Ben Sidbury talks to Grad Diary about his experiences after winning our SRLV Internship competition.
How did you research the company before you had the interview?
Prior to my interview at SRLV, I mainly researched the company via their website. Whilst I tried to gather as much technical information as possible about the company’s role and purpose, I also tried to get the feel of the company’s ethos, to understand what makes it distinctive. For this I found their online blog very useful as well as the various social media websites SRLV use such as Facebook, Twitter and Youtube.
How did you feel on the day of the interview/during the interview?
As the interview time was approaching, I felt excited and nervous at the same time. Nonetheless, as soon as I was introduced to the partner who would be interviewing me, the nerves went away as swiftly as they came – I was instantly made to feel at ease, and the whole atmosphere was very laid back.
Were there any questions during your interview that you weren’t expecting?
The questions during the interview corresponded to the typical questions one may expect, yet I was surprised by the way in which the interview proceeded. It was more of a pleasant chat with a new acquaintance than a formal interview. It was very enjoyable!
How did you feel once you found out that you got your internship?
I was thrilled! Finding out on top of this that there had been hundreds of applicants truly made my day.
How did the internship work? Was it very structured or was there an expectation on you to go and find things to do/people to talk to ask what needed doing?
The internship did not have a strict, planned out structure. Although I had a main, regular workload from the Music and Entertainment Department – the largest at SRLV – I was also expected to meet staff and try to help them with any work they may have. On my first day at SRLV I was given a list with all the staff members’ names and numbers, and was encouraged to introduce myself.
Did you ever feel out of your depth when asked to help on a task?
The tasks I was given were always clear, and colleagues made sure I understood what was expected of me.
What was the most interesting thing you did during your internship?
SRLV is a company which specialises in the Music and Entertainment industry. As a result, most of the work I was given related to famous artists, bands and celebrities. For this reason, the context of my work was without a doubt the most interesting aspect of my internship, making it particularly unique.
Were there any tasks that you didn’t enjoy?
Filing receipts, invoices and accounts was the least enjoyable task, as it was also the least challenging. However, it is an inescapable aspect of accountancy, and I believe it is important when undertaking work experience to get a real feel of what it is like to work for a firm.
After having done the internship do you feel better equipped to make a decision that this is/is not a career that you want to pursue?
Although I am still unsure as to the exact career path I wish to pursue, this internship gave me a true insight into the world of accountancy as well as giving me a taste for working-life in London; undoubtedly, it has strengthened my resolve to work in an environment related to the financial sector.
Does the role differ from what you thought it might have been like?
The role I had at SRLV matched that which I had in mind. It was very flexible: I was free to go from department to department, looking for work and seeking staff needing an extra hand. As I have no formal training in accountancy, and my studies at university are unrelated, I mainly expected to spend a month learning and taking in as much as possible: my expectation was realised.
Are there any skills that you have developed or are going to look to develop after your internship having realized how valuable they are (i.e. do you now feel excel skills/ power point / maths / commercial awareness) is something you need to improve on?
During my time at SRLV, I improved on my organisational skills, learnt to be methodical and focused at all times as well as understanding how to liaise effectively with colleagues. In addition, my 4 hour daily commute taught me the importance of keeping rigorous track of time. On another note, working with a Spanish-speaking colleague gave me the motivation to brush up on my Spanish!
Thanks to Ben for sharing his experiences, and thanks to SRLV for offering this Graduate Internship.