9 February 2015

My Industry Placement Program Experience at EY Shanghai

It was not until I handed in my resignation form and received my internship certificate that I realised my experience as an EY intern had officially ended. How time flies! About 8 weeks ago I was looking at the skyscrapers in the Shanghai CBD and wondering if I was really qualified to intern in one of the big four accounting firms. Now, I can leave with confidence and working knowledge about auditing and the industry.

I am an undergraduate international student from China, and I was lucky enough to be one of the students in the 2015 IPP Shanghai program. I was placed in the EY Shanghai office for six weeks and obtained an extension offer for two more weeks after the program ended. My role as an assurance departure intern involved various tasks, including preparing audit working papers for several subjects; sending, receiving and updating bank confirmations; and assisting senior auditors. The experience was rewarding and eye-opening. Doing audit working papers allowed me to recall the accounting knowledge learnt from university and put the knowledge into practice. Theories are best memorised along with practical experience. A real-life work environment allowed me to utilize and reinforce my skills and knowledge.

Gaining industry insight is another major feature of the program. First-hand work experience has allowed me to obtain a decent understanding of the auditing industry and various other industries. For example, I did not know manufacturing a plastic door handle can involve as many as 10 processes until I went to the client’s factory to perform the stock take.

I think what differentiates IPP from other internship programs is that IPP is a unit of study with assignments. I know it sounds absurd, and I admit that I was in pain when I did my assignments! But the assignments ‘forced’ us to constantly reflect on our experience and ask ourselves questions. For me, this is a very effective way to learn from an experience.

Another important aspect of the program was, of course, having fun! Although being Chinese myself, I have never been to Shanghai. For me, this was an eight-week internship as well as an eight-week trip to the most modern city in China. I am deeply impressed by the food, people and culture of this city. I am also glad that I met a bunch of like-minded and energetic friends from the program. We helped each other, shared stories and experiences, and become good friends.

This IPP experience has been a truly unforgettable experience, something which I will continue to process and learn different things at different stages of my life.

Harry Hu
Current student at the University of Sydney Business School

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