Zain, an Accounting and Finance Student at UCLan, worked for the NHS Salford Clinical  Commissioning Group as a Finance Support Officer working across finance, contracting and business informatics as a part of his placement year.

He states that the scope of the responsibilities involved within the role attracted him to apply for the position. Alongside the recognition of the NHS as an employer, their vision to better the lives of the constituents they have responsibility for, this is a field he thoroughly enjoys. Zain explains that the application process for the role was relatively easy in comparison to other schemes. He got his CV and application looked over by university academics before submitting.

Upon submitting his application, he was invited to an interview in front of three panellists, followed with a basic excel test.

Giving an overview of his job, Zain details that it varies between day-to-day adhoc duties such as raising invoices and analysing costs within datasheets. He also carries out regular end of month task ranging from updating the ledger to producing monthly analysis reports for the contracting team.

“Although I’ve only been here for 2/3 months, there are plenty more tasks that i’ll be participating in. For example, the audit/year end processes. There is ample opportunity to perform and get involved in difference areas across the directorate. I love working here!”

When describing the most enjoyable aspects of the placement, Zain says working within the friendly and positive environment and with staff who are always willing to help and show him the ropes. Additionally, he loves the exposure to work within a few teams as it allows him to gain a better understanding of how the finances within the NHS works. He was a little thrown back when he initially started as it was a little daunting to him within the new environment and to get the grasp of how the organisation works. However, he said these feelings quickly went away because of the support he received from staff members.

Zain would recommend his placement employer and loves the flexi-system they have in place as it allows him to complete his contracted hours outside the normal set working hours as he commutes.

Giving advice to students looking for placements, Zain said:

“Having been in two minds about participating in a placement until May/June, I wasn’t going to participate in the optional placement year. Now that I’m here, I would definitely recommend participating in a placement as the experience and exposure within the industry you receive is invaluable. Be persistent and don’t give up on searching. Don’t thing twice about it, the benefits of going out on placement can’t really be expressed. All the best and GOOD LUCK!”