Accounts receivable (billings)
Fixed assets and capital expenditure
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I enjoyed the work at GE Aviation Cheltenham. My finance role was varied and I had the opportunity to shadow people in different areas of finance. I was given a really good view of the whole finance department and not just the areas I worked in. Some aspects of the job could be a bit repetitive and boring, but it was only a small portion of my daily tasks.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I relocated for this placement and my manager was like my mum away from home. The whole team really show their gratitude and treat you like a full employee. I was regularly thanked for my work and so it was definitely a really good environment. The whole team are friendly and make you feel welcome and definitely feel valued.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
I worked with two managers over different areas of finance; Billing and Fixed Assets.
Both managers were extremely supportive, and we had regular catch up meetings to make sure I was doing okay with my work.
That said, they did trust me to just get on with my work and did not guide me through every single thing, but were always very approachable if I needed help or more support.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
Some aspects of my job required waiting for responses from engineers or people in different areas of the business, which could mean progress on the work I was doing was slow. I did find myself with some gaps, but my managers always made sure I could take on extra work if I wanted to.
In the quiet times though, my managers were happy for me to complete uni work or do online classes in things like Excel and Xero
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
During my placement I was really given a lot of work to do and trusted to complete it. I was also given a fixed asset audit that I was trusted to complete as fully as possible, as it resulted in big values being written off!!!
My work was never really checked over, the managers trusted me to do it well.
I did not manage any other people during the year, but due to the amount of independent work I had I did feel like I had a lot of responsibility.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I have not gone back to uni yet following my placement, but I can 100% be confident it will make a big impact on my studies
I really learnt how to manage my own workload which will help at uni.
My IT Skills especially Excel have really significantly been developed this year too, which will definitely help with my career.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The general atmosphere is friendly and welcoming. Day to day varies in terms of fun-dull. Sometimes it can be very quiet and dull but others it can be really talkative and fun.
The immediate team doesn't have any other interns, and most people are 40+ so it is very different to a uni environment.
On site though there are over 60 interns so lunchtimes and in gerenal can be very social
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The only reason I wouldn't give this 10 stars is that the onboarding process for GE isn't great. It is long and drawn out and I had to keep finding more and more documents for the security clearance.
Everything else was extremely well organised and HR had good communication leading up to starting.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
The company did not invest money into any training courses or qualifications for me, but the team in general did invest a lot of time into training and gave me opportunities to learn from people in different areas of the business.
They really cared about me getting the most from placement and learning what I wanted to learn more about.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Above 25 days holiday
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
Generally there are good graduate schemes in GE, and doing an internship would be an advantage when applying to these.
From my perspective though, these grad schemes are only really good if you want to be with GE for your whole career. The GE finance grad schemes also don't offer accountancy qualifications, so I am not interested in applying to them.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
There are over 60 interns at GE Aviation, Cheltenham. It is extremely social and there is often things going on in the evenings and weekends.
I am considerably older than most of the other interns, but still have a reasonable social life, I just do not get involved in everything.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Cheltenham is reasonably priced but rents can be high. Drinks and food are probably similar to most other places, but a bit pricey compared to up north.
The salary is decent enough though, so you can definitely live comfortably and still save a decent amount on money over the year.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
The nightlife in Cheltenham is pretty reasonable. There are a lot of good bars and pubs, and most are pretty easy to get to. There are also a lot of great country pubs and cosy places to go. There is also plenty in Gloucester which isn't far away, and there is a night bus between Gloucester and Cheltenham.
Club wise it's not great, there are a few to choose from including alternative clubs, but I didn't go to them very much.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
The finance team has regular engagement events both off and on site, these can be things like go karting or other things.
We also got to attend an international finance day with colleagues from all over the UK and the USA. It was a really great opportunity to network and meet other interns and senior staff.