Well, nearly five weeks have gone by and it’s nice to say that I’m well and truly settled…
Where on earth did the time go?
It’s been hectic from the first week, all the way through to today… Meeting dozens of kind workers from various departments whilst settling in to life in the accounting department, the central hub of everything Financial that happens in the Council. Of course, every department have a role to play in ensuring that the Council sticks to its budget but central accounting verifies all the work, and ensures everything marries up in order to close the accounts for the financial year, but more than that, to ensure that lessons are learnt whilst studying the financial piece. The five weeks has already taught me loads, and I’m very wary already that there is no such thing as a daft question.
Within 24 hours I was face to face with the Chief Executive on the welcome workshop and the message was clear that all staff were essential to deliver Ffordd Gwynedd which means putting Gwynedd residents at the heart of everything we do as a team.
The Scheme has already showed me how valuable the three years ahead will be, with a major focus on development and learning. I really enjoyed the session on the political side of the council’s as it was an eye opener in to how the political decisions can influence every departments work.
One obvious flaw I knew I had (that showed during the assessment) when starting the job was my use (or lack) of Excel – yes… with me coming in to the world of finance – so take that as a lesson, what we as individuals see as a make or break flaw when potentially applying for a position may not be the case with this scheme. It’s a case of finding the potential to learn and develop in to a role, not the finish product being in place already. Within a week, I attended an internal Excel course and I left much happier. The following higher level course is already in my diary. I’ve had a meeting with my Scheme Mentor, a general meeting with the rest of the trainee’s and plenty of opportunities to network with influential individuals – who can honestly say that those kind of experiences are part of most job’s first five weeks of learning???
Whilst I note the benefits of the Scheme and what the job entails, I should also mention that I’ve registered for my CIPFA qualification. An unbelievable chance to gain a Professional qualification, supported by the Council, whilst earning a wage. There will be a few trips to Manchester between September and November and then a couple of exams before Christmas to kick start the journey. I shouldn’t admit that I’m looking forward to completing exams after 7 years away from University but it’s always been a regret of mine not to study Accountancy in University so this is an amazing chance for me. The Council have already encouraged me to sign up to a course to learn about Finance in Local Authority so this again shows the level of support and encouragement.
It’s a breath of fresh air for me that the learning and developing is currently through the medium of Welsh, one of the major benefits of working for the council, for those who value this, but there are plenty of other benefits. Naturally I have an important part to play as a trainee in sharing the great experiences so keep an eye on the blogs to see what’s what. Make sure you follow the Scheme’s Facebook and Instagram pages also.
See you soon