My 2017 Summer Accounting Work Placement Experience

As part of the Accounting Work Placement Subject (ACC3AWP), I had the opportunity to work full-time at the IAG Group for three weeks. It was a self-sourced opportunity as I knew a senior manager from HR and I asked him if it was possible for me to work in the finance department as part of my accounting work placement.

Initially, I was a bit nervous as I knew that it would be a different experience from university and my previous part-time employment. I originally thought that I would have to complete several tasks in a short amount of time. In reality, my assigned tasks were explained appropriately and I would either complete the task by myself or with another colleague. I quite enjoyed working with everyone in my department as everyone was lovely and friendly.

I would start my day at 9 am and finished my shift at 5 pm. I had to take the train every day from Epping to Flagstaff station and it took around 50 minutes to reach the city. It was a struggle in the beginning because waking up early and travelling long distances was quite tiring. Gradually, I began to adjust to the travelling time. As for the dress code, it was very important to look presentable as I was working in a commercial company.

I had the most amazing time during my placement. This was because I have a strong interest in working in the accounting and finance departments for a company such as IAG. I also enjoyed the day-to-day challenges that forced me to think outside the box. I was able to work with different accounting softwares like TM1, SAP and Microsoft Excel. I also had the opportunity to work in Statutory & Regulatory, Financial Control, Financial Planning & Analysis and Financial Process Optimisation teams. The people were very welcoming and made me feel comfortable working at IAG.

Each area in the finance sector of the company was very different. They all had a specific role to play. For instance, Statutory and Regulatory mainly focuses on reporting and analysing journals, Financial Control was all about the figures and recording the journals whereas the Financial Management manages internal finance, forecasting and budgeting for the future. Lastly, Finance Process Optimisation is responsible for reviewing the current accounting process in order to find more efficient ways of reporting.

The work placement has strengthened my motivation to complete my final year of university.  The skills that I have learned will be used in my daily life and future career. Some of the important skills that I have continued to improve since my placement were teamwork, commitment, initiative, communication, and respect. 

Overall, my work placement at IAG has been a great experience. I have met and formed bonds with my managers and colleagues. Most of my questions about the company and the work force have been answered. I have learned new skills and polished up my existing skills to ensure that I am ready to work in accounting and finance. It has also given me many opportunities to network, prepare for the workforce, solve day-to-day problems and view things in a different perspective. This is a great start to my professional career and I would recommend every student at university to start thinking about internships and applying for them as soon as you can. 

Stephanie Yu is a third-year Commerce student at La Trobe University. She loves to travel and has been to Shanghai, China and Seoul, South Korea as part of the La Trobe University’s short study programs. She enjoys cooking, music and badminton in her free time. She is also currently the Director of Careers of the La Trobe Commerce Student Association (CSA) and an intern at the Adecco group.