let me say it out loud: My highlight of the whole summer was the internship with PwC. I love every bit of it. I miss the office, the colleagues, the interns, the workload … I’m not trying to advertise for PwC or anything, but I’m being blunt to you all. I really want to work there permanently.
The first week was all about training. We were taken to this resort place called Latimer, in zone 8 to have our 3-day-training. During those 3 days, we got to know other interns, some came from Ireland, some from Edinburgh, .. in short, every intern in my intake was there. Everyone was very friendly and I guess it was part of the whole package when you signed up for this position. You had to be open, be outgoing because this was all part of what we call NETWORKING. Besides all the drinks, dinners, activities, we were taught a few technical things related to our work in the next 5 weeks. Assurance interns were taught some auditing terms, some accounting and business basic knowledge and then we were shown how to use the technology that assurance at PwC apply.
The next day, we were taken to the office to have an induction day there. I was based at More London, the PwC headquarter in the UK. It was what you would expect from an office building, but with a much better view “Tower Bridge”. Every intern was assigned a “Buddy”, who would be someone to look after you if you need any help, personal or working matters; and a “People Manager” – someone who would be involved in the process of giving feedbacks about you, pitch them to the senior people and HR about whether or not you should be hired as a graduate. So everyone got to meet their People Manager and Buddy that very day. I, surprisingly, was so lucky. My people manager, my buddy and I were on the same client, that means I got to know them a bit better than just a couple of hours of catch-up. I actually worked with them throughout my 5 weeks at the office. But before I got to the part about me expressing my overwhelming feeling as to how much I love the office, let’s move to the last day of the first week.
That last training day, we were told to go to another venue to get acquainted with the PwC IT system. It was a fun day ended with 20 of us interns in London went for a drink at a pub nearby and got to know each other even better.
So, it’s office –week time.
I want to talk about the work here. My client is one of the biggest investment banks in the world (and I think I’m not allowed to say who it is). But anyhow, working with a big client was a big opportunity. I would be lying if I said it wasn’t a bit worrying and terrifying. But I had the chance to actually meet up with some high-level people at the client site in one of the meeting that I chose to shadow PwC partner. I wasn’t able to understand anything from the meeting but I was not supposed to get anything anyways. They all used technical terms, acronyms and some big topics that I have never heard of in my life. But what I learnt from it was just too valuable to describe. You would think because they are all high and mighty big bosses so they would act in a more formal way. But no, they were so casual towards each other. Along work talks, they even shared some personal changes and opinions, which I thought was amazing. As for the work I normally did at the office, I helped out with anything they needed: Reviewing documents, filing them, doing some testing, … You could be assured that you would never be told to get coffee and go printing, you actually worked like a professional. The people at the office would coach you through the tasks in details and you would always feel free to ask. Because, to be fair, you came in with nothing in your head, like literally.
Anyways, that was all I could say about the tasks I did. It varied from team to team, department to department and this division to another. But I think what made I loved the place so much was the people I worked with.
The first Friday at the office, I was the only intern that hung out with their colleagues. Other interns were also at the pub but they were all together, not with their team members. I was with them at first but then I also went to hang out with my team, which was amazing. They were so friendly and were ready to open up about their works, their plans with the career. And I became close with many members of the team, even when I might not work for them. I still talked to them casually, asked about their days, their weekend plans and even went for lunch with them.
Some of you are probably thinking “Isn’t it too obvious that everyone would experience the same thing?”. But you are mistaken. Some other interns of mine didn’t get to know their team as well as I did. They only talked to maybe 2 or 3 people at the office and they came for work, and then left home after finishing it. For me, it was different. I went for lunch with them. I even baked brownies for my team on one Friday; I thought everyone needed a chocolate boost to hang on. One of the feedbacks I got from the people at PwC was that “Alisa has become part of the team and fit in comfortably with everyone. I feel as if she had been a member all along”.
You might think that I’m bragging but no, I’m just trying to give you a very important advice here. The internship is not only about the quality of the work you do at the office. Yes, it’s very important that you actually meet and exceed the expectation of a high-quality work. But still, there’s more to it than that. One of my fears before the internship started was that I wouldn’t be able to fit in. Lucky for me, I did. And my only advice is that whatever internship you have, get to know the people you’re working with; ask about their days, their works. People like to talk about themselves, so do ask and they will share.
That’s it. My summary of how I love PwC and how I want to come back so desperately. My last week starts tomorrow and I will find out if I have the job on Friday. I’m praying sincerely right now.