Hi everyone, my name is Sarah, yes that is a photo of me at the top, I am on the BSc Accounting programme and am currently on placement at RSM UK based in the Southampton office in the Tax team; don’t ask why I chose tax I think I was having moment of madness however I LOVE it.
Looking back, it was a massive decision to accept this placement, giving up my part time job at Cath Kidston which I loved, moving 240 miles from my family, living on my own, accepting that I will have bills to pay and trying something new…. I don’t cope well with change but I decided to give it a go and accept the offer and I am so glad that I did. I have learnt so much about both myself and accounting and I really am proud to say that I’m doing something to make myself stand out from the crowd.
Working life is very different to university, 9am no longer feels like a struggle, in actual fact I’ve already been in work an hour working on my ‘to do’ list and on the flip side 10pm is now a late night – I feel so grown up! The role I work in is mixed tax; this means that I work in both the private client team and the corporate tax team giving me great exposure to lots of different tax aspects. The majority of the work I do is compliance work and tax computations. One day I might be working out corporation tax payable for a small Limited company, analysing their accounts to check what income is taxable and if any expenditure is eligible for capital allowances and another day I may be working out a high wealth individual’s income tax liability and ensuring that they have paid the correct amount of tax. I also spend some of my time assisting with basic advisory work for private clients as there is a lot of new legislation coming into place that they need to be made aware of. I have also had the opportunity to partake in client meetings.
Although a lot of the week is taken up by work as I don’t get home until about 6pm each day but I can assure you there is still plenty of time to have fun, I have just been on holiday to Florida which was a much needed break. I can now sympathise with people who say they are desperate for a break – I really needed that break working life is tough!! I also have had chance to explore ‘the south’ a little bit, I have had trips to Portsmouth and London and I have explored my new home town I know all the secret restaurants and cafés and I have many other places planned for future to visit.
I moved to Southampton to live in a two bedroom flat just 20 minutes from the office – it still feels strange to think that I work in an office and I have a flat even though I’ve been here nearly 6 months – I moved into my flat the week before I started my placement and it was empty, a white shell that I needed to make my own. I had approximately 7 days to get it fit for living in as well as sorting out all the bills. I spent every morning waking up early, calling different utility companies and then going to IKEA or Argos, searching for the bargains then bringing home the flat packs and building. It was such a nice feeling watching my humble abode come to life. The issue came when I was ordering sofa’s and beds. Who knew that sofa’s were made to order? I didn’t realise but sofa’s take 4-6weeks to arrive…..Yes I sat on deckchairs to watch TV for a while and beds they take just as long….. so yes I did sleep on an airbed for a few nights and it was brilliant. I spent the first week in Southampton exploring and learning where everything I needed was from where the supermarket was to where the gym was, what route I would take to work and most importantly where I was able to get retail therapy.
I am loving every minute of my placement and I really don’t want it to be over, I have learnt and continue to learn so much everyday it was the best decision I ever made and it has made me who the person I am today. I really cannot encourage you enough to do a placement – you will not regret it!