Finance Analyst at Jaguar Land Rover

Start Date:
2016
Location:
Coventry
Programme Type:
Degree Apprenticeship
Salary:
£30,000 annually
Review Date:
April 2019

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Review Score

7.2 /10

1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:

8/10

I currently work in Product Marketing Finance, where I am able to: work closely with Marketing and overseas markets, look at positioning and competitor strategy, price vehicles, build a database with my team, and lead workshops to improve the rest of the departments' knowledge and understanding of our outputs. My workload means I can get involved in decision-making, and take into account other perspectives in the business, and not just Finance.

2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?

9/10

In my current role I have massively improved my Excel skills, and I am now able to write necessary VBA code to perform simple tasks, and have recently built a personalised, macro-enabled template for my stakeholders to use. I am able to use personalised systems to analyse JLR and competitor price movements. I have also developed the ability to use Access more effectively, due to a large part of my workload involving the migration from using Google Sheets to a database in Access. In previous roles, I have been able to use different systems to consolidate data for budgets and forecasts, and have used SAP to aid the more transactional areas of my workload, along with older systems used for processing.

Throughout my time completing the Apprenticeship I have become more comfortable with, and developed, strong Excel skills, which I expect to take advantage of throughout my career. I have also become a lot more confident, as I regularly have the opportunity to present, in and outside of my role.

3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?

9/10

The Finance Degree Apprenticeship scheme enables me to gain the CIMA qualification and a degree in Accounting and Finance, along with working in many different areas of Finance. I'm in my third year of the apprenticeship and I've already been in 4 varied roles, with 1 year left of my CIMA qualification. I have really enjoyed acquiring different skills, that will aid my development as I progress, along with working with managers who have always been understanding of my studying commitments. The closest friends I have are ones who I have met whilst doing the Apprenticeship, and I am grateful for having been given the opportunity to obtain the qualifications and work experience I have so far, without having had to go to University.

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4. How well organised/structured is your programme?

6/10

When I joined the company, the Apprenticeship scheme was still fairly new, so it took a few months to get enrolled with our learning provider, meaning we didn't start attending college until 4/5 months in. Despite this, our employer and mentors designed a plan for us to follow, detailing when we should aim to attend college and sit exams by, so that we were confident we could still get everything completed in the same amount of time, without having to rush anything. Over time, as more apprentices joined as Finance Apprentices, the organisation and structure of the scheme has improved, so joining as an Apprentice now would be a smoother transition than when I joined.

5. How much support do you receive from your employer?

9/10

As soon as I joined the company, I was given several points of contact if I were to ever have a problem. I have monthly catch ups with my Cohort Champion as a group with the rest of my intake, where we are able to talk about any work-related issues we may be facing, for example, if we are being delegated too much or too little work. My managers have always been appreciative over the fact that I am working during the day and studying in the evenings, and provide support where needed, although some do need more reassurance about days allocated to studying than others.

6. How much support do you receive from your training provider when working towards your qualifications?

5/10

My employer allows me to either study for CIMA at college in a class on assigned days, via live, scheduled webinars, or by watching pre-recorded lectures and reading the notes/textbook at home. For almost all of my modules I have attended college as part of a class, where I am taught by a tutor. This has been successful for me, as the tutors provide contact details in case we need to ask questions or are stuck on a topic between classes. We also have access to a VLE, where we can complete mock assessments in preparation for our exams. Having said this, the support I received for the Level 4 Apprenticeship qualification wasn't as good as the usual support (I was often confused what was required, and the training provider didn't always get back to us as quickly as we needed them to), but I haven't had any major issues with them since this.

7. How well do you feel that your qualification (through your training provider) helps you to perform better in your role?

5/10

Due to the nature of obtaining our CIMA qualification (studying a module one day a week for 4/5 weeks, then sitting the exam 2/3 weeks later, a 2/3 week break, then moving on to the next module), I am continuously learning. Some modules relate more to some roles than others, e.g. I was able to use what I learned in my Management Accounting modules in my consolidation role, however a lot of what I learn at college probably won't be utilised in other roles, due to the nature of the work.

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.)

7/10

Finance Sports days are held once or twice a year, which I am able to take part in. There is a social committee in the Finance department which organises different events to attend, including the Christmas Party at the Ricoh Arena. Individual teams often have their own football teams, and hold their own social events too.

9a. Would you recommend Jaguar Land Rover to a friend?

Yes

9b. Why?

I'd recommend the Finance Degree Apprenticeship scheme at Jaguar Land Rover to a friend, as it has meant I can gain my CIMA qualification and a degree, whilst earning a competitive salary, without having any student debt. The roles I have worked in so far have all been varied and given me good insight into the Finance department, tasks performed, and roles available, and have built a strong foundation for a career in Finance.

10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Jaguar Land Rover?

Only apply to do an Apprenticeship if you genuinely want to gain the qualifications and work, don't apply just because you might not want to go to University, or because of the salary. Even though the Apprenticeship is rewarding and I enjoy working for JLR, it is difficult, and you can't expect to put minimal revision/work in and still get good results. I'd recommend doing some work experience before joining/applying (even if it's only for a couple of days), for a Finance Analyst role, and an Accounting role, to get a better idea of whether you want to go down the route of a Management Accountant, or a Financial Accountant.

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