For my second expatriation semester, I decided to do an internship.
For me, the aims of this internship were to improve my English and to specify my professional objectives which were, at the beginning of my internship, to work in a financial department. Nevertheless, there is a lot of different jobs in a financial department. So, I was expecting this internship would help me to find or precise what I really like and want to do, related to finance and accounting and finally find which job can fit with my expectations and my likes.
Therefore, according to these aims, I was searching for a financial internship in England or Ireland for six months.
Finally, in November, I found an internship that perfectly fit with my objectives.
The 5th of January, I started my internship in the English company ESPA UK. I was the accountant assistant for ESPA UK but also for its sister company Intern Europe. I was responsible for the management of the companies’ accounts including reconciliation, invoice procedures, VAT returns and general accounts recordings, costs analyze.
ESPA UK and Intern Europe have both been created by my manager Colin Blackburn. They are recruitment companies. The aim of the companies is to help students to find an internship in the UK. The service is free for students, ESPA UK and Intern Europe are providing accommodation, utility bills, internet access and transport cost from the accommodation to the work place for the interns. The host companies are paying ESPA UK or Intern Europe back a recruitment fee and the amount of the rent for the duration of the internship.
Nevertheless, ESPA UK is only dealing with English customers while Intern Europe is dealing with European customers. From an accounting point of view, it makes some differences. England has a specific currency, the Pound. As ESPA UK is dealing with European customers, they are paying us in Pound and the amounts are VAT included. Whereas, Intern Europe’s customers are paying us in Euros and the amounts are VAT excluded. It allows me to understand the differences between dealing with a client located in the same country and dealing with a customer located abroad, from an accounting point of view. So, during this internship, I acquired a lot of English accounting notions and international accounting concepts.
I also improved my English, defined my professional objective, which now is to become an asset manager, and I faced the challenges of working in a start-up.
From a personal point of view, this experience has been rewarding. I feel more autonomous, independent and confident. I developed some indispensable qualities to be a good accountant that is to say to be patient, meticulous, organized and thorough.
I also discovered the English culture. I got surprised by several elements in England concerning the lifestyle, the work atmosphere or the transports for example. I had to adapt myself to their keyboard, their money, their units of measurements (miles, stone…), and their driving system (wheel on the right). Those can be seen as details but in the every day life, it makes important changes. These astonishment points made my journey very profitable and full of surprises and discoveries.
I was working in ESPA’s office, situated in Bath. Bath is a city full of history. The Roman invasion left historical monuments. The city is known for its roman-built baths. That is one of the reasons why the city is called Bath. Thanks to its roman archaeology, its architecture and its green areas (parks), the city became a UNESCO world heritage site in 1987. The atmosphere in Bath is really lovely. It is a secure but animated city. Bath is a city full of charm where it is pleasant to live. So, I realized my internship in a lovely city. I met wonderful people.
These six month internship were rewarding personally and professionally. I felt involved in the company evolution. I really hope that ESPA UK and Intern Europe will continue to grow and become international companies and leaders in the recruitment area. I hope I will have the opportunity to work again with ESPA UK or Intern Europe later.