(Below is job description when I joined)
• Working alongside Marketing Operations department to ensure bonus payments to dealers are calculated, checked and processed for payment in a timely manner.
• Assist Commercial Management Accounting Manager with user testing of new reporting, and liaising with the IS department to rectify defects.
• Assist Commercial Management Accounting Manager with month end administration
• Assist with calculating information for the forecast and reforecast.
• Production of key management KPIs (monthly)
• Production of key daily performance reporting
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I truly enjoyed my time here. RCI Financial Services (RCI FS) has a great work culture and the people are fantastic. The particular team I worked in were very friendly and always willing to help whenever possible. The year did go by really fast and felt like six months for me.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
Very valued. My contributions to the team was often welcomed. I redesigned and rebuilt an existing process saving several hours per week, and this was duly acknowledged.
However, the frequent reminder that I'm just an intern when I wanted to make huge disruptions to the status quo did sometimes make me feel my work/capacity was being undervalued/unappreciated.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
Support related to the work was good. When I joined, there was a limited program structure so I had to learn a lot of it on the go. My experience was however facilitated by the team members.
In terms of Career support, it was also there and available but I had to always seek it. I understand I am expected to be proactive about it since its my career but a huge part of the reason why I did a placement was because I was unsure of what I wanted to do of my career. It would have been nice if management helped me understand and explore my options. Additionally, priorities are being given to FTEs and Graduates when it came to learning and this can give the feeling that Placement interns are regarded as contractors with the company not wanting to invest a lot in their personal development.
That being said, my manager was a great guy and gave me good insights into professional qualifications such as ACCA and CIMA.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
Very busy given the numerous amount of responsibilities I took on. However this is as much as you want. Some of my fellow interns were less busy on a daily basis and had alot of down time.
So I guess it all comes down to you, your team and the amount of tasks you are willing to take on.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
A LOT of responsibility. My normal responsibilities involved;
- Daily, monthly and quarterly reporting,
- Assisting with budgeting, forecasting and reporting,
- Production of monthly key management KPIs reporting to senior management, and
- Analysis and reporting on securitised assets worth £1.8B.
In addition to these, I took on additional tasks upon recommendation of the CFO and these included; representing the finance department at the RCI reporting group and working within the regulatory reporting team on projects such as; the conversion of our financial statements to XBRL format following the banking license acquisition by our parent company; RCI Bank and Services.
Nevertheless, bear in mind that you are given as much responsibility as you demonstrate you are capable of handling.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I studied Finance and Computer Science at University so a lot of the skills learned are very relevant. I have a clearer idea of how theoretical concepts learnt about financial statements are applied to real life business scenarios. I also learned some data-analytic skills and obtained and associated certification which is bound to be useful during the research phase of my final year dissertation.
Other indirect skills learned include team-working, organisation, time-management, responsibility and confidence.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
Very positive. During month ends, it gets busy and everyone is focused but you can still ask for help if needed.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
Not very well organised when I joined. All my introduction to the company, learning about the role and handover process was done during the first week. It became too much information at one point and during the subsequent weeks, I had to re-learn everything on my own. I somewhat enjoyed it that though as it felt like a challenge being thrown into the deep end.
(This may have changed though)
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
I touched on this in an earlier question. But basically, not so much.
Priorities are given to FTEs and Graduates when it came to learning and this can give the feeling that Placement interns are regarded as contractors with the company not wanting to invest a lot in their personal development. Nevertheless, there are courses available on the firm's e-learning portal if you wish to take them.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Sports and Social Club
Above 25 days holiday
Working from home
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
I am still figuring out what I want from my future career. If my career goals and the business needs at RCI financial services happen to align in the future then I might very well consider coming back to the firm.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
Yup! There were occasionally night outs together in london.
During lunch most of the times, we often met in the games room after eating and played on the console whilst chatting about nothing and everything.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
I lived in london so socialising was great! However cost... (phew) is another story bud...
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
I don't like going out at night too much to be honest so take this with a grain of salt.
But for a city like london, the nightlife is fantastic. (Or is it..?)
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
I was involved in the Run Club, the football team and some charity events.
There was also the chance to work with HR on their CSR initiatives.