We speak with Mikaella about securing a role with RSM, how Internship Experience UK helped her secure her role and her top three tips for Bright Network members looking to follow in her footsteps.
Why a role in Tax?
I wanted to pursue a career where I could use my analytical skills and my ability to grasp complex concepts to help businesses thrive, and Tax was the perfect match. I find solving tax issues and shaping strategy to reduce the amount of tax payable, exciting, and doing this while building my credentials by studying towards a professional qualification is ideal for me.
How did you build your commercial awareness before the interview?
Bright Network helped me build my commercial awareness, through the commercial awareness webinars on BrightLive and the modules on Bright Network Academy. One of the best tips I got out of these is setting up a Google Alert, using for example the name of the company I was applying to as the keyword. In this way, I received a daily email with links to articles with the most popular news related to that company. I also listened to the Thinking Commercially podcast and subscribed to the weekly commercial awareness update by Ben at Bright Network, which I found to be a great way of keeping up to date with the top news of the week. All of these supplemented my own reading of the news, for example on BBC or Linkedin News.
How did Bright Network’s Internship Experience UK help you secure this role?
I participated in the first-ever Bright Network Internship Experience UK, joining the Finance and Professional Services programme. During this internship, I attended a variety of upskilling sessions and heard from some of the industry’s experts, expanding my knowledge in finance and professional services, and Tax in particular. I also had the opportunity to speak with alumni working in Tax, who answered my role-specific questions and gave me hints and tips that were useful throughout the application process.
But more than that, it was through Internship Experience UK that I was introduced to Bright Network and their amazing work, and ultimately became a Bright Network member myself. Being a Bright Network member helped me secure this role, by giving me access to a wealth of resources. These include the BrightLive webinars and the Bright Network Academy modules, which I found particularly useful, especially the content on psychometric tests, interviews and assessment centres.
What top three tips would you give Bright Network members looking to follow in your footsteps?
Prepare well before each stage of the application process. Even if it feels like a long process, it is important to spend enough time practising before the next stage, to perform as well as you possibly can and maximise your chances of progressing.
Even if the interview questions do not explicitly ask for an example, always give one if you see fit. The best way to persuade someone that you can do something is by telling them about a time that you did in the past.
Be engaged throughout your assessment centre, show your passion and enthusiasm. Smile, speak slowly and don’t forget to breathe. These will make you seem more natural and genuine, which is what the assessors are after.
What’s been the toughest interview question you've faced?
"What would you tell your family if they asked what RSM does?"
Even though I didn’t personally find this question challenging, I think it’s a good question to share to say that researching well into the company you are applying to is paramount. Most people believe that this is only useful for allowing you to incorporate facts about the company into your answers, while a direct question about what the company is doing, can in fact come up. This means that you should know enough about the company to spend a good amount of time answering such a question, not just in terms of their services, but also in terms of aspects like clients, location and corporate social responsibility.