Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Sharon Malhi's Rotation Placement at Accountancy firm Menzies LLP

This is a guest post by Royal Holloway student Sharon Malhi who is on the BSc Management with Accounting (Year in Business) degree programme and is doing an Accounting Rotation placement with Menzies LLP.

I am currently doing my placement at Menzies LLP, a top 20 chartered accountancy firm who provide accountancy and advisory services. Menzies has several offices across Surrey, Hampshire and London and I work in the Heathrow office which is based in Egham. I joined Menzies last August and my role is a Rotation Placement student. My role involves working in 4 different departments; Accounts, Tax, Outsourcing and Audit. Prior to starting my placement, I knew that I wanted to pursue accounting as a future career and my placement year has provided me with invaluable experience.

My Role
What attracted me to apply to Menzies’ placement programme was that they offered a chance to rotate between different departments. Accountancy as an industry has many fields and being given the chance to gain experience in these different fields has been one of my favourite things about my placement so far. I have continually been able to learn new skills and gain new knowledge.

·         Accounts -  I started off my placement within the Accounts department. Here my main job role was to produce financial statements for small to medium enterprises. It was really good to be able to apply what I’d previously learnt in my university accounting modules to practical work.

·         Tax - My role in Tax involved preparing individual and company tax returns. I found working in the Tax department particularly interesting as there were lots of rules and regulations to learn when looking an individual’s tax liability.

·         Outsourcing – I have spent each quarter end month (October, January, April and July) working in the Outsourcing department. Outsourcing involves companies using accounting firms to complete various accounting procedures such as bookkeeping and producing management accounts. My main task in this department was to produce and submit VAT returns.

·         Audit – I am currently working in the Audit department and Audit involves examining companies’ financial reports to ensure that the information presented is a true and accurate reflection of the companies’ financial position. The audits that I have worked on so far have mainly been in-house however I have had the opportunity to visit a client’s site and do an on-site audit. I have been able to build up excellent client relationships skills which I will be able to use in the future. 

 Company Culture- I have been fortunate enough to work with a great team of people. Our office puts on various social events such as golf days, bowls tournaments and office nights out. Next month is the annual Menzies’ ball in central London where all employees from every office are invited for a night of dinner and drinks. Starting your first professional job can be scary but I promise it is fun too!

As I am almost coming up to the end of my placement, I can safely say that doing a placement year has been so fulfilling and I now feel more prepared for working life after graduation next year. The key piece of advice I would give is that persistence is key! I didn’t secure my placement until after my summer exams but now looking back I couldn’t have imagined myself working anywhere else. 

Check out Sharon's video profile talking about her first few months on placement. It can also be found on the Menzies' Career page.

Thursday, 24 May 2018

Focus on Careers and Employability - Value of Workshadowing

In the launch edition of Royal Holloway's School of Management new blog the focus was on Careers' and Employability. This included an insightful article about the value of workshadowing from Royal Holloway's Academic Director for the Year in Business programme, Dr Catherine Harbor.

This article is particularly relevant for our YIB students preparing to secure themselves a placement.

Job Shadowing
By Dr Catherine Harbor, Lecturer So that summer internship with PwC or the hot advertising agency didn’t work out, and you’ve ended up working at your local supermarket, or at a holiday camp or theme park. That’s still good, because it’s work and it’s experience – but it might not give you the insight you want into the professional position you’d like to hold eventually.
How about job shadowing? This is when you observe a professional in their job; you are not likely to get hands-on experience, but it will give you some insight into what they do.


If you do have a job, ask your line manager whether it might be possible to spend a few days shadowing different management positions where you are working. Or exploit your contacts: Mum, Dad, uncles, aunties, cousins, that friend who graduated last year and scored a great job. Ask them whether there might be opportunities for job shadowing at their organisation. Or approach a company yourself: send them your CV along with a cover letter explaining the role(s) you would like to shadow and how this could benefit you.
So why bother? You’ll get some idea about a job you might be considering for the future. You’ll get an understanding of the workplace and can build your network of contacts. And it may help you decide whether your dream job is really that, or might just be a nightmare

The Royal Holloway Career Service are running a 500 Jobs Fair on Tuesday 29 May, 12-3pm where a number of specialist graduate recruiters will join us on campus.There are also some temporary jobs for students entering second year. Book now to guarantee entry:

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Previous YIBs endorse the benefits of placements

Current 2nd year YIBs have until July 31st to secure a placement position for 2018/19. For any student questionning why they should continue in their search for a placement position they need only look at testimonials from current Royal Holloway students out on placement or those who have completed their Year in Business. The vast majority of Royal Holloway Management students are overwhelmingly positive about the placement year and the benefits it offers them. You only need to read the quotes below to get a picture...

Quotes from Royal Holloway YIBs about their placement years.

> Jamie Leigh Platt who is studying for BSc Management with Marketing (Year in Business) and is currently doing a 12 month placement with Avis Budget as a Global Travel and Partnerships Coordinator.
“Since joining the Avis Budget Group in June for my placement, there hasn’t been a day I haven’t learned something new. From creating websites to flying to Barcelona for a call centre incentive, I’ve been given so many opportunities and been able to see first hand how a global business actually works.”

> Mae Wang is studying BSc Management with International Business and doing a Project Management placement with NetApp and says “Overall, the role of a Project Manager is intense and requires a high level of time management and organisational skills but at the same time, you will also learn very quickly and gain a lot of key transferable skills with the opportunity to build a long list of credible contacts both internally and externally. NetApp has been fantastic in terms of developing their interns, they are currently funding my Prince2 qualification for professional Project Managers.”

> Emily Taylor is studying BSc Management with Marketing (Year in Business) and did a Mid Market Sales Placement with Microsoft. While working on placement she said “I honestly love my placement, largely because of the amount of responsibility I'm given and genuine fun I'm having! It was really nerve-wracking initially applying to such a big company, but knowing the level of opportunities you can gain, I would encourage anybody to apply to do a Year in Business”

> Amy Taylor studies BSc Management with HR (Year in Business) and did a Management trainee placement with Enterprise Rent a Car. She said “The best thing about a placement year is the real world experience you receive. I have not only put the theory I learnt at University into practice but have learnt so much more. I am going back to University for my final year having progressed my skills as a manager and already ready for graduate life”.

> Jordan Maxwell is studying BSc Management with International Business (Year in Business ) and did a Sales and Business Development placement with VMWare and says “my perception of what I thought a YIB would be is actually worlds apart to the reality. My skills in IT have grown but also in networking, presenting, event planning, social media, marketing, sales, time-management, and the list goes on. You can review a job description online but it only paints part of a picture – there is a lot more to it than just coffee runs!”

> Sarah Hunt Graduated with a first in BSc Management with HR (Year in Business) and did a placement with GSK as an Executive Recruitment placement. She said “ My placement year was a vital experience that I enjoyed thoroughly. Without it I would not have been able to secure a position at Pepsi, who value the experience and transferable skills I learnt on placement”

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Joy Timmer's Sales and Marketing placement at Bentley

This is a guest post from Joy Timmer who is studying BSc Management with Marketing (Year in Business) at Royal Holloway and is currently undertaking a Sales and Marketing placement with Bentley Motors in Crewe.

I joined Bentley Motors in September and can honestly say that each day at work is varied and different. I am a part of the Bentley Pre-Owned team, which means I am part of a team of 6 people and we operate the global Bentley Pre-Owned programme. I see myself as fortunate for being placed in this team, because although there are 4,000 employees at Bentley and 400 in Sales & Marketing alone, I get access to all functions due to being in such a small team. Essentially we operate as a mini version of Bentley, doing everything that the main company does but on a smaller scale. This means I undertake a great variety of roles, something that wouldn’t be possible if I was a placement student in a particular function. As I study marketing at Royal Holloway, it means that I have been given responsibility for a number of marketing projects for the team, from social media to much wider research for the Pre-Owned programme. I work on projects in house, as well as with our marketing agencies. Opportunities to further my learning are always presented, and I’ve had the opportunity to undertake an Excel course, as well as spending time at Google Garage to further my digital marketing skills.

As well as marketing, I have learned other key skills such as processing purchase orders, planning events, managing a budget and managing suppliers. Being a part of a global network has given me an insight into how a company operates across different time zones and as a result, how vitally important communication and fore planning is.

The best part about my placement has been the opportunity to work for such a luxury and iconic brand. In the first month of starting at Bentley I was exposed to the brand in all way’s possible, from visiting the showroom and playing round in the cars, to going on a factory tour. Seeing Bentley’s every day soon becomes the normality, from seeing them being test driven on my way to work, to photographing them for a recent project I was working on. Even so, the novelty is yet to wear off. Witnessing the cars being made, and the detail and time that goes into each one, makes you appreciate the product you are working around. No other car manufacturer hand builds cars in this way and this is why, despite the cost, customers return time and time again to purchase a car from us. From New to Pre-Owned personalisation is available to the customer through our Mulliner customisation, and is what sets us apart from competitors. Whether a customer wants a golf fit, or falconry the Bentley can be personalised to their hobbies and exacting standards.


Luxury is at the heart of everything we do and the customers we reach out to expect everything to be of the highest quality. It can sometimes be frustrating, as sign off processes are long and every detail has to be perfect. However I see this to ultimately be a benefit, as working at this level to start with, has given me a great platform to progress from as I am now used to producing work that meets the high standards that Bentley requires.

With Bentley Motors turning 100 later this year, there is not a greater time to work here, with marketing materials and campaigns being worked on all over the business to celebrate the achievement. As well as this, customer delivery of the first New Continental GT will take place in just a couple of months’ time, marking a new and exciting chapter for Bentley.  If you are looking for a placement in a company that pushes you and where you will learn from the highest standards, I would urge you to apply. Don’t be put off by the location. For me it has been a great experience living and working somewhere completely new. If you have any questions about my placement, feel free to drop me a message!