What it’s like to intern at JPA Brenson Lawlor
You won’t know till you try it…that’s what I thought as I wondered what life as an intern at Brenson Lawlor, a Top Twenty practice, would be like. As part of my BA in Global Finance degree that I was taking at DCU I had to complete a four month work placement in this my second year and I’m so glad I did it.
How I found Brenson Lawlor
The placement, known as ‘INTRA’ (Integrated Training), was advertised on the DCU INTRA portal page, where I found it. Suffice to say that employers seek out people who have relevant work experience so hopefully my internship will stand to me for that as I’m now so much more familiar with working in a professional environment, never previously having worked in an office.
Every week was different
One week I was preparing accounts for a client and the next I was conducting a client audit. Sometimes an audit senior would be assigned to the same job as me, whilst other times I would be working on the job on my own, in which case my co-workers would be happy to lend a hand if I was stuck on any particular task. They’re a friendly bunch at Brenson Lawlor.
The office environment
Not having had any experience whatsoever the work was a challenge for me and it was very different to what I had been used to in college. My first lesson in a ‘real’ workplace is that nothing gets handed to you; it’s hard work when you have absolutely no previous experience in an area.
Meeting the clients
Going out on audit for a number of weeks was also pretty daunting. As is the practice you have to physically attend at the client’s premises where, in my case, I helped audit a number of entities within the client company. Though I had only done accounts prep until then I soon got the hang of what was required for an audit job and I was glad to be able to experience that kind of work.
Internship; do one
I think internships are great for students who may not be 100% sure what they ultimately want to do. I was always interested in accounting but I wasn’t sure if accountancy would suit me, or if I would suit accountancy. Prior to my time at Brenson Lawlor I didn’t even know what to expect working in an office but now I know what it’s like, and I like it.
Any chance of a start?
If I do end up going down the accounting route, I’ll still have a number of professional exams to sit before I’m fully qualified and having spoken to the team at BL I now have some idea of what to expect in relation to these exams. The main thing I learnt during my sixteen weeks is that I like accountancy and I’m going to give those exams a go and who knows, I might even get a full time job at Brenson Lawlor now that they know me?