Faris’ internship experience
Written by Faris Ghandour, a 3rd year BAEcon Finance student
When I applied for my audit internship, I didn’t have any expectations as I had never done an internship related to finance before. I tried to keep an open mind as I knew that I would learn transferable skills regardless of whether this internship was directly related to finance or not.
The internship I did was an audit internship with BDO. My role first started with checking the numbers on audit reports, which is called casting. I had to go through many numbers from different statements and make sure that everything was matched and correct. I cast, cross-referenced, and quality-checked the audit reports and financial statements of 12 multi-million pound listed and unlisted companies, including a subsidiary of an FTSE 100 advertising company. The next thing I did was translate audit reports for clients into different languages and make sure that they matched up to the original report. Another part of my role was to shadow the managing partner in drafting this report from scratch for a national hospital chain. After that, I got a chance to test an international hotel chain’s quarterly and yearly payroll sheet and verified their accounts. Towards the end of my internship, I was sent to a major cement manufacturer’s office and I audited the balance sheets and income statements.
Throughout this internship, I learnt many different skills related to finance, accounting, and communication. Audit as a whole is more focused on accounting, but there are many different skills such as reading balance sheets and income statements that can also be used in finance. I was able to apply some of the finance skills that I learned in university and test their application in our real-life settings. I learned different excel skills that I was able to use in university as well, which will also give me an edge in my career. I was also exposed to people from different backgrounds and was able to learn how to adapt to new environments and communicate with people in senior positions.
In terms of what I got out of it, I learned that auditing and accounting is not a field that I am that interested in pursuing as a career. I would prefer to go into a career that is more finance-related such as in the banking sector or with a company’s finance division. However, I am glad that I did this internship as it helped me understand what I want to do, and without getting this exposure I would have never been able to say if accounting was a field I would want to get into. For people who are just starting out in university, I recommend that they try to get exposure to as many fields as possible so they can have I better idea about what they entail and whether they might be interested in pursuing it.