1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
My role involves helping various finance departments with periodic tasks such as posting journals, variance analysis and commentary. I also complete many adhoc tasks such as receipting, credit control, pre qualifying questionnaire analysis and savings calculations. I interact with the internal team and also with external suppliers. I move around the business every 6 months.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I have learned lots of new skills such as excel functions and formulas, interpreting and analysing data, using specialist systems and creating files to communicate certain messages in an appropriate format. I have also developed and improved softer skills such as sending emails, communication skills, time management, decision making and other areas of personal development.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I find my programme really challenging but also very rewarding. I study and work at the same time which can be difficult to manage at times but has taught me the importance of time management. I enjoy the work/life balance that I have most of the time. The exams are hard, but worth it.
4. How well organised/structured is your programme?
It is not the most organised/structured programme. When I first started I was one of the first to join the programme so there were some teething issues. I also think that to an extent we were guinea pigs so things were and are still constantly changing. It has improved as time has gone on and should be much better in the future.
5. How much support do you receive from your employer?
I receive lots of support from my employer. I have a line manager and a mentor who I can speak through any issues with. They have been very supportive when I have any issues in the past. I have also found that they are also available whenever I need them which is good.
6. How much support do you receive from your training provider when working towards your qualifications?
From my experience, I haven't received that much support from my training provider. I would not recommend Kaplan to others as I have had quite a lot of issues over the years. I have found that they are really poor at communicating key information to their students which is frustrating.
7. How well do you feel that your qualification (through your training provider) helps you to perform better in your role?
My qualification helped me to learn the fundamental principles of accounting which helps me in my day to day role, however I would probably say that about 50% of the things I have learned through my qualification are either not relevant to my role or rarely relevant to my role. The knowledge is useful though.
8. Are there extra-curricular activities to get involved in at your work? (For example, any social activities, sports teams, or even professional networking events.)
There are lots of extra-curricular activities at work. There is a sports and social club which organises various events. There are also plenty of training courses which we can enrol on as well as networking events such as annual finance conferences and site visits where we get to go and meet our customers and view assets.
9a. Would you recommend Network Rail to a friend?
From my experience I would recommend Network Rail to a friend as I have had good experiences. I think Network Rail is a great place to work and is a good employer. It is a very big company, however, so maybe others may not have had the same experiences as me.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Network Rail?
I would advise that they research the company as it is very safety orientated and if your personal values do not fit in with this belief then you will probably have trouble in the interview stage, as well as day-to-day. I would also advise that they speak to the hiring manager if possible as sometimes the job descriptions are not particularly accurate.
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