1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
As part of the Finance and Commercial Academy, job roles vary every 6 months. Academy students are rotated across the finance function in order to gain as much experience as possible. This can take you not only across different job roles but also geographical locations. I have personally chosen to remain in one location which I have enjoyed as the business is one that interests me most.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I joined the scheme with the knowledge that we would be constantly studying CIMA as well as attending development courses by Siemens. Siemens have been brilliant in this regard and have put on some engaging and useful courses such as Excel and VBA courses. CIMA however has been disappointing for me. It has not stretched me in any way which I hoped it would. I am however hoping that as I progress through the qualification it becomes more challenging and worthwhile.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I have really enjoyed the programme so far. It has been an excellent balance of work and study. Siemens and all of my work placement managers have always been brilliant when accepting that I am studying CIMA. I am always allowed to attend courses that are most convenient for me regardless of expense and the study leave I get to do my exams is more than generous.
The work placements have also been very engaging. I have been able to get involved in projects where I feel I am making a noticeable difference and this is great for morale.
4. How valued do you feel by Siemens?
In all of my placements to date I have been made to feel a valued team member. I have been given interesting tasks to do and feel I contribute to the teams I have been in.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The academy programme has a very good structure. When joining I was given a plan of my work placement for the coming 2 years. This was a flexible plan in case I spotted any interesting areas to get into. The programme also allows for you to find your own third year placement, with assistance where needed, so the plan can be shaped strongly by the individual.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
BPP are Siemens' training provider of choice. The courses and tutors have been very good in all cases in which I have had involvement with them. The tutors are very approachable and will always give you an email address and contact number should you have any questions that need answering. The methods of study are also very flexible. BPP offer online courses as well as in classroom face to face courses. I prefer these the best as I feel they offer the best opportunity to fully learn the course content.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
Siemens are brilliant in supporting CIMA study. Students are able to attend BPP courses on day release. This is provided on top of the 26 days of holiday a student is allowed to take. As well as this, for each exam taken 3 study days and the day of the exam are also given as leave on top of the holiday allowance.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
The starting salary is competitive with other entry level jobs in my area. The starting salary is now £16,000pa which matches directly with an accounts assistant role I held before starting the scheme. The plus side of the Academy salary is that it increases every year whilst on the scheme in accordance with placement reviews and progress with the CIMA qualification.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
With Siemens being such a large company, there are always things going on outside of work whether this be a sporting club or a group of people going for a drink after work.
9a. Would you recommend Siemens to a friend? *
9b. Why? *
Siemens is a brilliant employer. It is fully supportive of academy students gaining their CIMA qualification and has a broad range of interesting businesses to get involved in.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Siemens? *
When applying, it is important to show that you really have an interest in finance and can explain why this is an important career for you. The application process is long but stick with it and it is definitely worthwhile.
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