Thursday, July 17, 2008

Notes from an Internship - Week 2

As my second week in London draws to a close I realize that time is really flying. Half of my four weeks in London are up and I need to make the most of the two I have left.

This past week I spent two days in the office and three days at a client site. While in the office I helped various associates and managers who had extra work. One project I helped with involved researching and compiling information on the major accounting policies assorted pharmaceutical companies disclosed in their annual financial statements. This information is to be included in a handbook that describes market issues and risks in the industry, and best disclosure practices for both International Financial Reporting Standards and General Accepting Accounting Principles. The handbook will be provided to KPMG clients all over the world. I got a chance to look at the previous year’s book and felt proud that I was actually able to contribute to this year’s edition.

Tuesday night, I participated in an engagement planning meeting where we discussed a client’s history and expectations while we were on site. The client is an energy industry company and a global client of KPMG. I was relieved to see that the partners, managers and everyone else in attendance at the meeting were really laid back, and while they meant business, the atmosphere wasn’t stuffy or tense. Following the meeting, everyone went out to a nearby pub for drinks - something that is really common after the workday in London.

The client was only a few tube stops from the office, so fortunately I didn’t have to travel far. Since the company is so big, the engagement was broken into several small teams to tackle different sections of the company. I helped out with extra work and did a bit more research. I really enjoyed working with the team and was fascinated to learn that I wasn’t the only one on a global rotation - the manager in charge of the engagement, Jeff, is on a long-term global rotation from Canada. He told me about his experiences with KPMG in both Canada and London and his decision to complete a global rotation. The associate on the engagement, Tosin, was really helpful in explaining parts that I didn’t understand. I appreciated her help so I let all her teasing about my "weird" accent slide.

Thursday night all the global interns got together for dinner courtesy of the recruitment team. I met interns from other countries who came to the UK as well as UK interns who would soon go to offices in the U.S. The food was great and the company was even better. It was really an incredible group of people and it was fun to hear about everyone’s respective countries.

After returning to my flat Friday evening I prepared an overnight bag for a weekend trip. I decided I would take advantage of being in Europe and caught a train to Paris to see the sights.

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