1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
As an accountant in a service business my day to day activities vary. I complete mandatory financial accounts at the end of every month to comply with internal and external controls. As well as this I lead the analysis of costs that our products incur and set up meetings to review performance against budget and forecast. I regularly interact with different departments within the business such as sales and engineering which helps me to broaden my list of contacts and better my communication skills. I rarely interact with customers and external parties direct - I only receive their order details etc.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
As part of the school leavers scheme, Siemens pay for us to study towards becoming a fully qualified CIMA accountant. They cover all tuition and exam fees which is extremely useful and when you complete all of the exams you become a fully qualified accountant - the equivalent to a masters degree. Siemens also put you forward for regular training both internal and external sop that you we are continuously gaining and developing a range of skills. These training courses include things like 'Customer Communications', 'Excel Skills', 'Project Management Qualififcation' and 'Business Influencing Skills'. In all of your different roles within Siemens you develop important work life skills such as communication, organisation, attention to detail and self independence.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I am enjoying working in a challenging but rewarding job that is stimulating and enjoyable. The work I do is interesting which is a benefit as it makes me complete it to the highest standard I can. The team I work in has a good balance of work and social aspects which means that we all get on well to enable us to perform our job well. The job is what I expected it to be, mainly numbers orientated with regular meetings, reviews and presentations. I enjoy coming to work everyday and becoming a better me.
4. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The induction to the job was informative and insightful which meant I knew exactly what was expected. All students on the scheme are in touch with each other, whether it be a work or non-work related query. If you are struggling with your studies the scheme will pay for you to have mentor sit with you and try to help you overcome an obstacle - as well as having plenty of other study related resources available such as textbooks, practice questions and online lectures. Although there is hierarchy within the Siemens business, managers are more than wiling to take time out of their busy schedule to take time to sit with you and have a chat about anything that may be on your mind.
5. How much support do you receive from your employer?
Support is in abundance within Siemens, no question is silly and everyone is willing to help. Managers schedule regular 1-to-1 reviews with you to make sure you're making the most of the opportunity which gives you a chance to air your views and opinions about anything you may want to chat about. Although I personally do not have a mentor, plenty of school leavers do. This allows them to learn from someone who has 'been there and done it' and gives them a chance to learn from the best in the business. Support is always available from a wide range of people - your fellow school leavers, your work team and the company as a whole are always on hand to give you any help/ advice you may need so you don't feel in the dark at any point.
6. How much support do you receive from your training provider when working towards your qualifications?
The training provider we use (BPP) has a wide range of resources available to assist your studies these include things such as online lectures, classroom sessions, in-depth textbooks and a vast bank of practice questions. They email you regularly to check up on you to ask how the course is going and whether they can assist you further. They seem keen to help you succeed and reach your goals. All in all, I enjoy studying towards my CIMA and BPP definitely makes it easier.
7. How well do you feel that your qualification (through your training provider) helps you to perform better in your role?
Due to the fact that CIMA is an accounting qualification and I am in an accounting role; my studies directly benefit my work. I am continuously bettering my understanding about financial topics which I definitely use to my advantage when I am preparing analysis/presentations. Some of the concepts you learn within CIMA (for example Standard Costing) are directly attributable to Siemens as they use these concepts. This helps as you gain an understanding as to why they use this system and what the benefits/drawback to this are.
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 plenty of extra-curricular activities to get involved with. I am involved in a golf society and a football group just to name a few. There are activities that cater for everyone whether it be a quiet reading group or a pumped-up gym group. There are opportunities to volunteer as well and Siemens actively encourages this by granting every employee a day off to volunteer. Siemens also has networking events whereby guest speakers will share their experiences with you at a dinner event. This allows you to branch out and meet new people from different Siemens departments.
9a. Would you recommend Siemens to a friend?
Siemens is a great employer who provides a relaxing work environment and a constant support network. There are so many opportunities within the business meaning your knowledge can never be capped as there will always be another opportunity to learn and better yourself. Everyone you meet in the business is really friendly and wants the best for you.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Siemens?
Preparation is key. I was asked to have an online and face-to-face interview where i was asked about myself and my work background. Make sure you practice competency based questions and don't lie in the interviews as i was asked to expand on some of the points I made during them. The assessment day involves an interview, a group exercise, a presentation and a mini CIMA test to grasp your initial understanding. Be confident and express yourself.
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