Hi, I’m Ellie. I am studying Accounting, Business Finance and Management and spending my year in industry at Nestle Confectionery. I’m originally from Hull and I’m a member of Goodricke College.
I chose to come to York as I absolutely loved the university from the first time I visited. I was unsure whether I wanted to attend university, but I was fortunate enough to participate in Next Step York. It’s a widening participation programme targeting students who are less likely to go to university. This showed me that York was a friendly, supportive and inclusive university and somewhere where I really could envisage myself feeling comfortable. It was a home away from home. Even though I didn’t move hundreds of miles, it was a place where I could really get independence.
My favourite thing about York is how beautiful the city is. It is enriched with history and has great travel links, so you are always able to find something to do. It is an absolutely beautiful city and a top quality university with incredible facilities.
The one thing which has surprised me since starting my course is how much I have matured since starting university. I have become a much more independent person and to take control of my own workload. I have moments of feeling overwhelmed, but on the whole, I have become a lot more organised and in control of my own learning. This has been enhanced by my course and is something which has grown even further whilst undertaking a placement year.
Finding a placement
I found my placement by searching on the Nestle Academy website. I was aware of the placements which Nestle offered after speaking to careers advisors at University.
In my first year, Nestle came on to campus and ran a mock assessment centre. I was really impressed by the culture and atmosphere which was shown at the company. They made everyone feel really relaxed and had a really supportive atmosphere. I also was a huge fan of Nestle products. As the biggest food and beverage company in the world, I couldn’t think of a better place to work.
I organised meetings with Matt from the Careers and Employability team. He helped me go through my whole CV and cover letter to tailor it to placement applications. I altered my CV from a generic part-time job application to one tailored to a finance application. I had so many improvements to make and I don’t think I would’ve found a placement without that support. It was vital, along with the assessment centre and video interview workshops and tips I was given.
I chose my placement as I wanted to stay in the North. It meant I could be close to home and not have to travel far to save some money. I am so happy I managed to get a placement in the city so I can live and work in York.
Working at Nestle
It sounds cliché, but at my placement, no two days are the same. I work in the LGO which is the IT Support Hub of Nestle UK&I. In this department, I support the finance function and the systems that the finance function work on.
I spend lots of my time dealing with tickets. These are basically problems or requests which arise, and it is my job to find solutions. These can vary from the setup of new products, to banking issues, to invoicing and many more. I have a lot of responsibility in my role and have become the first line of support for certain issues. There are regular reports to run and standard tickets which may arise, but I am constantly learning new things to solve new problems.
The main thing I like about my placement is the amount of responsibility I have. I am treated like a full-time employee, which has given me a great insight into working for Nestle. I have a huge insight into different areas in finance. It has given me more direction towards the areas I want to go into in the future.
I have an amazing team around me who are really supportive and focused on my development. They are willing to give me challenging work to really test me and support me through it, so I get to work on really exciting and upcoming projects.
Challenges and achievements
I have felt frustration at times where I have been quiet, without masses of work to do. However that’s natural in any job and there isn’t always loads of work available. This is something which I have learnt to speak out about to my line manager, so he is aware of how I am feeling and so that I have more tasks to be working on.
The best experience I have had so far whilst on placement is being able to attend the SAP Conference in Birmingham. This was an amazing opportunity where I was able to speak to some really interesting business owners who showed me how SAP systems can be utilised. I learnt how firms are changing their period end close and how tax is being digitised across different firms.
I have learnt about how finance works at Nestle and masses about how the IT support hub works across the whole of Nestle UK&I. The experience working with IT systems will prove invaluable in whatever job I go into in the future. It has also made me motivated to attain a role within the finance function after networking with the finance team.