1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
Executive Finance Officer within Defra. My daily tasks involve running and updating financial and management reports within the IS Finance Team. Raising purchase orders and receipting them. Internal I interact with those in my direct team and those in the wider finance group. I am responsible for our IBM project mailbox, monitoring emails and responding to queries. I am mainly involved in the running of the IBM and Capgemini projects for our team.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I have developed my excel skill massively and learnt how to present reports in the proper format.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I have a varied amount of work and my team are very friendly. The company culture is nice.
4. How valued do you feel by Civil Service?
I do not feel valued that much as I am an apprentice.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
My structure isn't as clear as I'd like, it get given tasks as and when its needed, my programme wasn't overall well organised as I am the only finance apprentice within defra. My study with Kaplan however is good.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
I receive all the notes and have access to an online help page with lots more revision tips an pages. However I feel the tutors do not always explain things in great detail and often assume we know it so a lot of the time I learn more when revising.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
I get to take study days when I need it (half a day a week max) but I can build this time up and use it closer to when I have an exam.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
I spend around a third of my wage packet a month on travel to work and college, it takes up a large amount and can sometimes be a struggle. the location of my college is in Leeds which is over 4 and half hours away to travel and so I have to stay in a hotel over night.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
There aren't many company events, I often volunteer to help promote the Fast track scheme but these are rare. There isn't any sports or leisure clubs that I would find enjoyable and everything is self funded.
9. Would you recommend Civil Service to a friend?
Its a good opportunity for young people as jobs are few and far between, it is very competitive but good to have once you've got your foot in the door.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Civil Service?
The application process is hard and the onboarding process is very long and stressful, do not not expect anything to be done quickly. I interviewed for my role in May 2016, got the job offer in October 2016 and then didn't start the actual job until March 2017. I would have like to been informed on this when I applied as it was very stressful and I was left in the dark a lot about what my role was and where I'd be etc. I wasn't provided a job description and contract until the week before I started.
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