Our summer 2018 intern Jade talks about the transferable skills she’s gained during her time at Thomson Cooper.
Each time a member of staff at Thomson Cooper asked me what I am studying at university, I got the same confused expression from them every time I answered. The majority of people are expecting to hear accounts, marketing, finance or something along those lines. In fact, I am studying to be a primary school teacher. Though accounts and education may be very different, I began to question whether there are any correlations between them, more specifically between the skills sets.
One of the skills at the heart of teaching is good communication, so it follows as a future teacher it is fundamental I have excellent communication skills. During my year-long placement, I discovered it is crucial as a teacher to be able to adapt my communication skills depending on the needs of different children – their age, ability, and learning style. Likewise, I had to communicate in a clear, accurate, and professional manner with my class, parents and colleagues. Similarly, At Thomson Cooper, I had to work with a range of people from the Partners, to the marketing team to the staff on reception and speaking to clients, meaning I had to communicate in a clear and professional manner at all times. Additionally, the ability to work and communicate within a team is vital in a primary school, especially in an open-plan school as I had to work together with teachers to plan efficiently. Similarly, I had to work with several groups of people this summer depending on what department I was working in to ensure deadlines were met.
I believe one of the most important communication skills I used in both environments, was listening. Teachers need to listen to the concerns of their students, colleagues, and parents and show that they understand what others are saying so that they can then act on that concern. Being at Thomson Cooper developed this skill further as I had to listen carefully to colleagues who were showing me how to do new projects correctly.
As a student teacher, I had to juggle several tasks, from teaching to attending meetings, to lesson planning and giving feedback… all on top of my university work. Getting all of it done in a timely manner meant I had to ensure my organization and time management skills were excellent. Both these skills I have transferred into my job at Thomson Cooper as I have had to work to several deadlines, as well as juggling work for different departments and Partners at the same time.
Working as a summer intern in an accountancy firm and being on placement in a primary school may sound like they require completely different skills but after reflecting on my summer at Thomson Cooper, I have realised I have implemented and developed many core skills that I require as a future primary teacher.