NAME RACHEL PIGOTT
DEGREE AND UNIVERSITYPOLITICS, PHILOSOPHY AND ECONOMICS, YORK
Work Experience:6 week Summer Internship with Ernst and Young (EY) in 2006.
Why did you decide to do work experience?
I applied for internships in my second year to gain insight into potential careers. My degree did not lead directly to any specific career so I wanted to get an idea of the options available to me. It was also an opportunity to learn, pick up new skills and meet like-minded people, and I needed funds for a month travelling around Mexico later that summer!
Why did you decide on this placement? Ernst & Young offered a distinctive internship scheme, which was only six weeks long. In the end I enjoyed it so much, I extended my placement by one week! I had an immediate support network through a counselling manager and a buddy and there were weekly social events which gave me the chance to get to know others on the scheme.
What did you actually do? I worked with a variety of clients, including a leading airline and a dot.com. There were odd occasions when I was photocopying, but I was mostly given the same work as a first year graduate joining the firm.
What impact has this had on your career progression? I was offered a graduate job with Ernst & Young, which meant I went into my final year not having to worry about time-consuming application forms and nerve-wracking interviews. I was able to defer my start date by nine months which enabled me to participate in other work experience and go travelling before I started work. I knew exactly what to expect on day one; I recognised faces around the office; and, as many of my fellow interns had also joined the firm, I had friends in other departments. Finally, it helped me realise the value of an accountancy qualification.
What were the highlights?Ernst & Young put a lot of effort into the scheme. The induction week was great. I lived in halls of residence near the induction centre for the first week, learned a great deal about the firm, and also had fun both during and outside working hours.
Being offered a place on the graduate scheme at the end of the internship was great!
What pwrsonal qualities do you need to bring to work experience?
· Willingness to learn
· Ability and desire to work closely with others
Have you any advice for people wanting to do work experience? Don’t cut corners at the application stage. Do lots of practice tests before doing the real ones, and ensure your interview answers are well thought out. Prepare well for interviews and explain why you want to work for that firm in particular. Make the most of your time there, ask questions and seek out opportunities. Keep a note of everything you do so you can see what you’ve achieved, and make sure you ask for feedback