Mathematical Sciences, Ross Clark
BSc Mathematical Science student who undertook a Finance Placement with IBM.
During my year at IBM I worked on the British American Tobacco account in the global finance team as the Cross Geography Finance Manager. I was the key contact for all the project’s numerous regional teams including Russia, United Arab Emirates, South Africa, Brazil and Mexico. This provided me with a lot of exposure to both clients and colleagues from many different cultures.
My main responsibility was to manage the revenue and cost sharing to all the countries working on the project. I provided Gross Profit analysis and advised the regional teams on solutions for Gross Profit improvement as well as supporting the project’s finance lead with analysis and problem solving to improve our own Gross Profit.
Through this I learnt the demands of working in a fast pace professional environment and gained confidence from seeing the application of academic skills and knowledge in the workplace. This provided me with further assurance of my own abilities and what I can bring to companies after university.
A specific skill I found great use for was the Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) material taught in the first year of my degree. I found few people are given Excel training and even fewer know about VBA. Through using the strong Excel and VBA knowledge taught by City I was able to improve Gross Profit and increase efficiency on the project.
I would highly recommend doing a placement year. Along with a whole year’s full time work experience I also gained an invaluable network at the start of my career. Both of these have been extremely helpful whilst applying for graduate schemes and I am sure will continue to be useful as my career continues.