Project accounting/finance role.
I have really enjoyed my year here. I have learnt so much, from the basics of accounting (from a basis of nothing) to what it is like and how to deal with having real responsibility in a proper job, all in the context of the engineering industry. It has met my aspirations for the year.
From the beginning everyone was willing and wanted to help with my integration into the team. As my knowledge of the sector, job and accounting grew, so did the level of responsibility and workload. One of the most rewarding parts was that I was given real responsibility. They weren't reluctant to let you get involved and learn on real and important projects. This meant that even before I have the knowledge I felt comfortable and as my job role expanded, my colleagues were able to rely on me at key times throughout the month.
On my site, I have felt supported from all angles. I have people within early careers, a specific point of contact within the finance function and my manager and my team to approach and raise issues/worries with.
The scheme spans across different BAE sites. This is good as you are able to compare experiences with other industrial placement students in finance. However, sometimes this meant that maintaining contact with placement managers was slightly more difficult. Support and guidance from this angle was less regular, but always accessible if you approach them.
This varies throughout the year and time of the month.
At the beginning of my placement, I had less to do as I was still learning the basics so there were limited tasks I could tackle. As my placement has progressed, I have been more busy and I have specific tasks that I take charge of.
As I work in accounting/finance, the workload is concentrated around month-end.
The culture in my team means that we all help each other when we need it to meet deadlines, so most of the time you have enough to do, but if you have too little, someone will have something for you to do, or too much and someone will help you out.
The role is held with high regard from the team. They support you in everything you do, but are also not hesitant in being able to rely on you or give you tasks with a high level of attention or reliance.
I have been given real projects to manage independently. I felt as though my role was important and not just a role that was menial and simple.
Confidence, time-keeping and self management skills learnt this year will be easily translatable and very useful for my final year studies.
I think most importantly, it has helped me decide where I want to go next with my career after university. The systems knowledge and accounting experience will help with this.
I wouldn't have enjoyed my year as much as I did without the people in my team. I enjoy the role, but the atmosphere and the people made coming to work so much more enjoyable. There is a hardworking ethos, but a bit of fun is encouraged and everyone is very welcoming.
There were some issues at the beginning of my placement as it was the first year they had a placement student in the team. It was sometimes difficult to know who to ask what questions etc., but I think most people have that issue with a new job! Once I had settled into my role I was happy with its set up.
Most of the training came from members of my team to aid with the usage of systems, software and workbooks. There was no specific training as such, but this was more than sufficient to set me up to succeed.
We were sent on a corporate training day to develop our soft skills and how to present ourselves. This was very useful and was a very small class so I gained a lot from this. We were also involved in another training day with the 2019 intake of the finance leadership development graduate programme.
Although it was cancelled for my year due to coronavirus, we also had the opportunity to attend a conference with some very senior people from across the business to aid with our networking.
Working from home
There are many options to pursue a career within BAE Systems. The Finance Leadership Development Programme is a very exclusive and attractive graduate scheme which, depending on your performance in the placement year, you can be fast-tracked to assessment centre on. There are also direct trainee jobs available at specific sites and abroad.
My team was very social and there were many outings outside of work. The graduates onsite ran their own 5 aside football evenings and there were many chances to get involved with other opportunities within the business.
There is also a large early careers population, so there are lots of people to meet and socialise with.
Maintaining contact with other finance IPs as they were on other sites was more difficult, but we always enjoyed it when we were able to meet up.
Very cheap area to live - I have saved a lot of money this year! I did not compromise on the quality of the accommodation in order to live cheaply either.
The social side was slightly more lacking in terms of choice due to the location, but going out was inexpensive.
It depends what kind of night out you like. It isn't like any of the major university cities by a long shot. There are more pubs and bars than clubs specifically, but they were always good fun, especially with the locals. You will definitely not struggle to find a pub for a drink and the football.
There were plenty of gyms to choose from and local sports club for football/ netball/ hockey/ running. The lake district is within a short drive of the area too so this was a nice weekend activity. If you enjoy shopping, the nearest decent place to go would be an hours drive away.
Placement Year (10 Months+)
Accountancy, Banking/Finance, Business Management, Financial Management
19th May 2020
£18,000 - £19,999