1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
I have a number of roles, mostly surrounding inventory and general accounting for a number of 3M's foreign subsidiaries including Switzerland and Turkey; as well as some work for local finance. My daily roles and responsibilities include the reconciliations of accounts, preparation of spreadsheets and databases for both local and foreign finance departments, as well as some ad-hoc queries that arise. The workload varies from day-to-day, with month end naturally being busier than the rest of the month; however there will always work to do or somebody that could use support.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I am studying for AAT level 3 through this apprenticeship, and I am due to study for level 4 next year.
Besides the skills I have learnt through studying, I have learnt many work-applicable skills from my work and my mentors. My time management and ability to prioritise tasks has improved, as have my abilities to analyse and solve problems. I've learned to recognise when I require help, and to ask questions often.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I really enjoy the apprenticeship programme, it has introduced me to a large number of funny and friendly people. 3M has a terrific culture surrounding its employees, and fosters a great work ethic among its people. The apprenticeship has surpassed all of my expectations and more; and I am really glad that I took the risk of leaving university to take up this opportunity.
4. How valued do you feel by 3M UK?
Although I am an apprentice, I am trusted with many of the responsibilities that a normal employee would undertake which shows that 3M has faith in my abilities. Colleagues will often ask me for help with certain tasks, and being asked to support with tasks makes me feel valued among my team.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The programme is very well organised, with support always available if required.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
There is more than enough support on offer for students, although I don't often take full advantage of it. My tutors will willingly help out with anything that I might find difficult, and are easy to reach via email/phone or simply turning up at college when they have some free time.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
Plenty. My supervisor sits next to me so often it is a simple case of asking him for advice or help with whatever the issue is, and will always be more than willing to help.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
Very well. I earn more than enough for travel and daily costs, with money left over for personal use.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
There are plenty of sports, clubs and socials at 3M.
9. Would you recommend 3M UK to a friend?
It is a great company that looks after its people, and provides a lot of opportunities.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to 3M UK?
Work hard and show a good work ethic. You will very likely be interviewed by one of your future supervisors, so make the most of the interview and come across as an enthusiastic person that is willing to learn.
Don't be intimidated by taking on new and confusing tasks, and don't be afraid to ask plenty of questions; since your colleagues will happily help you out if you're stuck