Having always envisaged a career in accountancy, I was fortunate enough to secure a six-week summer placement at PKF Francis Clark in the Exeter office. Although having minimal knowledge in the accountancy profession, this placement gave me the opportunity to experience each department rather than just one specific area, making it highly appealing.

During the six weeks, I spent my first week in Business Services, learning how to submit journals and complete accounts preparation. Personal Tax and VAT were next on the agenda, where I gained knowledge on how to complete Tax and VAT returns. The middle two weeks of my placement involved being off-site, working in a team of six, auditing a large client. The teamwork and relationship building that took place between our team and the client was second to none and I will take inspiration from this for the future. During my penultimate week, I undertook the work of a Corporate Finance Associate and I was even given the opportunity to participate in client meetings and conference calls, which was a highly valuable experience. I was placed in Corporate Tax on my final week, gaining a detailed understanding of corporation tax computations. Throughout my placement I was also given a project to research on how Artificial Intelligence (AI) is likely to affect the professional services industry in the future. I concluded my research with a presentation of my findings at the end of the project. The subject of the presentation was such a fascinating, relevant and appropriate topic to understand how AI could affect the profession I want to pursue.

My six-week placement at PKF Francis Clark went so quickly; the variety of work that I was empowered to undertake was so varied, making every week as interesting and exciting as the first. The friendliness and community-feel of PKF Francis Clark is outstanding: there were pay-day breakfasts, charity bake sales and team-bonding lunches, just to name a few. The placement was such an amazing experience, confirming accountancy is definitely the correct career path for me. I have also been lucky enough to secure myself on the graduate scheme after university, so now I can start my third year of studying Mathematics at Durham, with the satisfaction of knowing that I have an exciting career lined up for when I finish.