Today’s “goodbye and back to school lunch” marks the end of the term for our summer interns and our co-op students. Our summer interns and co-ops are so valuable because they help keep the office running during a period when many staff are on summer vacation and all of our experienced associates are off at the School of Accountancy (SOA) in June and then studying for the Uniform Final Exam (UFE) for the remainder of the summer.
Co-ops and summer programs are a great opportunity for students to acquire a bit of work experience, build a valuable network of contacts, learn the tricks of the trade, and experience the PwC culture from the inside. From speaking to this year’s co-ops I have gathered that their experience has been nothing short of exceptional and it has allowed them to gain a better hands-on understanding of audit and tax.
As a co-op student or summer intern, the main expectation is to simply ask as many questions as possible and learn! While on an audit they are generally delegated the less risky sections of the audit. During slower times in the summer the co-ops can be found running around the office assisting the managers and seniors wherever they can. Typical tasks include: putting together and mailing out confirmations, following up on received confirmations via phone, completing financial statement tie-outs, and filling out Management Discussion & Analysis reviews.
For those of you who follow me on twitter (@OttawaChadd) you will know that this year the co-ops made a yearbook to document some of their experiences at PwC. The yearbook will act not only as a keepsake for the students, but also as a reference guide for students considering a co-op term with PwC in the future. I wanted to share some of the co-ops most memorable experiences at PwC during their terms as detailed in the yearbook:
“The two weeks I spent in Toronto during Assurance 1 training where I met new PwC co-ops and associates from all over Canada. Many of which I still keep in contact today."
“The week of the Internship Development Program in Orlando, Florida. I met PwC interns from all over North America and learned how to juggle!”
“When a senior thought I was an experienced associate in my first co-op term”
“The people that I have been able to meet through social events”
“The epic PwC ski weekend at Mont Tremblant – where I discovered that accountants not only work hard, but they play hard too!”
“Assurance 1 training in Winnipeg and my first EGA that I marked as “prepared” was a great one too!”
(note: an EGA stands for an “evidence gathering activity” which is basically performing an audit test.)
There is also a section of “then and nows” in the yearbook which documents the professional growth of former co-ops who are more senior members of the firm now. My favourite co-op story came from a now Senior Manager at the firm:
“A fellow colleague (who will remain nameless) was told by a partner that he would be travelling to the US for work and needed to get a VISA. He proceeded to tell her that this might not be a good idea since his current VISA was already maxed out. Unfortunately, she had to explain to him that she was referring to a VISA that allows you to cross the border, not a credit card! When recounting the story for some of us, this person summed it all up very well by saying, “Now, not only does the partner know I’m stupid, she also knows I’m broke!”
This year’s co-op class in the Ottawa office has become known for their enthusiasm; the energy that they bring to the office and the client site will definitely be missed when they head back to school! That being said we hope to see many, if not all of them, back in the office once they finish school!
I am definitely looking forward to helping to find next year’s co-op and summer interns during the recruiting events in the coming weeks!
Until next week,