1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
As a Siemens Finance & Commercial Academy Student, I have the opportunity to delve into different business environments by rotating into a new business area every six months. Daily tasks differ from placement to placement, offering a different set of skills to be acquired and honed with each new task, and all the while confidence and knowledge within a corporate environment will continue to grow, nurtured by the accompaniment of the programme with studies towards a CIMA qualification in Management Accounting and a higher apprenticeship in the same field.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
The opportunity to slot into a different business for six months at a time allows a huge amount of progression. My communication skills have increased significantly, both virtually, face to face and over the telephone, and I now feel proficient at using office software every day. Due to the financial emphasis on placements, my excel skills have increased significantly, from constant use and through basic, intermediate and advanced excel courses that are available to students. Time management skills are also something that are brought up to speed very quickly as Siemens, due to the wealth of tasks and courses available to you. On top of skills gained inside the business, CIMA studies equip students with all the knowledge necessary for management accounting, and progress in technicality and detail as the course goes on.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I am thoroughly enjoying the programme, not least because of the professional but friendly atmosphere within Siemens; teams and managers are always very accommodating of your requirements, as well as offering help readily when needed. The company culture is certainly one of continuous personal and corporate development, and this makes for an enjoyable learning experience and an ever evolving atmosphere. My initial expectations of business life have been surpassed, and working at Siemens is considerably more rewarding than I could have imagined.
4. How valued do you feel by Siemens?
Finance & Commercial Academy Students are widely respected within Siemens, and the need for development and nurturing of young people within the business is certainly recognised. There is a genuine feeling that you are of benefit to your team in each placement, and there is never a shortage of tasks to be completed if more of a challenge is desired.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The programme, having been run for many years, is very well structured, particularly with the integration of CIMA studies into your time. There is a wealth of help available with these studies, and course and study leave days are always free to be taken, as required by the course. The speed at which you, as a new student, are integrated into the business is testament to the planning and experience that is behind the running of the Finance & Commercial Academy. Any natural concerns associated with joining a large organisation like Siemens straight from college were very quickly put to rest, and several team building induction days allow you to build confidence and relationships early on.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
CIMA tuition and apprenticeship studies are both provided by BPP, and they have, so far, proved to be an excellent learning provider. The courses are very well structured, and allow you to be comfortable with potentially challenging topics by the time any exams are taken. Support is always available through your tutor, and the amount and quality of resources available to students is exceptional. The speed of learning is well balanced, and allows you to enjoy and put to use the knowledge you gain with each course.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
As well as your manager within each placement, there is an academy manager who oversees and aids your progress through the Academy. The support available from both of these sources is fantastic, and any concerns or issues you may come across are always quickly resolved. In terms of personal development, you are set achievable but challenging objectives, designed to help you thrive in your progression.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
The salary progresses well throughout placements, with performance based reviews yearly and additional rises for each level of CIMA passed. As such, the salary is now sufficient to cover costs and allow for a small amount of saving.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
Sports teams run weekly, as well as a comprehensive free gym class timetable, provide excellent opportunities not only to improve your health and wellbeing, but are also a fantastic platform for networking.
9. Would you recommend Siemens to a friend?
The experience I have had in my time at Siemens so far, as well as the opportunities available within Siemens in the future, are absolutely something that I would recommend and encourage to other college leavers looking to begin a rewarding career.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Siemens?
Although the application process can seem long-winded, in reality, if you are successful, you will find yourself at the assessment centre in no time. It is always worth knowing a little bit about Siemens, as well as being clear on the personal development you are looking to get out of the scheme, as this really is the end goal you are working towards.
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