1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
Job Title: Finance Apprentice Daily Tasks: On a day to day basis, I will allocate different amounts of money to different areas of the business, inform our Accounts Payable team when we receive a bounce back etc. In more recent times I have been given two cost centres to look after, I have to carry out the period end process, provide commentary and make a pack for each of the cost centres which contains actuals, actual vs forecast, actual vs budget, headcount and much more.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
When I first started working for TfL, I felt I was competent using Excel, however I soon learnt you need more advanced skills in Excel. Because of this I have dramatically improved my Excel skills. I have also developed my soft skills, such as communicating verbally as well as written, I have improved on presenting and smaller things such as answering the phone in a professional manor.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I love my programme. This is the first time the Finance Apprenticeship has been run and so far it has been a great success. I enjoy the work I am given, especially when it is challenging. Coming in to work is a joy, the people here are great and treat everyone fair and consistently. So far I am currently just over 1 year in to the 2 year scheme and I enjoy it every day. You get to travel all over the business (with in Finance) and are invited out on site visits for example I was invited out to see construction of cross rail.
4. How valued do you feel by Transport for London?
I feel very well appreciated by everyone at Transport for London. Each one of my Placement Managers have provided me with fantastic feedback and wished I wouldnt leave the department! External recognition was very high when I worked in Accounts Payable, I would always try my upmost to get invoices paid on time and if I could cut corners and speed up the process for them I would which meant our suppliers were kept happy. (Little things like sending an invoice in to my email account instead of the centralised accounts payable inbox which can take up to two days to process).
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The Finance programme has been very well structured. We have set placements which work really well in order to help us with our studies and coursework. The support we receive is amazing, we are each given our own buddy and mentor. Therefore we can go to either our scheme sponsor, Placement Manager, buddy or mentor for help and support.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
We receive help from our training provider when and if we need it. They are always willing to stay behind after we have been on a training course to help us further and also available 24/7 via email. We also have access to BPP momentum, which contains everything you need in order to pass your exams.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
The support from my scheme sponsor, Placement Managers and my mentor is fantastic. They all help and support in any way they can, whether it is with work, studying or career progression. They are always willing to help at a drop of a hat. I can call them, email them, arrange a meeting, they are always there.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
This apprenticeship salary is probably one of the best in the UK. As I am still living at home, my expenditure is low meaning I have more disposable income than I would have with another apprenticeship I was offered. The travel costs are reduced by 75%, which dramatically help with the cost of getting in to London. Daily costs are not an issue as the free oyster allows access on the tube and buses. Locations are varied, so it's always good to get out of the office. So far I have been to Southwark, Baker Street, North Greenwich and Westminster.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
There are plenty of opportunities outside of work. It can be a social event, so going out for a drink on a Friday night. Team building exercises take place as well as sports clubs from cricket to football. There are always opportunities to volunteer as a TfL ambassador. The ambassadors are highly respected within TfL who work to keep London moving when events are taking place such as the Notitnghill Carnival.
9a. Would you recommend Transport for London to a friend? *
9b. Why? *
Its a great company to work for with great benefits. Transport for London will also help you with your career progession as well as aid with your personal development. If you work well you can work here for the rest of your life as there are so many different job opportunities you will never get bored! You also get to work on some fantastic projects, making london easier to get around and help keep London moving.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Transport for London? *
Think about what role excites you, find out what the role requires and see if you have the skills to do that job. When applying make sure your application stands out, practise for the online assessments and also do your research when coming in for the interview, think about what questions they may ask you which are relevant to the role and stick to the STAR approach (situation, task, action & result)
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