As a degree apprenticeship student, I spend some of my summer holidays on work placement working with PwC. Last summer was my very first placement – conveniently based in London rather than Birmingham, I was able to commute from my own home to and from work.
Before placement, we were briefed on what to expect, what we would need, and we took part in an induction week at a hotel where we dedicated each day to learning about the values of the company and the expectations from degree apprentices. This week had a lot more impact on my confidence and anticipation for my work placement than expected as it built on my confidence and enthusiasm for how the placement should go and why I shouldn’t really be nervous.
For my placement, I was put into the ‘Technology Consulting’ part of the firm, as PwC has many different areas. This meant I was working with a client to deliver a system they had required in order for their business to become more technologically advanced. I worked from the client site which fortunately was nearby in Canary Wharf for 4 days a week. During my placement I really had to integrate into my team, get used to meeting new people, attend and report my progress in meetings, and learn to use different technologies. Sometimes I was helping with admin work, working on presentations, organising and assisting the project management.
Throughout and during university, PwC held meetings with us and gave us buddies to talk to about how we were feeling and what was going on. It was nice to know I had someone to talk honestly to about what was going on and what I liked and what I didn’t like. It’s also encouraging knowing the feedback should affect our upcoming second placement – it shows PwC wants to do their best to accommodate us and our priorities so that we get the most out of our time on placement.
On placement, I learnt the importance of team work as often if someone across the world had not done their job correctly or reported exactly what was going on, it had an effect on teams here and elsewhere in other PwC locations and could often cause frustration or delays. The working world for technology is also quite unpredictable, and there is always something new to expect every day depending on changes in the world, client, team etc. And it is important to be ready for change and not to be used to the same thing every day because when change does happen it can make you overwhelmed.