While we’ve welcomed our new audit trainees this week, last week we said goodbye to our summer interns who joined us for 8 weeks in July-August. Below Ajay Kotecha shares his view of the internship. Many thanks to Ajay and the other 8 interns from EmployAbility and Windsor Fellowship for their support!

SummerWhen I came to the NAO, I was undertaking my first ever paid professional work experience, and the same was true for most of my fellow interns. Naturally, it was daunting – I had no idea what to expect in terms of office culture, workload demands, and basic professional etiquette.

Fortunately, the NAO proved to be very accommodating – for the first two weeks, Human Resources had set out a plan of training and introductory sessions so we’d know exactly what we’d be doing, and we’d be eased in. In addition, the buddy system meant we had a familiar face before starting work, which made getting to know colleagues in the office a lot easier, and much less intimidating.

By our second week, we had the opportunity to attend a Public Accounts Committee meeting in the House of Commons on public land disposal, and immediately got to see the use of an NAO “value for money” report being used by Members of Parliament to hold government departments to account. Seeing this gave us a lot of appreciation for the NAO, and made us feel privileged to work here. Directly observing how we could contribute to the wider public good motivated me to get fully involved in as much as I could during my time as an intern.

After getting settled into our teams, the work which was allocated had the perfect balance such that I had the chance to make good contributions to the projects I was working on, but did not take on excessive responsibility to the point any errors would compromise the project in question. Our managers gave us work similar to that which they’d give graduate ‘Assistant Auditors’ and ‘Analysts’, though not quite as intense, and this enabled us to get a great insight what it would be like to join here after university.

On balance, I’d say my time at the NAO taught me a lot about professional life, working in the public sector, and gave me a variety of skills which are useful in a huge range of roles in both the public and private sectors. I’d recommend the internship to anyone with a passion for public service and making a positive difference to society.

Comments are closed.