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Welsh Financial Graduate Services Graduate Case Study: Greg Robinson – 28/07/2017

Name – Greg Robinson
Age – 25
Degree – Accounting & Finance
Company – Bad Wolf Productions
Job title – Trainee Assistant Production Accountant
Where are you from originally? – Abercynon

About the WFSGP

  • What appealed to you about the WFSGP?

I graduated with a degree in Accounting and Finance, but still didn’t know what exact area of finance I wanted to work in, so the scheme seemed perfect to find out what areas I did (or didn’t) want a career in. I also found that straight out of university most of the jobs I was applying for, even at entry level requested previous experience, which having just graduated was limited. The scheme seemed perfect for addressing these two areas.

  • Did you ever consider a career in financial services?

Yes, as an Accounting and Finance graduate I knew this was the area I wanted to work in.

  • Tell us about your experience of the Programme so far?

During my time on the scheme I’ve had four placements. My first was at Grant Thornton where I spent the majority of my time in the Forensic Accounting department, but was also able to help audit a company.

My next placement was at BBC studios in Cardiff Bay working in the production accounting department on a production called Class, during this placement I was responsible for looking after the cash held by the production, as well as monitoring the budget of the Art Department.

My third placement was at GM Financial working in the Control Accounting department, during the placement I carried out testing of controls the company had in place to ensure they were both implemented and being followed correctly, I’d then produce a report for senior management and other stakeholders to present my findings and give any feedback.

My final placement has been at Atradius working in the Risk Services department, where I have assisted the team with preparing annual review cases – analysing whether companies we currently underwrite are of an acceptable risk, as well as assisting my manager in streamlining some of the monthly processes and finally updating and maintaining the teams SharePoint site.

  • Have you been able to apply skills from your degree?

The placements I have been at during my time on the scheme have required me to use skills I had learned from my degree, in particular the financial knowledge I had built up during my undergraduate degree. The placements have also allowed me to apply the knowledge acquired during the postgraduate studying – which has been particularly useful seeing how particular academic theories are applied in the workplace. The scheme has also required me to use and improve my soft skills such as communication and critical analysis.

  • What are your future plans and how has the programme helped to reach your goals?

I have been offered a role as an Trainee Assistant Production Accountant, with Bad Wolf Productions working alongside people I previously worked with during my placement at the BBC, my future plans involve progressing in the industry and becoming a Production Accountant in the future. The programme has helped greatly mainly by introducing me to an exciting career I didn’t know existed prior to my placement during the scheme.

  • What is the best thing about the WFSGP?

The two best things I have found about the scheme have been the ability to rotate into different roles and companies every six months to try put as many different areas of financial services as possible and also the support both from the scheme itself and also from the colleagues I have worked with during my placements, who, as they are used to working with graduates on the scheme are always happy to help answer any questions or queries you have and are also extremely supportive when it comes to assisting you with information required to complete your work-based coursework.

  • Are there any tips or advice you would give someone who was thinking about applying for the grad programme?

Prior to applying I’d definitely advise potential applicants to thoroughly research both the scheme itself and all the companies who are involved in it. This allows you to not only get a head start on finding out information for if you make it to the assessment centre, but more importantly allows you to get an idea of what the scheme entails – from both a work and academic perspective.

  • Any advice for the making the most of the Programme?

My advice would be don’t be afraid to rotate around the companies during the scheme, whilst you may really enjoy a particular placement, one of the unique benefits of the scheme is the chance to experience other workplaces / departments within a workplace. If you find you preferred a previous placement you can always ask if it would be possible to return!