Hello! In my first blog of this academic year, I will talk about my experiences so far on placement and also the process of securing a placement at an accountancy firm.

Over the summer, I worked in a global consultancy and professional services firm, Navigant, in London in the Disputes and Investigations practice. The disputes and investigation department (D&I) is split into three main areas; Forensic accounting, Litigation and Arbitration, Legal technology solutions and Computer forensics. I worked alongside a range of accountants, consultants, managing directors and forensic accountants and attended meetings with top lawyers, international conference calls, and was significantly involved in the preparation for development of an international office in UAE and Singapore for the D&I team. I gained such valuable experience- not only in forensic accounting and disputes and investigation resolution in the financial industry, but also London working life, commuting and socialising in the bars and clubs of London and Bank! The time in the city gave me an insight into other career options and deepened my interest in Corporate Finance, investigative accounting and also significantly in law, which is closely linked with accounting in the D&I practice.

I started my placement at Wise & Co. in September and so far it has been very interesting. I have been working on accounts preparation for limited companies, sole traders and partnerships and have already completed many sets of accounts – it’s actually quite exciting preparing your first set of accounts. I have also been out on audit, visited clients’ sites, collected records and have had many training sessions. Working in a relatively small firm is also great – the camaraderie and friendly atmosphere in the office, the professional relationships that I have formed and the social scene have all been brilliant. I have already gained experience in several areas of accountancy and in audit. The placement is reinforcing my accounting knowledge from A-level and my two years of Accounting and Finance study. The placement has been difficult at times, whether due to a difficult client, accounts prep jobs or even just getting used to the new systems but I couldn’t have asked for better support from my training manager, other colleagues, managers and partners. I have still got a great deal to learn but it is very exciting and I am so glad I took the position at Wise and Co!

The application for Wise & Co. was quite straightforward. I had to complete an application form and send in a CV and covering letter. I was then invited for an interview with the HR manager and training manager and following that, with one of the partners of the firm. The interviews lasted about an hour each, following which I returned to Exeter to find I had been offered the position.

If you are applying for a company whose recruitment process involves a covering letter, my advice would be to write no more than one page, to use a professional format and make sure you match the covering letter to the job description and your skills to the job. Make the letter relevant to the company too, research the company, the size of it and the type of clients they have, why you want to work there specifically and be passionate about the job, the company itself and your future. Also make sure to use the careers team in the Business School and the forum as much as possible and ask them to check your CV and covering letter before sending.

Best of luck to all those applying for placements and internships this year, it is honestly worth the hard work!

Me outside the office

Me outside the office