Archive | August, 2016

Top tips for securing a placement

This post is written by third year Accounting and Finance student Prabin, currently enjoying a finance placement at Meridian Corporate Finance.

Securing a placement can be a very lengthy process. It exposes you to a whole host of emotions: from the sigh of relief when you finally press ‘send’ on that online application, to the feeling of frustration when you receive a rejection email just two minutes later. The best feeling, though, is when you receive an offer – and here are my top tips for you to do just that!

#1 Persevere

As cheesy as it sounds, don’t give up. Let the rejections spur you on further to make more applications, and devote time to ensure the applications are as best as they can be. Although it’s important to make a lot of applications, it’s equally important to be clever about the applications you choose to make – a year is a long time and you don’t want to waste time making an application just to go on and withdraw at a later stage.

#2 – Start your placement search early

One of the biggest mistakes I made was searching for placements late. A lot of large companies recruit on a rolling basis – so will fill up their placement positions as time goes on. You get a lot of time to secure a placement but it’s best to start making applications early. It gets easier to find excuses the later you leave it (Christmas, January exams, coursework and Jesters were just a few of mine).

#3 Use the Placements Office

The Placements Office and the people in it have a greater idea of what a particular employer is looking for, so make sure to use them prior to every stage of the application. They have great connections and I wish I had made better use of it. Send them applications prior to submitting it online for review, meet with them for mock interviews, get tips for assessment centres and ask them any questions. They’ll help – they certainly did with me!

Good luck with the placements search!

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My first month at Virgin Media

This post is written by third year Accounting and Finance student Matt, currently enjoying a finance internship at Virgin Media.

So, I’ve nearly completed my first month at Virgin Media, working in the Contact Centre Finance team, and it has already been a steep learning curve. It started with a couple of days of induction with all of the other interns across the company, providing strong opportunities for networking. The induction primarily focused on the core values of Virgin Media, and the importance of them on a day-to-day basis, with guest speakers coming in from all areas of the business to provide tips and a general insight into the company.  Following this came three days of ‘handover’ period in the office, where the previous intern showed me the ropes. There were lots of them!

In Finance, month end is a very busy period. The timings worked out just perfectly, so I started working just as it was about to start. Thankfully the people here are incredibly supportive, providing guidance whenever I needed it. One of the great things about Virgin Media is that they have a designated ‘Head of Year’ for each group of interns depending on department, as another point of contact. This has been great as my Head of Year has enabled us finance interns to meet senior finance managers, and has delivered small meetings to develop our business skills.

My team work in the ‘Customer’ division of the company, and we look after all the contact centres globally. We constantly work with partners domestically and overseas in South East Asia.  Working in the management accounting side of the company certainly has delivered great exposure. Already I have been involved in projects surrounding Brexit. For example, looking at our ForEx spend to reveal the real effect that the nation’s decision is having.

Over the next few months I am planning to travel around the country, visiting various different functions of the company, in particular the contact centres. As it’s what I’m dealing with day-to-day, it’ll be great to gain first-hand experience and an understanding of the tools that drive performance in our contact centres. Other days out will include shadowing our front line engineers, the ‘faces of Virgin Media’.

I’m looking forward to the rest of the year, and getting stuck in with all of the opportunities on offer here at Virgin Media!

Virgin Media are currently advertising placements for 2017/18. For more information, please check the jobs board.

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How to succeed in those first few months

Starting a placement is exciting. We love talking to students right after they’ve started (we have a first week catch up call with them all) and hear what their early experiences in a real job are like. Although there’s often the usual struggles – like waking up early and getting to work by 9am every morning (welcome to the real life, dear students!) – they’re all making the most of the experience and tell us that being able to apply their degree knowledge to a real working environment is great fun and a welcome challenge.

If you’re about to start your placement soon, and are wondering how to make the most of the year from the very start, here are some great tips to get you started from monster.co.uk and LinkedIn.

Don’t try too hardsuccess-quotes_13266-5

If you’re the confident type you might want to try and impress your new workmates by being pushy or sharing your ideas openly. Try not to do this; you’ll have time later on and you won’t be expected to come into a new situation and have all the answers.

 

See your manager as someone you help, not someone who tells you what to do

Offer-Help-to-Your-ReadersYes, in theory, your manager gets to tell you what to do. In practice, that’s probably not why she hired you.

Here’s a better approach: Your manager has things she needs to get done. See your job as helping her get those things done. The more you help her achieve her goals and targets the more highly you will be valued.

Plus you’ll find it’s a lot easier to work hard when you feel you’re helping someone instead of obeying them. And you’ll enjoy your work more too – it’s a lot more fun and an infinitely more rewarding to help than to comply.

Go the extra mile – and often

Early on you probably don’t have all the skills you need. You probably don’t have all the experience. You probably don’t have all the contacts and connections.

But you can have the willingness to work extremely hard.

Work hard and everyone around you will forgive a certain lack of skill and experience. They’ll know you’re trying – and sometimes, at least for a while, that’s all that matters.

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You can read the full articles and get more awesome tips by clicking on the above links.

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